On the 29th of November 2021 at 10.a.m ESF Flanders organized an online interactive workshop with some of the members of the ad hoc steering group which has been developed together with the Social Economic Council of Flanders (SERV). At the web meeting took part 6 stakeholders and 2 project leaders from the Flemish government.


The first part of the workshop consisted of a discussion on the participatory model and guidelines recently produced by the Dialog project and the state-of-the-art of participation in Flanders.

Some extra information, other models and prerequisites were given by the participants to improve the participation process. For instance, the model used by the Flemish government was explained and compared with the Dialog model. Some of the proposed prerequisites to start a participation process are the following:

    • Is het problem appropriate and manageable?

    • Are the people involved interdependent? We cannot do it alone.

    • Is there sufficient policy space and administrative commitment within clear frameworks.

Another suggestion from the steering group was to make a clearer distinction between techniques/tools and forms used in a participation process. For example, some questions were raised on the correct category of participation for some of these techniques and also some new ideas of techniques were added.

The steering group also suggested to explain each of the techniques in the guidelines of Dialog, if this is not the case.

The stakeholders analysis presented by the Dialog scientific committee should also be more structured and some steps should be added:

    1. Identify key players and partners. What is their position or agenda?

    2. Identify your stakeholders

    3. Analyse each stakeholder in depth. Understand their interests better

    4. Determine how you will involve/engage stakeholders

All of the suggestions will be compiled and presented to the scientific committee of Dialog at a later stage in order to optimise the Dialog model and guidelines.

The second part of the workshop was dedicated to testing the idea of a broader interactive offline event, which will be held in 2022 as part of the action plan related to the Dialog project.

5 participation topics will be further explored during this event; transparency, inclusivity, common ground, impact and innovation.

More news on this will follow in the coming months.

The meeting finished at 12.00