The challenge of successful engagement is for stakeholders to set aside their postures and gain confidence in the forum as a place for non-judgmental sharing. Engagement takes many forms, from face-to-face interviews to focus groups, multi-stakeholder workshops and feedback conferences. Focus groups – bringing together actors with similar interests or activities – or interviews can help stakeholders build confidence, structure the discourse around the issues being discussed and prepare participants for multi-stakeholder meetings. Opportunities for more homogeneous groups to exchange with each other and express their interests in their own words facilitates engagement in multi-stakeholder workshops.

There is a fine balance to be found between the expectation of participants to influence the debate – by creating a space to put forward their concerns and interests – and the objective of a free and open discussion that encourages new perspectives. Participatory assessment needs to be spatially and temporally decoupled from the formal policy process, while following a clear agenda on when and how the assessment results feed into decision-making.

For additional information

View or download the complete PDF of all lessons.

Date: 2017-2023

Improving the management of atlantic landscapes: acounting for biodiversity and ecosystem services Interreg Atlantic Area, started in 2017

Coordination by J. Ballé-Béganton and D. Bailly

Photo: © Pixabay