During the past twenty years, multi-actor dialogues have played an
important part in the consolidation of democratic processes in Latin
America and in increasing the participation of organised sectors of
civil society in defining and overseeing public policies. To explore how
these dialogues have worked in Latin America, this Brief focuses on
three emblematic multi-actor dialogues in Latin America, coming from
Argentina, Peru and Mexico, that are representative of the variety of
political systems present in the region. The Brief highlights the
methodological and contextual factors that influenced their success and
identifies best practices that have the potential to be replicated in
other regions of the world.
Those core actors promoting multi-actor dialogues must include a wide
range of stakeholders and have gained legitimacy in the eyes of
participants, as this is indispensable for creating an environment of
open communication and collaboration. The role of intermediary actors
that have high political capital creates the potential for substantive
decisions and effective medium-term implementation.
Formulating national policies on complex topics, such as security,
requires working through coalitions that are effectively able to
redefine key questions, shift the terms of debate and establish new
common points of convergence to transcend previously polarised
For participants to commit themselves to the dialogue in place, the
agenda set must be able to influence formal decision making processes.
To have lasting effects, it must be able to link the results or outcomes
of the dialogue to concrete results.
FUNDAR. ELLA Policy Brief: Multi-actor Dialogues for Better Public Policies: Lessons from Latin America. ELLA, Practical Action Consulting, Lima, Peru (2012) 6 pp.