Civil society and domestic stakeholders

The guide is mainly addressed to civil society actors and domestic stakeholders, in particular to those that are willing to adopt a constructive approach towards engaging with governments to bring about change. INSPIRED will provide them with a structured approach towards engaging pro-actively in public policy-making and increasing the impact of their advocacy efforts through dialogue and deliberation. Contestation and denunciation are, of course, legitimate strategies to check the power of public authorities, but they may also generate distrust on the side of public officials and tend to open a gap between professionals working in the same policy field.

The INSPIRED approach bridges this divide by promoting mutual understanding among the many stakeholders affected by a given policy reform – through dialogue, joint analysis of problems and sustained collaboration that is steered towards finding consensual, policy-based solutions to those problems. One of the most rewarding moments of the INSPIRED dialogue processes is when civil society actors and government officials start to see each other as members of the same policy network instead of belonging to diametrically opposed political camps. We are convinced that these kinds of outcomes are actually more valuable in terms of generating lasting change than technical assistance or financial support on their own – without a broad consensus on the purpose of such aid – can ever be.

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