This Operating Model derives from the Integrated Support Programme for Inclusive Reform and Democratic Dialogue (INSPIRED), financed by the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), and implemented in five different contexts.
The Model addresses the operational divide between democracy support and the array of instruments aimed at promoting good governance. In particular, it encourages international aid organisations and practitioners to make use of policy dialogue, by enhancing its inclusiveness and putting in place participatory mechanisms that make it more representative and legitimate. Its main assumption is that policies that have been elaborated taking into account different interests and view points are more likely to resist sudden changes in the balance of powers than policies that benefit only a small ruling elite.
The Model has 3 phases: the Collective Assessment phase, the Consensus Building phase and the Monitoring and Donor Alignment phase.
Collective Assessment Phase
The Collective Assessment phase aims at mapping the political context in target countries in order to validate – or change – the policy area initially selected by the donor. Once the pertinence and opportunity of launching a dialogue process is confirmed; the Hosting Structure needs to map out the possible issues of conflict and the power relations amongst the stakeholders who can influence policy making and/or will be affected by the policy change.
Consensus Building Phase
Once the policy area has been clearly demarcated by the stakeholders, the discussions will deepen and the debate will be oriented towards finding constructive solutions through sustained dialogue. This phase is extremely sensitive, as trust among participants can be diminished at any moment due to unforeseen exogenous factors or changes in attitudes of the stakeholders themselves. Hence, the facilitator should use swift and effective techniques.
Monitoring and Donor Alignment
Monitoring & Alignment Phase
The final phase builds on the Roadmap in order to ensure its impact on the policy or policies at stake and to consolidate the level of trust and consensus achieved by the stakeholders during the previous phase. Here, the impact of the dialogue process will be assessed in terms of the influence exerted on the policy in question. To be fully effective, this capacity to influence must remain dynamic and go beyond the Roadmap.