The Water Dialogues are a set of national multistakeholder dialogues, linked through an international dialectical process. At national level, Dialogues were established in Brazil, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Africa and Uganda between 2003 and 2009. These National Dialogues were initiated to try to break through the impasse within the water sector regarding the appropriate role of the private sector in water provision for the poor.
Multistakeholder engagement is increasingly recognized as an important part of effective policymaking, especially around contentious issues. However, there is still a lot to learn about what modes of engagement are appropriate, and when they should be used. One intention of The Water Dialogues has always been to capture lessons from the process itself to support future engagement processes. These lessons are set out in The Water Dialogues publication A Guide to Multistakeholder Work (H. Coulby, 2009).
This story of The Water Dialogues has been written to give an overview of the whole process and to examine some of its human dynamics. It doesn’t attempt to cover everything that happened – this would require a whole book. Neither does it go into great detail on the story of any specific National Dialogue. Readers who are interested in this aspect are encouraged to read the country process reports produced by the International Secretariat, available at www.waterdialogues.org. What this Story does do is try to give some flavour of the challenges and rewards of engagement in such a process. It is intended for a non-specialist audience interested in such processes.
This Story also includes a series of text-boxes scattered throughout the narrative. These boxes contain the “personal stories” of some of the members of The Water Dialogues from across broad range of countries and perspectives. They are included as an illustration of the diversity within the project and to put a “human face” to the narrative. These personal stories are not the work of the main authors but are the collective work of the storytellers themselves and interviewers.
1. Initiating an International Dialogue
A Chat in a bar
The Scoping Study
Beginnings: Brazil Starts a National Dialogue
Berlin and beyond
The struggle to secure funding and maintain motivation
The National Dialogues start
The funding challenge continues
The International Secretariat
DFID agrees funding
2. The National Dialogues
Box 1. The challenges of constructing knowledge within a multistakeholder group
Box 2. The need to match pace with process: the Philippines experience
Box 3. Negotiating the Brazil research with the World Bank
Box 4. Diverse country approaches – summary of research
3. Balancing International and National
4. May 2009: Some Reflections on What The Water Dialogues have achieved so far…
Some concluding reflections
Appendix 1 – The Water Dialogues Key Events
Appendix 2 – The Water Dialogues Members List
Post Date : 03 Maret 2010