Balancing priorities and trade-offs

One aspect that the Dialogue Host needs to take into consideration when trying to broker consensus is the necessary balance between the breadth (understood as the number and diversity of stakeholders that endorse the Roadmap for Reform) vs. depth (or reflected in the level of detail of the actions proposed) of the consensus.

Actually, these two variables tend to run in different directions, as when more diverse actors get involved the potential for disagreement becomes higher. On the other hand, a more reduced number of participants can make it easier for stakeholders to agree on more concrete actions, but this should not come at the cost of leaving others behind.

The Roadmap for Reform should therefore strike a balance between these two variables with views to delivering a sound consensus that lays the ground for further action.

Roadmaps for Reform come in different forms, changing of shape and scope depending on the degree of consensus attained. Realities are always shifting, and policy processes are seldom linear, but the policy cycle proves useful when it comes to conceptualising the kind of clauses that different Roadmaps for Reform may include. These are likely to take form in line with the stage of the policy cycle on which they seek to exert influence, thus determining the strategies that the actors can effectively take; tactics and techniques are not the same to inform a policy choice by feeding its formulation than to raise awareness around a given issue and put it on the political agenda.

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