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8. Public events & campaigning
Purpose
To enhance the visibility of the dialogue process and open its workings to a larger audience so as to raise awareness around the topics at stake and gather support for the reforms.
Rationale
The usefulness of this format depends on the degree of trust among the stakeholders and the sensitivity of the policy area under discussion. Considering that the main goal of the process is to develop trust and pave the way to consensus, “going public” is always a risky step, as it confronts the stakeholders to public opinion and their own constituencies, sometimes limiting their leeway to compromise. It might therefore be advisable to focus efforts on nurturing trust and promoting consensus-building rather than pursuing greater visibility too early into the process.
This is why in most cases, the best moment to organise a conference is at the end of the Consensus Building phase; i.e. after the participants have agreed on a Roadmap for Reform. Such a final conference should have as its main goal the dissemination of the Roadmap for Reform to a wider audience and its public endorsement by the key stakeholders involved. The format of the conference will depend on the groups that are targeted, such as policy experts, members of the government and parliament, media, direct beneficiaries of the policy at stake or the general public.
Outcomes
  • Awareness raised on the need to address some key aspects of the policy or policies in question.
  • Public opinion informed and mobilized for policy reform.
  • Broadened base of support for the reform.
  • Enhanced visibility of the collective effort.
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