MSPs – Participation – Partnerships

Experience with Multi-stakeholder Processes:
process design, brokering, facilitation, evaluation, coaching, training, writing

Since 2016, supporting the GIZ MSP Platform to provide analysis, design and facilitation for preparing and initiating multi-stakeholder partnerships aiming to contribute to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
In addition, I have developed guidance tools for Gender and MSPs for GIZ (together with Anna Holthaus), and am contributing to a guidance tool on Human Rights and MSPs.

I have also been supporting GIZ’s Initiative for Sustainable Supply Chains in Agriculture and Food (INA) since 2017 as a facilitator and team coach,
and I have been serving as a facilitator for workshops, conferences, and UN HLPF Side Events for GIZ’s SARUN project on inequalities (SDG-10) and the BMZ/GIZ partnership initiative for implementing the 2030 Agenda.

Supporting the ILO’s Partnering for Development (PARDEV) team in developing a tool for their staff working in and with multi-stakeholder partnerships: studying existing partnerships where ILO leads of participates, discussing challenges and lessons learned at an internal workshop, and preparing a tool for internal use, providing guidance and resources; August – December 2019.

Klima-KomPakt: Cooperating with ifeu (Heidelberg, Germany), The German Institute for Urban Studies (Difu, Cologne) and nextpractice GmbH on Klima-KomPakt: Needs assessment, stakeholder participation and ensuring continuity in municipal climate action, contracted by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.
Consultant Celia Schmidt is supporting me in this project, reviewing research on citizen and stakeholder participation, supporting the development of a tool guide for local governments, and collaborating with pilot municipalities

In Zusammenarbeit mit ifeu (Heidelberg, Germany), dem Deutschen Institut für Urbanistik (Difu, Cologne) und der nextpractice GmbH, bin ich für das Thema Beteiligung und Mitwirkung im kommunalen Klimaschutz verantwortlich, im Auftrag des BMU. Beraterin Celia Schmidt unterstützt mich bei der Erstellung einer Studie zu Grundlagen der Beteiligung, der Zusammenarbeit mit Modellkommunen, und der Entwicklung eines   interaktiven Prozess-Wegweisers.

International Chemicals Management post2020: In a three-year project for the German Federal Environment Ministry and the Environment Agency (2015 – 2018; 2018-2020), a team at adelphi, plus Paul Hohnen and myself, are supporting developing options for international chemicals management for after the currently ongoing SAICM process. I am providing process design and facilitation services for stakeholder and context mapping, consultations in Germany and in the EU, and supporting the German presidency of the ICCM5 process.

Supporting the GIZ / BMU working on ICCA2019, an international climate conference  on collaborative climate action, focusing in particular on multi-level collaboration among governments, and stakeholders.
Previously, leading a series of projects on local climate mitigation for the German government national climate initiative (Climate Dialogue), providing platforms for exchange, policy development, knowledge management and process skills training (2011 – 2015), and including studies of local transformation processes, developing methods of good practice transfer, and designing and facilitating an international conference on local climate action in 2015.

Co-founding the MSP Institute eV, an international charitable association based in Germany, working to support and promote high-quality multi-stakeholder processes  (est. March 2016), e.g. leading the MSP Institute’s activities for a workshop on Making MSPs Work for the SDGs, July 15+16, 2017, in New York, on the margins of the UN HLPF.

Developed the MSP Charter, a Charter for Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships, in  collaboration with the Tellus Institute: The MSP Charter outlines the main characteristics and principles of MSPs. Drafts were put out for comments and consulted in an informal advisory group. The site presents the Charter as well as implementation guidance, background information and links at

Served as an Advisory Group Member for the Open SDGClub.Berlin, the first meeting held in Berlin in November 2016, and contributing an analysis of the first round of voluntary reports submitted by governments to the UN HLPF 2016, on implementing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the SDGs. The analysis focused on stakeholder engagement in implementation at the national level.

Contributing to UN Expert Group Meetings on Social Development and Agenda 2030 (Oct. 2015), Strengthening the role of Member States in the review of multi-stakeholder partnerships for implementing the 2030 Agenda (Dec 2016).

Designing and facilitating and internal and external stakeholder engagement process for the Kuoni Group, a tourism company based in Zurich, Switzerland, 2010-2012.

The Access Initiative at the World Resources Institute, 2008 – 2011: designing & facilitating a re-envisioning process of this multi-stakeholder change initiative focusing on implementing Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration.

Towards a Low Carbon Economy, a process convened by the German government to explore potential exchange and collaboration with key developing countries, 2008-2009: process design and facilitation.

Rainwater Harvesting in Ethiopia, 2007/08 (Swiss Re award winner): evaluation and future planning (multi-stakeholder process design).

Leadership for Conservation in Africa, since 2006: supporting process and meeting design and facilitation and designing and delivering leadership development programme at regional level; preparing action learning projects at national level.

Serving on a Expert Group to UN DESA / Social Development on participatory dialogue 2005-2007; author of Participatory Dialogue – Towards a Stable, Safe and Just Society For All, UN DESA 2007.

Co-founding GenderCC – Women for Climate Justice in 2008, bringing together women and gender experts from NGOs, research, trade unions, and international organisations in an organization and network working on gender and climate justice. Also supporting GenderCC Southern Africa (Johannesburg, RSA), with workshops and coaching. Serving on the international Steering Committee.

Co-leading the Generative Change Community, a network and project focusing on increasing the quality of thinking and the quality of interaction in multi-stakeholder change initiatives, 2004 – 2009.

Serving as a member of the Jury of the Swiss Re ReSource Award for resilience in water management since 2004, focusing on multi-stakeholder initiatives

Serving as an Expert Group Member to the Aarhus Convention Secretariat, 2004-2006, regarding guidelines for stakeholder participation in international policy-making processes.

Working with Bayer CropScience to develop the company’s sustainable agriculture strategy with internal and external stakeholder consultations, 2002-2005: process design and facilitation.

EcoAgriculture Partners, since 2002: helping to initiate the partnership; serving as a member of the Board of Directors 2004 – 2015, now a Senior Fellow.

SEED Award winners, 2004 – 2007: supporting winning partnerships with advice, brokering, capacity development, e.g. Cows to Kilowatts (Nigeria); Water For All (Bolivia); Seabuckthorn in Mustang (Nepal).

SEED Initiative – Supporting Entrepreneurs for Environment and Development, 2001-2006: co-developing and co-coordinating an international aware scheme for sustainable development partnerships and a partnership itself (governments, IGOs, business, NGOs).

Stakeholder Implementation Conference, 2002: designing, coordinating, and facilitating a process initiating 26 sustainable development partnerships in the areas of freshwater, energy, food security and health

International conference and multi-stakeholder dialogue on freshwater at Swiss Re, Zürich, 2001: process design, facilitation, brokering participation.

International Freshwater Conference, Bonn 2001: process design, facilitation, team development for the government of Germany.

Leading a project on developing a methodological framework for multi-stakeholder processes, including researching 20+ practical examples, an international research & policy workshop, and consultation with 200+ expert individuals, resulting in the book Multi-stakeholder Processes for Governance and Sustainability – Beyond Deadlock and Conflict (Earthscan 2002).

UN CSD Multi-stakeholder Dialogues and Johannesburg Summit Dialogues, 1998 – 2002: participation, advocacy, coaching.

Local Agenda 21 in Heidelberg, Germany 1996-98: advocacy for citizen participation and dialogue, process design.


Practical facilitation experiences include small and large group settings, from panel discussions at big public conference and to long-term dialogue processes including intimate, and unusual settings, working with a broad range of clients, including governments, intergovernmental organizations, corporations, universities, women’s networks, and NGOs.


Training courses designed and conducted include:

  • Developing and implementing a 2-day seminar on stakeholder engagement in the agricultural sciences for young scientists at Julius-Kühn-Institut, Kleinmachnow (November 2019).
  • Developing and conducting a 2-day facilitation training for the team at the International Civil Society Centre in Berlin; combining presentations, role plays, exercises and reflection plus practice and guidance in the weeks between training days (June 2017)
  • Developing and implementing training courses on multi-stakeholder processes and dialogue, with the Plant Sciences Centre at ETH Zurich (since 2010), and the World Peace Academy (Basel, 2011-2014)
  • Co-developing a training course for Change Agents (local climate managers) as part of Climate Dialogue in Germany (in German) (2013-2015)
  • Co-developing a training course on facilitation in the context of sustainable development with Pestel Institute, Hanover, Germany (in German) (2015)
  • Developing and conducting training courses on multi-stakeholder dialogue, 2006 – 2009; working with the Collective Leadership Institute, Potsdam
  • Further contributions to trainings and knowledge management with a variety of clients and collaborators, including universities, governments, intergovernmental organisations, and NGOs.

A list of publications on multi-stakeholder processes is available.Information about partners and clients is available at activities.