BACKGROUND AND LEARNING OBJECTIVES
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development calls for participation of stakeholders in its implementation and follow up and review.
However, both systemic and capacity-related challenges slow the development of quality engagement in many countries. Despite some good practices, and the best intentions, engagement processes can often be rushed, under-resourced and under-planned, leading to frustration on all sides. Basic questions such as “how do you choose the ‘right’ NGO to work with?” or “how do we reach out to the public?” are frequently raised, and there is a lack of an overview of the sheer diversity of stakeholder groups and constituencies who wish to be involved. Often the responsibility for stakeholder engagement is not properly defined or resourced, or low levels of trust reduce the space for constructive dialogue.
Systematic, quality engagement is needed to respond to the fundamental objectives of the 2030 Agenda – that no one should be left behind and that an integrated approach to delivery be followed. In addition to strengthening the basics of engagement, there is need for innovation to deepen the levels of engagement, going beyond consultations to build trust, create a sense of ownership of the Agenda and develop coherent policies, integrating the perspectives of different stakeholders.
Responding to this need, the first three-day training workshop on effective stakeholder engagement has been organized to help countries in the Asia-Pacific region deliver and implement purposeful, inclusive, proactive and transformative engagement processes, that support effective delivery on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
Developed and delivered with the support of trainers licenced by the International Association for Public Participation of Australia (IAP2), the training workshop and supporting material has been developed under the partnership between UNESCAP and IAP2 and is being delivered through the
SDG Helpdesk (see https://sdghelpdesk.unescap.org/).