Many years of experience with process approaches in multi-stakeholder and organisational settings have yielded a number of rules to guide their use in practice. Some of the more basic of these are outlined in Box 4. Of course, it is not always possible to integrate all these principles in a single approach, as every setting requires its own adapted rules of practice. However, as a rule of thumb, most of the principles mentioned below may be regarded as being critical success factors.
Box 4: Some common principles inherent to a process approach
• All relevant stakeholders should be involved in identifying the problem: a decision to exclude important parties may block the process at a later stage.
• There must be a feeling of unease or even a sense of urgency among most of the stakeholders. If parties are not convinced that something should be done, nothing will.
• The process must be transparent, open and democratic. It should be clear what the rules and procedures are and how and by whom decisions will be taken.
• The core values and central interests of the stakeholders must be protected. Process approaches are characterised by ‘finding future values’: every viewpoint proposed by the actors is valid and legitimate.
• Moreover, the process must generate options for improvement or gains and triggers for cooperative behaviour. It must be relevant to all stakeholders.
Fuente: Checkland and Scholes (1991); De Bruijn, Ten Heuvelhof and In ‘t Veld (1998).
Institutional Development: Learning by Doing and Sharing. Approaches and tools for supporting institutional development
European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM)Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Poverty Policy and Institutional Development Division (DSI/AI)