Multi-stakeholder Processes

The Project
Principles & Checklist
Ongoing Work
MSP Examples
Scientific Research

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A Framework For Multi-stakeholder Processes

A UNED Forum Project In Memory of Warren 'Chip' Lindner


The Project, Nov 2000 - June 2001

Introduction to Multi-Stakeholder Processes

Current & Future Work




Multi-Stakeholder Processes for Governance and Sustainability. Beyond Deadlock and Conflict.


Implementation Conference: Stakeholder Action For Our Common Future

Suggestions for the process towards Earth Summit 2002

Links to MSP related material

MSP List serve

Workshop 28-29 April, 2001:

Co-Chair's Summary    Workshop Report  
Programme & Presentations
Participants    Pictures  
Broadcast on the Internet (webcast)
sponsored by Unit.Net



Introduction to Multi-Stakeholder Processes

'Business as usual, government as usual, and perhaps even protest as usual are not giving us the progress needed to achieve sustainable development. Letís see if we canít work together to find better paths forward' (Hohnen 2001).

The term multi-stakeholder processes (MSPs) describes processes which aim to bring together all major stakeholders in a new form of communication, decision-finding (and possibly decision-making) on a particular issue. They are also based on recognition of the importance of achieving equity and accountability in communication between stakeholders, involving equitable representation of three or more stakeholder groups and their views. They are based on democratic principles of transparency and participation, and aim to develop partnerships and strengthened networks between stakeholders. MSPs cover a wide spectrum of structures and levels of engagement. They can comprise dialogues on policy or grow into consensus-building, decision-making and implementation of practical solutions. The exact nature of any such process will depend on the issues, its objectives, participants, scope, time lines, etc.

Hence, MSPs come in many shapes. Each situation, issue or problem prompts the need for participants to design a process specifically suited to their abilities, circumstances, and needs. However, there are a number of common aspects Ė values and ideologies underlying the concept of MSPs, questions and issues which need to be addressed when designing an MSP, and stages of such a process. Our suggestions form a common yet flexible framework, which we offer for consideration to those who design, monitor and evaluate MSPs.

MSPs are not a universal tool, not a panacea for all kinds of issues, problems and situations. MSPs are akin to a new species in the eco-system of decision-finding and governance structures and processes. They are suitable for those situations where dialogue is possible, where listening, reconciling interests, and integrating views into joint solution strategies seems appropriate and within reach.

MSPs have emerged because there is a perceived need for a more inclusive, effective manner for addressing the urgent sustainability issues of our time. A lack of inclusiveness has resulted in many good decisions for which there is no broad constituency, thus making implementation difficult. Because MSPs are new, they are still evolving. Because they are people-centred, people need to take ownership and responsibility for them, using and refining them to serve their own purposes and the larger purposes of the global community of which they are part.

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For further information, please contact UNED Forum:

Minu Hemmati, (Consultant / Project Co-coordinator)
Felix Dodds, (Project Co-coordinator & UNED Forum Director)
Jasmin Enayati, (Consultant / Project Assistant & Scientific Review Consultant)
Jan McHarry, (Consultant / MSP Examples)

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Contact Minu Hemmati and Felix Dodds for further information.