GLOBAL VISION INSTITUTE
Co-creating innovative values-driven international organizations
NEWSLETTER November 2014
POST-2015 AS GAME CHANGER - Participation and Partnership
GVI CONVERSATION SERIES:
WILL THE POST-2015 AGENDA BE A GAME CHANGER?
We interviewed a colleague from UN Foundation in NY, an academic from Utrecht University, and a private sector professional in India, and share their perspectives below, along with those from members of the GVI community. The conversation continues on the GVI blog, newsletter and all social media through November - join us!
Interview with Ms. Jenna Slotin,
Deputy Director for the Post-2015 Initiative,
UN Foundation Below is an excerpt from our conversation. More details will be shared in an upcoming GVI blog on our website.
GVI: Can you tell us about your role at the UN Foundation?
Jenna Slotin: Here at the UN Foundation, I am the Deputy Director for the Post-2015 Initiative, where I manage the day-to-day activities of the initiative, focusing especially on the numerous events and discussions we convene. These bring together member states and other stakeholders to help build a common understanding and identify areas of compromise across a range of issues. The year 2015 will be critical for development and it is an important opportunity to be involved in this process.
GVI: Can you tell us about the post-2015 agenda, particularly the discussions that have taken place and what we can expect over the course of the next year?
Jenna Slotin: Over the past two years, numerous consultations have taken place across many sectors – in both formal and informal settings. Outside of the UN, there have been a multitude of opportunities to engage in dialogue around the post-2015 agenda. From mechanisms such as My World, which gave the public a platform to identify key issue areas, to the many consultations that took place on various topics, including poverty, health, private sector engagement, and more. This level of inclusiveness has really set the bar high in terms of how the global community has come together to outline our global commitments for the new development agenda. For next steps, the UN Secretary-General will release his synthesis report in December of all the inputs to-date. Formal inter-governmental negotiations are set to start in January of next year.
GVI: How has the UN Foundation been involved to support this process?
Jenna Slotin: Connecting people, ideas and resources to help the UN solve some of the world’s toughest challenges is at the core of what we do at the UN Foundation. We have a unique role in that we are closely linked to the political discussions that are taking place with member states, but are also connected to many partners across sectors – from health to energy and climate to the private sector. In this way, we have been able to help create opportunities for dialogue within the post-2015 process for stakeholders to share information and ideas to bring about a bold and meaningful new development agenda. It is a really exciting space to watch.
Interview with Mr Sivasubramanian Muthusamy,
Proprietor, Nameshop and
President of Internet Society India Chennai, ICANN, India
Do you think the mechanisms for multi-stakeholder engagement in forging the agenda will usher in new ongoing modes of inclusive global governance?
Inter-governmental diplomatic process by seasoned diplomats is required in some specialized areas such as global conflict resolution, but at the same time, the global developmental tasks are so enormous and complex that it is impossible for Governments alone, (in disconnected isolation of other stakeholders) to generate effective and conclusive solutions to problems. In the multistakeholder process, not only are stakes claimed by stakeholders but the expertise from across different stakeholder groups of Business, Academia and other sectors of the Civil Society combine with that of the Government to generate well informed and optimal solutions to various issues.
Fair global governance is achievable by the multistakeholder process as this process tends to broadly balance the interests, even without proportionate inclusion or representation. As the development process increasingly adopts the multistakeholder process, global governance becomes more and more effective.
What are your thoughts or what role does you see for the private sector in development? What would be the nature of some of the collaborations, and on what issues?
The private sector has played a role that is much greater than that of governments in global development. While Governments have played the role of a regulator, private sector has brought in innovations and caused progress to happen. The role of Government could be viewed as that of a facilitator or enabler, instead of a regulator, then the roles played by the rest of the actors become more and more effective.
The private sector could consider adopting the social enterprise model more and more, get more involved in the multistakeholder process and also support the participation of Civil Society and other actors who might have participation constraints. The online stakeholder engagement platforms are valuable tools to engage stakeholders. The platforms need to incorporate more collaborative tools, perhaps with help from the Internet technical community who would be glad to contribute to the efforts to apply their expertise to aid developmental efforts.
Comments from the GVI community: Do we need more holistic terms like well-being, for more holistic approaches?
" One of fundamentals of ineffectiveness of aid has been the lack of "relevant" local participation involving not only the aid-targeted local community but also incorporating local experts in planning, formulation and implementation of the aid interventions. With such an approach, all the issues of the relevance of aid, be it for emergency, rehabilitation or development would inherently take into account issues of social-welbeing, ecological well-being and economic well-being etc. Let us not spend time inventing new terms such as in the past " Basic Needs", " Millennium Development Goals" that left out the important issue... "
We share our interview with Mr. Otto Spijkers below. He is co-author of the above article, and Assistant Professor of Public International Law at Utrecht University.
GVI: Do you think that the SDG experience represents a significant trend towards more participatory global governance?
Otto Spijkers: I think the SDG drafting process can be viewed as sort of a global laboratory for experimenting with the possibilities of global participation at the UN. It’s testing what was traditionally seen as vital, and examining it against the public’s views. An interestingexample is climate change. For years, NGOs and the likes have claimed it as vital for development goal agendas. But when the general public was surveyed on this, their opinion on the importance of climate change was low in comparison to other priorities such as health and human rights making. However, this is only an experiment, for, in the end, the main decision-making bodies at the UN are still constituted by State representatives, which is very conservative and traditional.
GVI: You mention different types of participation in your article - "co-author", "rubber-stamp", etc. How would you characterize the SDG UN experience of consultations?
Otto Spijkers: There are indeed many types of participation. With “rubber stamping” in general, participants are only asked to approve a particular policy after it has been made by the institution. Not really policymaking, but it has them approve or not approve a decision, which is not present in the decision making process for the post 2015 SDG goals.
Another kind of participation is problem finding, which instead involves the participants being asked to define the problem themselves. This is present within the SDG formation with online, national and international consultations taking place. Thematic consultations involve experts who are asked to express their views, for example on the topic of water or maternal health. And those with relevant experience are asked to clearly state the problem. The overall idea is, bluntly put, that the poor know best what it is like to be poort. Then there is the advisory type of participation that is the most important for the SDG process. These advisors provide expertise or experience to the decision making process in determining how to go forward with the 2015 agenda. For example, the SDG’s solution network, which is representative of the scientific community, would draft reports based on their research, and these would be used to steer decisions through processes related to the SDG’s, such as working with policy makers on deciphering whether of not the considered goal is feasible.
GVI: What kind of participation do you think will be most prevalent in the future at the UN, and why? Will the post-2015 process be the game changer in this respect?
Otto Spijkers: I feel that now that we’ve opened the Pandora’s box for participation, there is no way back once initiated. Nobody would ever say that global participation doesn’t work in understanding global needs. That being said, we need to streamline this process and make it more effective. We need to look critically to see who the stakeholders are, i.e. those that create policy and those affected by it. Some well-known NGO’s have the loudest voices, but the loudness of your voice should not be decisive in who gets to participate and how. So the UN may have to actively look at other stakeholders, and encourage their participation.
For the full interview, you can read our GVI blog here
DO YOU THINK INCLUSIVE GLOBAL GOVERNANCE IS FEASIBLE IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
WHAT CAN YOU OR YOUR TEAM DO NOW TO MAKE INCLUSIVITY MORE OF A REALITY?
Tell us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or the GVI blog by clicking below:-