News & Press: United Nations

IAP2 Indonesia: Advancing Public Participation & Stakeholder Engagement

Tuesday, April 2, 2019  
Share |

To respond to the challenges of advancing the practice of Public Participation and Stakeholder Engagement, various policies and development initiatives impacted to public and stakeholders, both in national and local, need to engage the public. Opening space for public participation, particularly for those who are directly and indirectly affected by a policy or decision is not merely complementary to them, but necessary and obligatory.

However, the emerging challenges today are that the experiences of effective public participation and stakeholder engagement are limited and less documented, especially in developing countries. Other challenges are increasing access and awareness of the evidence-based research on public participation in developing country contexts and bring it into policies and practices at all levels of governance.

At the same time, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets out 17 ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for especially the Asia-Pacific countries that undergo a rapid development and become the hub of global economic activities. In fact, the rapid economic development in this region raises fundamental challenges for achieving the SDGs including income and social inequality, the growing gap between rich and poor, sustained environmental degradation, and declining civic space.

The achievement of the SDGs requires the increasing participation of the public and stakeholders in development processes that focus on inclusive decision-making and effective institutions in Goal 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions. Public participation (public-initiated engagement) and stakeholder engagement (government or institution-led) are requirements for social accountability and reinforcement of governance.

To respond to the above challenges, the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) in cooperation with the School of Government and Public Policy (SGPP) Indonesia and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) will organize an International Forum on Public Participation and Stakeholder Engagement for SDGs located in UN Conference Center, Bangkok, Thailand. The event that will take place from April 29 to May 1, 2019, is intended to document and promote the practices of public participation and stakeholder engagement in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The main objective of this forum is to support the delivery of purposeful, inclusive, pro-active and transformative engagement processes that enhance the responsiveness of governance systems and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. In addition, this forum is expected to: 1) Bring the research, development partners and government / policy communities together to increase the understanding of the state, impacts, dynamics, and trends of stakeholder engagement in the Asia-Pacific region; 2) Exchange knowledge on the impacts of public participation and stakeholder engagement in different parts of the Asia-Pacific region; 3) Share information on various initiatives to strengthen the role of public participation; 4) Discuss the implications of research for public policy; and 5) Help shape future research agenda with inputs from policy makers.

The key topics that will be addressed in the forum include public participation (P2), stakeholder engagement (SE) and the sustainable development goals (SDGs), and impacts of P2 and SE practice by the private sector and government, public policy for P2 and SE. The forum will also discuss, national and international sustainability standards, and guidelines, and their relationship with P2 and SE, the roles of state and non-state actor initiatives, international organizations (including the UN system and IAP2) and other parties in facilitating the institutionalization of P2 and SE, such as IAP2 core values in action.

The expected attendees are researchers and practitioners of participatory governance, stakeholder engagement and public participation in the Asia-Pacific region. Government officials or institutions who are responsible for public administration, policy and capacity development will participate as well. Other participants are the international organizations and partnership initiatives that focus on strengthening governance.

The first day of the forum will consist of presentations of research papers, policy and advocacy experiences, which are selected based on the call for papers, in the form of interactive sessions / marketplace approach. The activities on the second day include focus group discussions (FGD) for sharing the insights from the first day, and discussing their implications for public policy and future research agenda related to P2 and SE. Before the event ends, a half-day partnership dialogue will be held on the third day that involves organizational stakeholders such as from IAP2, UNESCAP, SGPP, and other partners. The dialogue is to share initiatives and plans, as well as to discuss potential co-investment and follow up.

Read also the series of other Domestic News

Follow IAP2 Indonesia on social media to get the latest news, and together build the practice of public participation in Indonesia.