Societal dialogues are the principal way that the voices of marginalised and vulnerable communities are heard in support of the Commission’s deliberations, ensuring representation of regional characteristics and to engage with a wide range of stakeholders.
They involve active listening and documentation of diverse voices and narratives by the Commission, its secretariat and distributed secretariat to the relevant knowledge, experiences, insights and advice of participants with their free, prior and informed consent.
Societal dialogues seek to:
- Collect information, including all kinds of knowledge, to inform and alert the core team of the Commission.
- Expand the solution spaces, create partnerships and communities’ engagement, generate traction at all levels of governance, raise the level of ambition, promote collective commitment, and support accountability globally, across sectors and regions.
- Convey the Commission’s messages, test its relevance and invest in outreach.
- Provide a process to ‘ground truth’ the work of the Commission, especially in relation to proposed pathways/actions that will be developed for the Pathways Report to be published in 2024.
Each societal dialogue will have at least one ‘champion’ among the Commissioners to ensure the process effectively connects to the work of the Commission.
They will be carried out in partnership with networks and stakeholders, including non-state actors and coalitions is pivotal. Incentives across stakeholders need to be aligned with the ambition of the Commission, and strategic constituencies to co-create innovation and pathways for water as a global common good.
The active engagement of Commissioners is necessary for the success of societal dialogues.
Where a geographical diversity is required to deliver voice, such as engagement with marginalised communities, the advice and support by Commissioners from parts of the world with a greater proportion of such communities would facilitate the process oflistening
- Reach out to targeted audiences, nurturing networks and presenting purpose and assignments clearly to all contributors.
- Demonstrate and display a clear understanding of what is at stake, and of the urgency of the water-related challenges in particular.
- Gather and uptake the evidence and messages from all contributors (at all levels of governance) thanks to an inclusive and sound preparation process.
- Be impact- or action-oriented. That is, societal dialogues should seek or build commitments to follow-through and inform the requirements to implement successfully specific solutions.
- Ensure robust organisational management, with reliable core functions (reporting, setting agendas, facilitating meeting, managing workflows, processes, and logistics.) with adequate lead-in times for trust building and cooperation.
- Conform with the Ethics Protocol established by the Commission, and be sufficiently resourced to ensure a credible process and to maintain the reputation of the Commission.
- Be accompanied by a report and possibly other communications materials (videos, podcasts, etc.) with a summary of key conclusions and implications for the Pathways Report.
Communities of knowledge and experience for inclusion as societal dialogues include:finance sector, labour sector, local authorities, marginalised communities and those representing the needs of nature/ecosystems.
Each societal dialogue will have a systematic process for recording in summary form. A summary report of each dialogue will be included as part of the key outputs of the Commission to inform the Pathways Report.
Communications, as a core function of the Commission, is central to every aspect of the societal dialogues. Raising the awareness of role and purpose underpin the success of a global all-encompassing endeavour. Echoing and spreading the outcomes of societal dialogues are paramount.
The Global Commission on the Economics of Water (GCEW), together with the Government of the Netherlands, will co-convene a session
The ninth meeting of the Roundtable on Financing Water will play a key role in the lead-up to the UN