Pre-conference Workshops

Changing perspectives within policy processes


General Description
Engaging with policy process is an important aspect of sustaining the commons and our future.  Many communities and organizations engage with policy process at various levels (local, national, regional, and international) with differing degrees of success. Not much has been documented about what has worked or not worked in informing policy processes. In a recent scoping study on the commons by the Quaker International Affairs Programme, practitioners raised a number of issues in engaging with policy processes such as: the need for research to be linked more into policy; lack of recognition or understanding by policy makers about the commons; developing capacity to engage with policy makers; dealing with complexity and power imbalances; and, lack of coordinated approaches and vision by policy makers. This workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to share, discuss, and learn about experiences, lessons, successes, and strategies in changing perspectives within policy processes at various levels. 

Target Workshop Participants
Commons practitioners, researchers, civil society organizations

Workshop Goals
The aim is to examine a range of issues identified by participants and explore some strategies for improving the situation.

Agenda and Topics
There will be no panels with speakers. Instead, workshop participants will identify a range of issues related to their experiences in engaging with policy process.  Participants will then break out into groups according to the issues that were identified to share their experiences, success, strategies, and lessons. The workshop will then re-group and key aspects of what was learnt within each group will be shared with all workshop participants. 

Duration: Half-day class – at least 4 hours

Size: Limit to 40 participants

Workshop Methodology
An interactive/participatory methodology will be used. The workshop leaders will ensure that several participants with different kinds of policy experience will be present to assist with guiding discussions in the breakout groups.

Materials and facilities:

  • Large room where participants can meet together as a whole group and also break into smaller groups.
  • Chalkboard and/or flipcharts and tape
  • Table for resource materials

Workshop Leader/s
John Powell -Countryside and Community Research Institute, University of Gloucestershire (UK)  & Tasmin Rajotte - Quaker International Affairs Programme (Ottawa, Canada)

Supporting Organization/s
Countryside and Community Research Institute (UK) & Quaker International Affairs Programme (Canada)

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