How and where should decisions on development policy and solutions to pressing global challenges be made? Is it during big, international conferences or through public consultations with civil society groups and other stakeholders? Or perhaps on the streets through protests?
The Guardian’s Claire Provost raises these questions in a post on the newspaper’s Poverty Matters’ blog. The context: the recently concluded World Water Forum and the activists-hosted Alternative World Water Forum held in France.
A key takeaway fom these events, Provosts says, is that there is a change in perspective on how water policy should be shaped and how future services are managed and delivered.
Provost explains the alternative forum, along with other movements outside France, shows a “growing discontent, for example, with the centralized power structures in which ‘solutions’ are often proposed and top-down, one-size-fits-all, blueprints devised.”
Future conferences, particularly the upcoming Rio+20, should take note of this, she adds.
“Will Rio+20 be another game of ‘show and tell’ or will we see a bit more of that unruly ‘democracy-of-action’?”
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