Commentary: NAPs developed through inclusive & transparent processes have stronger buy-in & better outcomes

Author: Sebastian Smart, Global Partners Digital, Published on: 15 November 2018

"National Action Plans: the importance of process", 9 Nov 2018

[I]n the context of NAPs, where consultation with a wide range of stakeholders can, for example, enable a stronger focus on vulnerable or excluded groups... At GPD, we have long promoted the open, inclusive, and transparent (OIT) approach... [This] requires participation in the process to be accessible to relevant stakeholders (open); for different stakeholders’ views and opinions to be heard, considered, and accounted for (inclusive); and for procedures and mechanisms to be clearly defined (transparent)... A typical NAP development process has at least four stages...

  • Scoping.  ... At this stage, it’s good practice to create a baseline of the main BHR issues... and to consult relevant stakeholders through an open call for input...
  • Formation. ... At this stage, governments should involve as many relevant government entities as possible, consult and take into account the views and needs of non-governmental stakeholders, and outline a clear timeline for the NAP process. 
  • Drafting. This is where input and comments from stakeholders are incorporated... it’s crucial that the leading government entity ensures the active participation of all relevant stakeholders, and mediates between different interests. 
  • Accountability and follow-up. Once the NAP is finalised, the process should allow for input to its implementation from a range of stakeholders...

NAP processes are, in general, becoming more open, inclusive, and transparent...adherence to the framework, however, remains uneven and partial in most cases... civil society organisations... have an important role to play in shaping the content of NAPs... [and] need to be intervening actively in the process by which they are developed... NAPs which are developed according in an open, inclusive, and transparent manner have stronger buy-in and better outcomes...

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