PWforPG-Ottawa - Carmen Malena

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Transcript PWforPG-Ottawa - Carmen Malena

From Political Won’t to
Political Will:
Building Support for
Participatory Governance
Carmen Malena, CIVICUS
Ottawa, 23 April 2010
Why a book on building political
will for participatory governance?
Growing consensus that governance is key
to the achievement of critical human
development goals and that good governance
is participatory governance (PG).
Lack of political will is identified as a key
obstacle (and remains largely unanalyzed and
Paying attention to issues of political will
has critical operational implications.
The book analyzes a rich and diverse
range of successful PG practices
Policymaking and
Public budgets
National level
Local level
Public expenditures 
Public services
Public oversight
Participation in legislative
committees (South Africa)
Evidence-based policy
advocacy (Uruguay)
National dialogue on resource 
allocation (Bolivia)
Participatory development
planning (Tanzania,
Community roundtables
Participatory budgeting
(Canada, Bolivia,
Overview and scrutiny
committees (UK)
Participatory public
expenditure tracking
Advocacy and Legal Advice
Centers (Transparency
Community management
and monitoring of public
services (UK, Uganda)
Right to information
legislation (Honduras)
Social contracts
(Philippines, Zimbabwe)
Understanding Political Will
The book finds that political will….
Depends on the three key elements of:
Political want
Political can
Political must
Is influenced by a range of factors at:
Individual level
Institutional level
Relational level
Societal level
A framework for analyzing political will
Some key reasons for “political won’t”
Key strategies for building “political will”
Political Want
•Nurture constructive state-CSO
•Identify political self-interests
Political Must
Political Can
•Empower and mobilize
citizens (pressure from
•Influence top leadership
(pressure from above)
•Capacity development (for
all concerned stakeholders)
To build political will, we must…
1. Adopt approaches that simultaneously
address political want, can and must.
Many current initiatives focus on only one of
these elements.
Important to create both incentives and sanctions,
focus on establishing positive working relations
but applying public pressure as necessary.
Particular need to strengthen political want.
Requires multi-dimensional approaches, creative
coalitions and strategic thinking.
To build political will, we must…
2. Focus on citizen/CS-state interface.
Where are the spaces for productive
How are they created and managed?
Who participates? Who controls?
What are the terms of engagement?
Support is needed to enhance the quantity and
quality of these interactions.
To build political will, we must…
3. Build consensus (and skills) for the
legitimate “political” role of civil
Essential to establish a middle ground of
“critical collaboration” between gov’t & CSOs.
Requires professionalism and a shift from
opposing to proposing on the part of CSOs.
Evidence-based and grassroots-supported
approaches are key.