Government officials

Not only in their dealings with international organisations, but also in their daily design and implementation of public policies, government officials are increasingly forced out of their ministries’ walls to engage with a wide array of stakeholders. This change of paradigm from a hierarchical and vertical approach to government towards a more horizontal and collaborative way of policymaking (commonly known as governance) comes from the realisation that many societal problems need to be addressed in ways that involve all the key stakeholders affected by a given policy reform.

Despite the widespread assumption that government officials are reluctant to engage with civil society and other stakeholders that can “make their life harder”, in our work we have found that in most cases their attitude is exactly the opposite: they are often willing to engage and receive input – as well as help – but find it quite hard due to the critical stance that CSOs often take in their regard. This is usually the result of prejudice and lack of mutual understanding, which is what INSPIRED seeks to overcome through its trust-building techniques and, more importantly, by means of structuring the different contributions so as to ensure that individual claims and concerns are channelled into a fruitful dialogue.

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