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Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives: Lessons Learned

United States Agency for International Development


Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives (MSIs) are voluntary partnerships between governments, civil society, and the private sector that have emerged over the last 15 years to address development challenges collaboratively, entrench democratic practices, and strengthen regulatory frameworks. MSIs operate on the premise that governance outcomes can be improved by increased transparency and enhanced stakeholder participation in policy reforms.

The Accelerating Responsive Transparent Extractive Industry Resource Governance (ARTEIG) Project, implemented by Democracy International (DI) and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) between October 1, 2016 and April 30, 2018, focused on three prominent MSIs: the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), and the Open Government Partnership (OGP). These initiatives share principles of voluntarism, peer learning, and involvement of civil society. Openness and transparency are prioritized through the implementation of and adherence to common standards.

The aim of this project was to learn lessons from the three MSIs, explore their evolution and dynamics, and recommend ways of closer collaboration on shared objectives. In doing so, it also sought to inform the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on how it could best engage with MSIs going forward. The project produced five reports based on the following research themes:

  1. Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives: What have we learned? An overview and literature review
  2. Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives in Africa: Case studies of the APRM, OGP and EITI by Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Tanzania
  3. Peer pressure and peer learning in MSIs
  4. Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives and the Media
  5. Civil society participation in the Open Government Partnership (OGP) This synthesis distills the conclusions and lessons learned from these reports to provide a concise, highlevel summary of the project findings.

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