EcoAgriculture Partners and Tropenbos International publish new method to improve the performance of multi-stakeholder platforms.
The rapidly rising popularity of the landscape approach is resulting in a growing number of integrated landscape initiatives. Such initiatives often involve multi-stakeholder platforms, meant to enable discussions, negotiations and joint planning between stakeholders from various sectors in a given landscape. With growing investments in these platforms there is a need for simple and affordable methods to aid their planning, monitoring and evaluation (PME). Over the course of 2016, Tropenbos International and EcoAgriculture Partners have been working with others to develop and test such a method. This partnership has resulted in practical guidelines for participatory PME workshops that can be conducted with the members of a multi-stakeholder platform.
Looking backward, inward, and forward
The method consists of three tools. The first one supports looking ahead, identifying priorities for future multi-stakeholder collaboration in the landscape. The second one is used to look inward. It focuses on the processes within an existing platform in order to identify areas for possible improvement. The third tool is for looking back, by identifying the main outcomes of a platform and comparing them to the original objectives. The tools can be used together or separately – either with external consultants or by platform members themselves.
The method has been developed to help uncover diverse views and stimulate discussions, making full use of platform members’ knowledge and experience. Here you can find detailed guidelines to implement the tools. They should, however, not be seen as blueprints, as they can easily be tailored to the specific needs of organizations and platforms.
Your feedback is welcome
There is no single “best role” for multi-stakeholder platforms to play in all landscapes. Intentional planning, monitoring and evaluation of the platform is the best way to identify and fulfill what the roles entail in each particular context. We hope that these tools will provide a starting point for this journey to take place. They are a work in progress, so we encourage practitioners and researchers to try them out, and to share their experiences with us. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have experience with similar tools or within a multi-stakeholder platform.