Participation for Local Development: Practical Reflections on Facilitating Inclusive Decision-Making
As we embark on the European Year for Development 2015, it is widely acknowledged that participation is a key component of boosting the sustainable and effective development of communities. We know that we achieve greater impact and more lasting solutions when all sectors - political, social, economic and cultural - are included in decision making. Multi-stakeholder approaches to local development are now the norm, welcomed and supported by civil society organizations, local authorities and the donor community. However, these approaches require sophisticated process expertise to facilitate many different perspectives and to negotiate the sometimes competing interests that will always arise locally. We are therefore called upon to conscientiously create an inclusive and safe space to work together in a context of shared responsibility and transparency, to jointly find local solutions to local problems.
Partners for Democratic Change International (PDCI) invites you to participate in this interactive conference where we will share very practical experiences from around the world in applying multi-stakeholder approaches for development. PDCI is a partnership of 19 local organizations, experts in facilitation and change management with over 25 years’ experience leading inclusive decision-making processes. We are pleased to welcome to Brussels the senior leadership of PDCI’s local members who will join other European experts in sharing concrete lessons from their own countries.
The conference will be highly interactive as we jointly reflect on how the international development community can intentionally conceive and implement interventions that are truly participatory, throughout all stages of the project life cycle. From conception, planning to implementation, there are distinct considerations for the meaningful involvement of those people most affected by decisions that are made. We will discuss how development projects can achieve the goals of long-term social change through a series of presentations and reflections on the following questions:
· Is long-term, systemic change really achieved through inclusiveness?
· What are best practices for development when we are working in our own countries versus intervening in a third country?
· How are today’s particular development challenges best tackled and how can we strengthen the participatory approach?
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