Bellagio meeting - Day Two
Deliberations on Day One of our meeting gave us strong directions on some of the qualities of a multi-level governance framework. Among others, principles such as being anchored in reality of practice, reflecting the dynamic nature of the system, building a responsive / flexible approach that can adapt to different local contexts, supporting a learning process and learning from action, and reflecting the added value of co-production and co-ownership were adopted and guided the discussions on Day Two
From that starting point, the group focused on answering the two following questions:
- What are the purposes of frameworks (frameworks for what?)
- Who are the frameworks useful for (frameworks for whom?)
Frameworks for what?
The question regarding the purpose of a framework influences greatly the final shape of such a framework. For this reason the group took some time to reflect in smaller groups around what was the intended use of the framework, while trying to respect the design principles agreed upon in Day One.
Frameworks should aim for a transformative effect on power relationships. They should be a guide to inform the decision-making and priority-setting processes, while supporting equity of agency. They aim at generating shareable knowledge and learning from action while acknowledging that experience and evidence is not always transferable and encouraging diversity.
Frameworks are also useful for tracking, allowing for assessment of current governance arrangements and changes of the system. Recognizing that governance is a long process and that progress and evolution should be observed along a pathway, acknowledging that we are not starting from scratch and there is a strong path dependency in governance arrangements..
For driving positive change, frameworks should focus on strategic direction and accountability lines.
Frameworks for whom?
A recent review (Pyone et al. 2017) has shown that many governance frameworks exist but very few are actually used at all. For that reason it was considered really important by the group to try to think of who would be the target audience of a framework in order to design a tool that would fit real needs in practice. Approaches differed on the desired level of granularity, some encouraged to consider policy-makers, practitioners and people as having different needs, thus leading to the design of several framework; while others considered that an actionable framework should address all people in decision-making position or willing to influence the decision-making process.
Levels of governance
One of the important design principles was to co-construct a framework with a degree of universality that could address all levels of governance, in all countries. With that in mind the last part of the day saw three groups parting ways, tackling governance at three different levels: global, national and local governance.
On Day Three, the group will come back as one, to examine what is proposed at each level and engage in a critical deconstruction, to make sure that local level requirements are taken in account at national and global levels and to be realistic about what are the effects of global and national governance arrangements at local level.
We will share with you here the results of our deliberations on Day Three.