This Operating Model derives from the Integrated Support Programme for Inclusive Reform and Democratic Dialogue (INSPIRED), financed by the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EDIHR), and implemented in five different contexts (for further details, click here).
The Model addresses the operational divide between democracy support and the array of instruments aimed at promoting good governance. In particular, it encourages international aid organisations and practitioners to make use of policy dialogue, by enhancing its inclusiveness and putting in place participatory mechanisms that make it more representative and legitimate. Its main assumption is that policies that have been elaborated taking into account different interests and view points are more likely to resist sudden changes in the balance of powers than policies that benefit only a small ruling elite.
The democratic principles of inclusiveness and participation are the two core values of the Operating Model, which consists of three phases:
- Collective assessment;
- Monitoring and donor alignment.
Overall management of the dialogue is to be ensured by a “hosting structure”, which has to be understood as an impartial convener, facilitator, policy analyst, and communicator of results. It acts on behalf of the donors and it is the main reference of the domestic stakeholders participating in the dialogue.
The Model is simultaneously:
- Policy-oriented: it identifies different entry points into the policy dialogue, implying different strategies for influencing decision-making and monitoring implementation;
- Process-oriented: it puts great attention on the notion of process, recognising that in democracy support the means are as important as the end;
- Results-oriented: the Roadmaps for Reform and the Recommendations for Institutional and Policy Reform, produced by the participating stakeholders, will provide a reference for the identification of institutional needs that need to be addressed in order to make policy reform possible.
These aspects are to be reflected in the Integrated Support Framework (ISF), a reporting tool that can be used to present snapshots of the dialogue process at different moments. It provides practitioners and the donor community with a very useful insight into the points of contention, and it facilitates the coordination of programmes and assistance measures, ensuring their alignment with locally led processes of reform.