The best way to tackle complex issues such as water resources management is for all affected stakeholders to work together. Multi-stakeholder processes are at the heart of IWRM and as such are a cornerstone of the intervention logic of the SDG 6 IWRM Support Programme.

Multi-stakeholder processes (MSPs) foster dialogue and public participation in decision making, emphasising a governance practice where different actors come together and leverage their skills, resources, and assets to find common solutions to the issues at hand. Effective MSPs can improve trust, generate consensus, enhance information sharing and communication between relevant actors, thereby stimulating the necessary momentum towards positive water governance change. As such, they are not only part of SDG 17, Partnerships for the Goals, but are a cross-cutting approach that is key to achieving the commitments of the whole 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

Moreover, multi-stakeholder participation is embedded within the basic definitions of IWRM. To “promote the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources in order to maximise economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems and the environment” (GWP), it is imperative that the stakeholders whose decisions affect those resources be brought together in an open and constructive dialogue aiming to make sound, balanced decisions in response to specific water-related challenges. 


Multi-Stakeholder Consultation Processes for SDG 6 Monitoring 

The SDG 6 IWRM Support Programme assists countries in accelerating change to achieve their water-related goals To do so, we focus on participatory decision-making and foster multi-stakeholder engagement in all stages of the process. Explore the countries we have supported on our Results Map. 

 In 2020, the SDG 6 IWRM Support Programme supported 61 countries in organizing multi-stakeholder consultations on the survey instrument for SDG indicator 6.5.1 as part of the data drive conducted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).  A review and analysis of these consultations is available below.


Report on Multi-Stakeholder Consultation Processes for SDG 6 Monitoring

In 2021, the Support Programme concluded a review and analysis of the multi-stakeholder processes (MSPs) in some of the countries it supported. 

The analysis evaluated the effectiveness of MSPs through input legitimacy criteria and found that one important factor that affects these criteria is the format and methods used to generate and gather multi-stakeholder input as part of the SDG monitoring processes. As consultation modalities included in-person, online and hybrid forms, the analysis focused on the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities of these three modalities. 

The findings are published in a report on “Multi-Stakeholder Consultation Processes for SDG 6 Monitoring. A Policy Brief based on the findings of the report provides guidance to practitioners on how to enhance effectiveness of their MSPs in their monitoring and reporting consultation processes.