Monitoring the recommendations of the Roadmap for Reforms

Throughout this third phase, the multi-stakeholder alliance guided by the Dialogue Host should capitalise on the impact of the dialogue initiative in order to consolidate the Roadmap for Reform as a key milestone for policy reform. This involves continuous monitoring of the implementation of the Roadmap for Reform and, if needed, the adoption of advocacy measures to increase the chances of implementation. More importantly, this regular work to be undertaken on the basis of the previous dialogue process is what should allow the different stakeholders involved to keep developing their bonds and animate the third key result of INSPIRED: its issue-centred Policy Network.

Indeed, it is usually at this stage that the interactions among the wide array of political actors, civil society organisations, think tanks or public institutions that the Dialogue Host has been brokering all along will materialise into the sort of policy network that can ensure the sustainability of the cooperation dynamics fostered through INSPIRED. Such multi-stakeholder networks have been proved a central feature of modern-day policy-making, as they bring together professionals that can switch positions over time (what due to some unethical cases has become infamously known as the phenomenon of “revolving doors”) but whose careers still remain linked to the same policy area, as well as their acquaintance, experience and know-how.

At the end of the day, the interplay among these circles of specialised professionals is the lifeblood of policy networks and one of the key factors for the quality of the outcomes in a given policy area. By identifying them throughout the dialogue and even depicting their interactions through social network analysis mapping tools, INSPIRED presents the EU and Member States with a unique opportunity to understand the real dynamics in a given policy area behind the institutional façade and ministerial organisational charts.

The involvement of the EU and the donor community is especially important at this stage, as it can allow for incentives to be built and for further joint initiatives to be developed. Needless to say, if national decision-makers are committed to translating truly inclusive and participatory Roadmaps for Reform into policy measures, it can only be in the interest of donors to support them. For this purpose, the Dialogue Host, in close cooperation with both the government and donors interested in the targeted policy area, should identify those capacity gaps (in public institutions and among stakeholders be they CSOs, think-tanks, unions, political parties, etc.) that need to be addressed in conjunction with the issues identified through the dialogue process.

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