Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Three-week MSP training in Wageningen

From 8-27 September we conducted the public Multi-stakeholder process course in Wageningen. 29 participants from 17 countries attended the training.

The course covered state-of-the-art thinking about participation from local to global level and introduced the most up-to-date methodologies and approaches for facilitation and participation. How MSPs and social learning relate to concepts such as dialogue, interactive policy making and adaptive management was fully explored.
Typically MSPs involve business people, policy makers, community representatives, NGOs, politicians, researchers and educators from different scales, sectors and disciplines. The degree and nature of their participation and interaction will vary and needs to be carefully negotiated, planned and facilitated. This leads to questions about governance and democratic participation, which have become important topics on the global agenda as we work towards making sustainable development a reality. The course explored these topics and examined the practical implications.
Multiple stakeholder and social learning processes are, for example, applicable, to: integrated rural development initiatives; river basin management; market chain management; development of poverty reduction strategies; interdisciplinary research programmes; food security initiatives; livelihood development; sector wide approaches; interactive policy making; decentralisation programmes; and community-based natural resource management (forestry, fisheries, wetlands).
The training also included field work on Ameland (an island at the northern coast of the Netherlands), in which participants explored a real life multi-stakeholder process: the implementation of European nature legislation (Natura 2000) on the island and the effect on the local communities. The field work was probably the highllight of the training, not only because of the content, but also since it was the very first time for some participants to ride a bike, do mudwalking and visit a real gas extraction site! See video below.
It was a very rewarding training and participants became a close ‘community’ that will stay in touch after the training to implement the new insights.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

SNV East and Southern Africa - Multi Stakeholder training

From 25-29 August I conducted a training for 27 education advisors from SNV in East and Southern Africa. The training in Dar es Salaam was an introduction to Multi-stakeholder processes.

SNV advisors work a lot with MSPs in their assignments, for instance by supporting local education officers at district level in facilitating platforms that deal with the quality of education in a district. This training enabled the SNV advisors to deal more consciously with concepts and processes of stakeholder participation.

The training builds on the experiences of Wageningen International with SNVs around the world. We will definitely return to this group in 2009 to continue supporting capacity development in this area.