Participatory approaches to policymaking and the evaluation of policies are increasingly recognised as a successful method. For the review and appraisal of the implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) such a “bottom-up, participatory” approach had already been adopted in 2006.
The fourth review and appraisal of MIPAA and its Regional Implementation Strategy (RIS) has recently been initiated with the issuance of Guidelines for national reporting, adopted by the Bureau of the Standing Working Group on Ageing (SWGA) in September 2020 and presented at the 13th Meeting of the SWGA in November 2020. Member States are now undergoing the review process to submit their reports to the UNECE this autumn.
In previous MIPAA/RIS review cycles many countries involved various government sectors, civil society organisations, research institutions and service providers in the reporting. There are examples of focus group discussions, public hearings or other consultation processes that considered the diverse views of civil society and other stakeholders. However, not all member States have implemented a participatory approach in a systematic way.
The workshop’s aim was to inform and motivate both governments and civil society organisations to engage in a participatory approach to policymaking in general and to the review of MIPAA in particular and discussed what needs to be done to ensure that participation is meaningful.
The workshop provided examples of successful strategies on how to collaborate shared by governments, researchers, civil society organisations and UN agencies in Canada, Germany, Italy, Republic of Moldova and Slovenia. Participants also discussed barriers that impede innovative and forward-looking approaches.
The workshop in which close to 200 policy makers, researchers and civil society organisations and UN agencies participated, was co-organized by BAGSO, AGE Platform Europe, the NGO Committee on Ageing Geneva, the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and UNECE Population Unit. Simultaneous interpretation in English, French, Russian and German was provided.