Dialogue as a Tool for Change
This theme explores the potential of alternative approaches for engaging in water-related deliberative dialogues, diplomacy, negotiation and decision-making in the Mekong Region. The dialogue theme critically reflects on whether and how multi-stakeholder platforms can bring water policy and policy-making into the public sphere. To accomplish this, network members will continue to actively organize and engage in water forums: workshops, meetings, public hearings, and the formal and informal policy interface and negotiations that revolve around interconnected water resource management and policy issues.
Effective platforms are characterized by the provision of opportunities for relatively open and fair deliberations, and bring about resolution without violent conflict or infringement of human rights. Our thesis is that effective platforms not only enable actors to constructively search for solutions and value-creation, but also cater for the need to negotiate provisional tradeoffs and compromises. This recognizes that full consensus will rarely be attainable because of differences in the interests and strategic positioning of stakeholders.