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Principles of Stakeholder Participation and  Collaboration



Employing agreed, transparent, democratic mechanisms of engagement, position finding, decision making, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, making these mechanisms transparent to non participating stakeholders and the general public.


Providing a tool for addressing urgent sustainability issues; promoting better decisions by means of wider input; generating recommendations that have broad support; creating commitment through participants identifying with the outcomes and thus increasing the likelihood of successful implementation.


Levelling the playing field between all relevant stakeholder groups by creating dialogue (and consensus building) based on equally valued contributions from all; providing support for meaningful participation; applying principles of gender, regional, ethnic etc balance; providing equitable access to information.


Covering a wide spectrum of structures and levels of engagement, depending on issues, participants, linkage into decision making, time frame etc; remaining flexible over time while agreed issues and agenda provided for foreseeable engagement.

Good governance

Further developing the role of stakeholder participation and collaboration in (inter)governmental systems as supplementary and complementary vis a vis the roles and responsibilities of governments, based on clear norms and standards; providing space for stakeholders to act independently where appropriate.


Providing for all views to be represented, thus increasing the legitimacy and credibility of a particular process.


Requiring participants to learn from each other, taking a learning approach throughout the process and its design.


Requiring democratic, transparent, accountable, equitable processes in their design; requiring participants to adhere to those principles.


People centred processes of meaningful participation, allowing ownership for decisions and thus increasing chances of successful implementation.

Participation & Engagement

Bringing together the principal actors; supporting and challenging all stakeholders to be actively engaged.


Developing partnerships and strengthening networks between stakeholders; addressing conflictual issues; integrating diverse views; creating mutual benefits (win/win rather than win/lose situations); developing shared power and responsibilities; creating feedback loops between local, national or international levels and into decision makings.

Societal Gains

Creating trust through, honouring each participant as contributing a necessary component of the bigger picture; helping participants to overcome stereotypical perceptions and prejudice.

Strengthening of Institutions

Developing advanced mechanisms of transparent, equitable, and legitimate stakeholder participation strengthens institutions in terms of democratic governance and increased ability to address global challenges.  


Bringing all relevant stakeholders together in one form and within an agreed process; publishing activities in an understandable manner to  non participating stakeholders and the general public.

Voices, not votes

Making voices of various stakeholders effectively heard, without disempowering democratically elected bodies.


For more information, see Stakeholder Forum's work on multi-stakeholder processes:

Stakeholder Forum Homepage