11. High-level missions

Type of tool: Trust building.


To secure buy-in by policy-makers at the highest political level by providing the Dialogue Host with access to political figures that can publicly endorse the dialogue process, as well as attract the interest of key stakeholders towards it.


Relying on its network, EPD can support the Dialogue Host in achieving high-level outreach missions to raise the political profile of the dialogue process and enhance its visibility, both towards public opinion and towards high-level decision-makers. One of its members, the Club de Madrid (CdM), gathers a network of democratically-elected former heads of state or government from over 60 countries with first-hand experience in leading policy reform from the very top. Thanks to their stature and network of contacts, the CdM members often enjoy direct access to decision-makers and other stakeholders. If properly briefed about the dialogue process and the objectives of their exchange with the political leadership of the country, they can be of great help by providing political leverage, summoning reluctant stakeholders or even unblocking gridlock in the dialogue process.

When selected carefully and according to the needs and political sensitivities of the target country, high-level peer-to-peer missions can help facilitators to achieve significant results. However, the involvement of high-level political figures can be a double-edged sword and thus needs to be handled with care. What is key for their success is that they are well planned and that the individuals that are sent to support the dialogue process are properly briefed about a) the local context, b) the stakeholders involved and c) the purpose of the high-level meetings that they are to hold and the ways in which they fit into the logic of the dialogue process.


  • Access provided to high-level decision-makers, enabling the Dialogue Host to gather political support for either the dialogue process or its main results (Roadmap for Reform).

  • Dialogue fostered through several techniques to break stalemate, mediate conflict or help stakeholders in assessing the situation in less confrontational terms.

  • Political leaders informed about the advantages of pursuing policy reform through inclusive and participatory dialogue.

  • Decision-makers are persuaded of the relevance of the policy dialogue and the need for them to support the implementation of the final consensus or agreement.

  • Good practices are shared by referring the stakeholders to a non-partisan experience they can relate to.

  • Intelligence gathered on the political factors and power relations that might foster or hinder policy reform.

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