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Principles of Stakeholder Participation and Collaboration

We are suggesting the following as key principles of multi-stakeholder processes:



Employing agreed, transparent, democratic mechanisms of engagement, position-finding, decision-making, implementation, monitoring, evaluation;



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 outcome and thus increasing the likelihood of successful implementation.



Levelling the playing field between stakeholder groups whose 'traditional' lobbying activities largely depend on their resources and are therefore imbalanced; applying principles of gender and regional 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.


Good governance

Further developing the role of stakeholder participation and collaboration in (inter)governmental systems as supplementary and complementary vis--vis the roles and responsibilities of governments, based on clear norms and standards.



Allowing all views to be represented and increases the legitimacy and credibility of a participatory process.



Taking a learning approach throughout their design; requiring participants to learn from each other.



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



People-centred processes, allowing ownership for decisions, thus increasing chances of successful implementation.


Participation & Engagement

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


Partnership / Cooperative

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


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

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 forum and within an agreed process.


Voices, not votes

Making voices of various stakeholders effectively heard



Contact Minu Hemmati and Felix Dodds for further information.