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Facilitating multi-stakeholder processes: a toolkit

  • Published on April 14, 2023

MSP facilitation is both an art and a science. There are some common steps and methods that lead to establishing an MSP. At the same time, the facilitation of an MSP is highly context-dependent and needs to be flexible so as to respond to unexpected dynamics. This toolkit introduces the key concepts, methods and attitudes needed to set up an MSP and facilitate the process. It provides the user with a roadmap, bearing in mind that they will have to experiment, learn and adapt all the resources provided to fit their context and needs.

The world has changed considerably since Rikolto – called Vredeseilanden back in the days – started supporting farmers and farmers’ organisations in the 1960s. Building on the results of our projects and through exchanges with partners and stakeholders, we adjusted our strategies to improve farmers’ income by focusing on market access, then to work through a value chain lens and now applying a food systems approach.

As we learned from all these experiences, it has become crystal clear that a sustainable income for farmers and nutritious, affordable food for everyone demands the engagement and collaboration of all food system stakeholders. Through our work, we build bridges between smallholder farmers’ organisations, companies, authorities and other actors across rural and urban areas. Together, we create innovative ways of accessing, distributing and producing nutritious, quality food, so no one is left behind.

To fulfil this ambition, we need to amplify our scope of work, extending our collaborations to consumer organisations, actors from the health and nutrition sector and financial institutions, to name but a few. Sure, this makes our work more complex, but we also create more opportunities to successfully reach our goals.

While some of our colleagues have participated in trainings on multi-stakeholder process facilitation in the past, we also had to acknowledge that we need to grow these skills and competences organisation-wide. That is why, in the second half of 2021, we have invested in a training-of-trainers process, preparing 10 in-house Multistakeholder Process (MSP) trainers to coach their colleagues across Rikolto’s clusters and hubs.

To support our Rikolto trainers in their work, we have captured the essential concepts, tools and attitudes needed to make multi-stakeholder collaboration work in food systems. Recognising its value for all MSP facilitators, we have decided to make this toolkit publicly available. Should you have questions regarding its content, I invite you to connect with our MSP experts. May we all grow in our capacities to nurture multi-stakeholder solutions that change the recipe of our food systems. Enjoy the ride!

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