In the past two decades, so-called ‘multi-stakeholder’ initiatives (MSI) have rapidly spread and consolidated in various policy domains around the world. At national level, Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) have proliferated as key institutional arrangement for driving forward development projects. But what exactly are multi-stakeholder initiatives? Are they all the same? Are multi-stakeholder initiatives at international level and PPPs at national level two sides of the same coin? Why and how have they emerged? Is multi-stakeholderism a new form of governing? What are the impacts of multi-stakeholder initiatives on human rights? Do these initiatives undermine human rights, create institutional conflict of interests and drive states further away from their duty to fulfil their human rights obligations? Should FIAN engage with multi-stakeholder initiatives?
This paper intends to address these questions with the aim of providing guidance for FIAN International on whether, when and how to engage with multi-stakeholder initiatives. It also intends to identify alternatives to multi-stakeholderism and ways to overcome the state omission and lack of regulation and effective policy making in many areas of public concern that multi-stakeholderism allegedly is trying to address.
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