The European Alliance on Agricultural knowledge for Development

Design and facilitation of multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs)

6 October 2015. Wageningen. The Centre of Development Innovation (CDI), of Wageningen University and Research Centre launched its new publication, “The MSP Guide: How to Design and Facilitate Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships“.

The book launch was preceded by a seminar, with contributions by the authors and other experts from inside and outside of Wageningen UR. They reflected on the fast growth of multi-stakeholder partnerships as a preferred modality for tackling complex challenges such as global food security and sustainability.

Also, attention was given to the competencies that are needed to support stakeholder collaboration – and how these can be strengthened in order to ensure that MSPs deliver innovative outcomes.

Dr Jim Woodhill – Principal Sector Specialist for Food Security and Rural Development at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Former Director of CDI, Wageningen UR;
Dr Domenico Dentoni – Assistant Professor, Management Studies Wageningen
University and Principal Investigator, Global Center for Food Systems Innovation;
Dr Minu Hemmati – Psychologist working independently on designing, facilitating and coaching multi-stakeholder processes for sustainability and gender justice. Author of "Multi-stakeholder Processes for Governance and Sustainability: Beyond Deadlock and Conflict" (Earthscan, 2002);
Bert Ronhaar – Former Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Nigeria. Special Envoy of The Netherlands to Nigeria for the conflict over pollution in Ogoniland in the Niger Delta;
Herman Brouwer – Multi-stakeholder engagement specialist working at CDI, Wageningen UR, and accredited partnership broker (PBA);
Prof. dr. Jack van der Vorst – Director of the Social Sciences Group, Wageningen UR

30 international participants of the 3-week MSP course, organised by CDI also participated in this meeting.

The guide links the underlying rationale for multi-stakeholder partnerships, with a clear four phase process model, a set of seven core principles, key ideas for facilitation and 60 participatory tools for analysis, planning and decision making.

The guide has been written for those directly involved in MSPs – as a stakeholder, leader, facilitator or funder – to provide both the conceptual foundations and practical tools that underpin successful partnerships. What’s inside draws on the direct experience of staff from CDI in supporting MSP processes in many countries around the world. The guide also compiles the ideas and materials behind CDI’s annual three week international course on facilitating MSPs and social learning.

“…Multi-stakeholder partnerships are, although not the easiest, certainly the most effective way forward to make sure no one is left behind when taking decisions that affect us all. I am struck by the amount of experience and quality of insight gathered in this guide, which echo many situations we encounter at the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) throughout our continuing learning journey to ensure inclusive policies for zero hunger and malnutrition.” – Gerda Verburg, Chair of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS)

“…‘The MSP Guide’ is a welcome and invaluable management tool for identifying the core principles, tools and considerations needed to optimise your organisation’s approach to engagement…” – Paul Hohnen, Sustainability Strategies, Amsterdam, and Associate Fellow, Chatham House

“What I like about this manual – and I like it a lot – is the way the authors have drawn on a rich tapestry of global experience and wide range of professional disciplines to enable those who read it to tackle the innumerable challenges of collaboration with increased confidence and competence.” – Ros Tennyson, Partnership Brokers Association

“Managing multi-stakeholder partnerships is both an art and a science. This guide offers both practical guidance and unique insights drawn from real experience, providing the most comprehensive resource available on the subject.” – Lisa Dreier, Head of Food Security and Agriculture Initiatives, World Economic Forum USA

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