Multi-stakeholder collaboration, institutional development and governance
Sustainable resource management can, in the view of ETC EcoCulture, be achieved only if key stakeholders involved coordinate activities, collaborate where necessary and share information and experiences. Facilitation of such multi-stakeholder processes is therefore often a key component of ETC programmes, overseas as well as in the Netherlands. It implies assisting stakeholders to formulate common goals, identify specific contributions by all, and formulate the rules of the collaboration.
To be an effective partner in such development efforts, government agencies, particularly at the local or regional level, need to develop responsive structures and mechanisms for planning and implementation. ETC therefore supports the decentralisation of government services and decision making with an emphasis on participatory planning processes. Capacity building for local government staff and related institutional development are among activities undertaken.
Equally important in this context is the building of capacities among CSOs and farmer organisations. To enable them to become strong partners of local governments and development actors, ETC looks not only at the skills and knowledge of individual staff members, but also at institutional development in the wider sense, particularly with the aim to strengthen internal accountability and participation of the staff members.
Recent examples of work of ETC in this field include the comparative assessment of participatory planning in Tanzania, the preparation of a handbook on Comprehensive Participatory Development Planning and various capacity-building activities to support the process of decentralisation of government services and strengthening community-driven development in Ethiopia. In 2007, in its role as secretariat of the international PROLINNOVA programme, ETC produced a practical guide book on the facilitation of multi-stakeholder collaboration. Many other programmes such as the new pastoral development support in Mongolia are designed to strengthen local governance. ETC EcoCulture collaborates with other ETC Units such as ETC East Africa to be able to offer a wide range of support services in this field.