Practice Advice on Democratic Institutions and Policy Process
Strengthening Multistakeholder Dialogue (UNDP)
Summary Advice: Multistakeholder dialogue can improve the quality and effectiveness of policy-making and implementation processes.
Main Points: The UNDP observes that dialogue is a necessary democratic tool that helps improve democratic processes and institutions by promoting transparency, public participation and inclusion.
Multistakeholder dialogue, or the engagement of all stakeholders in transformation processes, is an important factor in building trust, increasing the space for the consideration of diverse perspectives, and facilitating active listening among different actors.
Successful dialogues should be:
- Inclusive and designed to build trust
- Guided by clear objectives and results
- Geared towards problem-solving
- Geared towards designing and implementing public policies
Dialogue processes, however, are considerably affected by:
- The level of specialized knowledge and trust-building among diverse actors.
- The power of influence of actors directly and indirectly involved in the process
- The strength in the ability of interlocutors to contribute to and monitor agreements
- The quality of the convening process as measured by the existence of clear rules
- The expectations of public actors versus social actors
- The political will
- The diversity of actors, including actors who represent concrete, valid sectors with specific demands
- The likelihood that such efforts actually influence policymaking
- The credibility of the dialogue process
- The involvement of political decision-makers in the process
- The role and influence of information and the media
Source: UNDP (2008). Scarleth Gomar and Anaí Linares, "Briefing Note – Political parties and public policymaking processes: The role of multistakeholder dialogue" Documents On Dialogue at http://www.democraticdialoguenetwork.org/documents/view.pl?f_id=1109 (accessed 29 October 2012).
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