Conference News – Democracy Dialogue in Asia

On March 7-8, elected officials, senior bureaucrats, scholars, corporate executives, international organizations representatives, and civil society leaders from across Asia came together to discuss the future of democratic governance in the region. As part of the Asia Development Dialogue, a consortium project between Oxfam, Rockefeller Foundation, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (Singapore) and Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), the Visions of Democratic Governance – Asia 2030 regional forum utilized complex scenario planning techniques to assess the suitability of democratic governance in the post-2015 agenda.

Diverse input from various stakeholders during the regional forum meant that challenging voices, different viewpoints, underlying assumptions as well as mental models are rigorously tested. By involving a wide range of sectors, the event allowed for the increased likelihood that the scenarios developed by forum participants will inform and influence important global decisions.

The event had highly successful outcomes. A key theme that emerged from the scenario planning exercises was the need for policy choices that promote socially inclusive, sustainable, and equitable growth. Additionally, social accountability, active citizenship, and participatory governance will all play a critical role in progressing the MDGs and ensuring democratic governance is achieved by 2030.

As a result of our interactive event, networks and relationships between sectors have been strengthened. Tangible partnerships have also begun to develop between various participants all while completing the UN country level consultations for the post-2015 agenda. The output policy briefs developed from these discussions will thus contribute directly to the upcoming UN consultations in Bali.

By: Paht Tan-Attanawin, Oxfam