Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nationsfor a world without hunger
Fisheries and Aquaculture Department
To provide an appropriate forum for the identification, discussion and resolution of issues using input from multiple stakeholders or groups. These types of forums may be necessary for completing a number of different activities and steps during the EAF planning process.
Implementing the EAF planning process can often require the questioning and potentially changing embedded social institutions that relate to how the fishery is governed, the attitudes that are held by the participants and other stakeholders and the way we use and integrate scientific understanding into political decision making. To effectively bring about such change is not something governments can generally do without stakeholder input. The most viable option is therefore to work out how best for the fishers, other parts of society can work together with government in a partnership arrangement. Holding stakeholder workshops is a very good way to initiate or contribute to the formation of partnership approaches.
A stakeholder workshop involves a meeting of multiple stakeholders to:
Workshops can combine training, development, team-building, communication, motivation and planning and usually have a clear purpose or output that is to be generated through the workshop process rather than just being an awareness raising exercise. Participation and involvement in workshops increases the sense of ownership and empowerment, and facilitates the development of the organisations and individuals involved. Workshops are effective in helping to manage or facilitate change, achieving improvement and particularly the creation of initiatives, plans, process and actions to achieve aims. They are also good for breaking down barriers, improving communications inside and outside of agencies, groups and communities.
The main steps to running a good workshop are:
EAF Tool Tips
The complex and difficult social problems that are identified by the EAF process may require innovative solutions which are best created when diverse stakeholders are able to meet, share experiences, learn together and contribute to decisions. Moreover, the ultimate success of any potential way forward lies in developing the collective commitment and capacity to turn ideas and plans into action by all stakeholder groups. This can be achieved through facilitating workshops that involve multiple stakeholder groups which is essentially a form of social learning.
The workshop venue and the set up of the room should be conducive to good discussions. If it is in a lecture style room this will reduce input, try and have a surrounding or U shaped design and try to not have all the different groups sit together – mix them up so that they will interact
Have the venue close to where people are staying to avoid lost time in getting people to the workshop on time.
If there are more than 15 people have breakout sessions to try and get more input from those that will not talk in bigger groups. Especially relevant if one or two people are expected to dominate the discussions.
Workshops can be intensive and tiring. Don’t forget to give participants regular comfort breaks to stretch their legs, have a drink or get some fresh air.
EAF Tool Pedigree
Workshops are the most common form of consultation to gain input from a wide variety of stakeholders.
EAF Tool Synergy
This should be read in conjunction with the tools for facilitation. Similarly, each of the various steps for EAF has specific tools that are designed to be used in a workshop environment (e.g. brainstorming, component trees, risk assessment etc). The one workshop may be able to assist complete a number of EAF steps including scoping, issue identification and risk assessment prioritization and potentially even management options – or some subset of these.
EAF Tool Usage
The cost will be determined by who has to attend, what is their capacity to attend, where it needs to be held, how much it will cost to get everyone there and what the cost of the venue if a professional facilitator is required.
The costs can be very small if everyone is local and the venue and facilitator are in-house. It can be very expensive if many people must travel some distance to an expensive location or where a formal venue (e.g. hotel) is used with a professional facilitator and the workshop technical equipment needs to be hired.
EAF Tool Capacity
Some level of facilitation skills and experience is required.
Low – Moderate
No additional knowledge than is already available is needed, but in some cases importing outside expertise may assist.
Moderate - High
This should provide a reasonable level of participation but will not include everyone if they are not able to attend
Short – Moderate
The workshop may only take from a few hours up to one or two days to run but it may take months to organize
Source of Information
The following website has a number of tools and descriptions that can be used in workshops: http://portals.wi.wur.nl/msp.
Date Planning Tools
With all the different calendars making appointments to organize people to attend a workshop can often be a huge task. There are web tools that make the process a lot easier. Someone chooses a number of suitable dates, and stakeholders can indicate which dates suit them: Meeting Planner: (http://www.meetingwizard.com), event planner (http://www.datumprikker.nl) and Doodle (http://www.doodle.ch/)
When you are holding a stakeholder workshops it is important that these are run effectively and efficiently. Below are some universal tips to help any workshop run more smoothly.