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FAO/UNEP/UN-Energy Bioenergy Decision Support Tool -
MODULE 6: People and Processes
Module 6: People and Processes
In this Module, deeper background and appropriate references
are provided on some of the people-process systems that are
important in the design and implementation of a bioenergy
strategy as well as specifc projects or programmes. In particular,
the following questions or issues are addressed:
• What are the appropriate roles and needs of stakeholders?
• What constraints and costs are likely in the stakeholder
engagement process?
• How can good governance practices support sustainable
bioenergy initiatives?
• How shall communities become engaged in bioenergy
• What type of monitoring, measurement and reporting
processes are appropriate?
The general principle in this discussion is that there are some
crucial roles that need to be defned for actors and stakeholders
in order for bioenergy initiatives to be successful; the many links
in the bioenergy chain require a wide range of organisations
and actors. A better understanding of these roles can facilitate
better planning within government agencies as well as illustrating
the incentives needed in the creation of sustainable bioenergy
markets, and how they can be applied to entrepreneurs, tech-
nology developers, and other actors.
Participation of Stakeholders for
Strategy Development
Synergy between citizens and the State is an essential ingredient
to achieve better policy and strategy formulation and implementa-
tion, i.e. to move from policy on paper to policy on the ground
(FAO, 2007). This requires an active participation and commit-
ment by key stakeholders throughout the policy and/or strategy
processes. The various aspects of stakeholder participation are
reviewed below, mainly on a general basis, but in some cases
with special reference to bioenergy initiatives or strategy. Note that
this section is aimed at stakeholder engagement at the strategy
level, whereas a separate section is provided that focuses on
stakeholder participation at the community/project level.
<Community Engagement in Projects>.
Broad stakeholder participation in strategy and policy process
at various stages achieves different purposes, as summarised in
Table 1.
Stakeholder participation can support the strategy process and
improve the effectiveness of achieving policy objectives in a
number of ways, including:
• Better management of stakeholder differences and
conficts through dialogue and early inclusion in the policy
and strategy processes;
• Improvement of links between legislatures and citizens,
which can often be tenuous;
• Increasing external stakeholders’ support to policy-makers
through the additional information that stakeholders can
provide to policy-makers; this is especially valuable when
experts’ opinions are insuffcient, such as with uncertain
and complex environmental problems;
• Improving social accountability through more effective
delivery of government services. The World Bank has
defned social accountability as “an approach towards
building accountability that relies on civic engagement, i.e.
in which ordinary citizens and/or civil society organizations
participate directly or indirectly in exacting accountability”
(World Bank, 2004).
Improving stakeholders’ information on the policy and strategy
issues also leads to a higher quality of stakeholder involvement
in strategy implementation. Stakeholders will be more committed
and any necessary adjustments to the strategy and objectives at
later stages will have broader support.
Experience suggests that effective stakeholder participation is
much easier said than done (FAO, 2007). The public pressure
on senior policy-makers to act in a “participatory” manner has
spawned many different types of “participatory processes,” but
these can leave citizens feeling betrayed if policy-makers cut
corners and only pay “lip service” to stakeholder participation.
Civil society is rebelling in many cases against being co-opted,
misrepresented or simply “used” in “participatory processes”
at all levels from village exercises to national-level consultations
and referenda. Table 2 shows some of the main advantages and
disadvantages regarding the practicalities of participation.
Table 1: Advantages of participatory methodologies at different stages of policy/strategy process
Agenda setting
Formulation (of objectives and options) Implementation, monitoring and evaluation
• Involving broad range of
stakeholders leads to more
realistic understanding of
policy and strategy issues
• Wider availability of data and
information better informs the
• Agenda more likely to refect
public interests
• Opens dialogue
• Builds broad consensus
• Country ownership
• Develops trust between government
and civil society
• Increases relevance and probability of
successful implementation
• Maximize impact on the relevant benef-
• Participation gives a range of options that
increase possibility of success
• Transparency and accountability
• Adapt institutional arrangements accordingly
Source: Adapted from World Bank, 2004