Harmonisation of stakeholder processes in Ghana

Harmonisation of stakeholder processes in Ghana

Ghana - 09 May, 2014

On 9th April, 2014 the national executive committee of the National Forestry Forum of Ghana (NFF-G) and the steering committee of the multi-stakeholder dialogue (MSD SC) under the EU Chainsaw milling project agreed to harmonize these two stakeholder platforms. Since the establishment of the MSD in September 2009, the MSD SC has been working to establish favourable conditions to sustain a multiple stakeholder process approach to policy-making. Many stakeholder processes with similar objectives as the MSD are active in Ghana. Since its start, the MSD has been aligned with the NFF-G and has now moved on to harmonise the two processes. This is a first step towards institutionalisation of stakeholder engagement in decision-making processes in the Ghana forest sector.

For complex issues such as natural resource management, where there are a range of views, competing interests and expectations, well-managed multi-stakeholder processes can bridge the differences in perceptions of the diverse participants and help them reach agreement. Multi-stakeholder dialogue (MSD) has been the main strategy used by the EU Chainsaw milling project to achieve its successes such as bridging the differences between antagonizing actors within the domestic timber sector and agreeing on a draft policy for supplying legal lumber to the domestic market as well as a public procurement policy on wood and wood products.


Sustaining this structured stakeholder engagement in decision-making processes after the life span of the project has urged the MSD SC to seek for the harmonization or more appropriately institutionalization of the MSD platform into existing ones. There are a lot of stakeholder platforms discussing issues on sustainable forest management in the country: there is much to gain from streamlining and coordinating these initiatives. NFF-G is a nationwide platform with the same focus as the MSD and has formal government recognition.

The actual harmonization of the two platforms will be implemented gradually. For a successful integration, there are certain areas that need further discussion such as mutual recognition, facilitation, administration, structure in terms of stakeholder representation and financial support. To support this process, a five member committee was inaugurated to develop a working document with inputs from district level stakeholders and a discussion paper to be prepared by a consultant.