Stakeholder Engagement and Partnerships

Stakeholder Engagement and Partnerships



The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes the need for inclusive participation and effective stakeholder engagement for the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Founded on a spirit of global solidarity, the Agenda is a call to action for all stakeholders in all countries to implement, in collaboration, the Sustainable Development Goals. It pledges to place people at center of dialogue and development action, particularly those often left behind, and seeks to do so in ways that are inclusive, collaborative and transformative. 

Effective stakeholder engagement and partnerships are a means to that end. This thematic area points to resources on stakeholder engagement for the 2030 Agenda and partnership development.




Effective stakeholder engagement allows people to be involved in the decisions that affect them and has positive outcomes for governance, transparency and accountability. Where stakeholders are engaged in decision-making, decisions are more likely to be sustainable from economic social and environmental perspectives. 

Multi-stakeholder partnerships are a manifestation of high levels of engagement and catalyze the sharing and mobilization of knowledge, expertise, resources and technology to support the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda. Multi-stakeholder partnerships involve more than just collaborating and conducting ad hoc projects. They move beyond responsibility for independent result to a relationship that involves co-creation, shared risks and responsibilities, interdependency and the potential to create the transformations needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Stakeholder engagement and partnerships are being viewed with renewed interest since the inception of the global goals, but countries in Asia and the Pacific, as in other regions, often lack enabling frameworks for public participation, guidelines for effective partnerships and technical capacity.

To fill this gap, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) are facilitating integrated planning and capacity building at the national and regional levels to enhance stakeholder engagement in the context of the 2030 Agenda. By building on tested methodologies, their efforts seek to improve participation in and ownership of planning, implementation and follow-up and review processes of the SDGs. 

Together with the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), ESCAP has also prepared guidelines on multi-stakeholder partnerships to support member states in the region to develop, strengthen and leverage partnerships for the achievement of the SDGs.

Tools and Methodologies

tools and methodologie

Stakeholder Engagement – planning design and assessment

Stakeholder Engagement Planning and Assessment Tool

  • ESCAP and and IAP2's Stakeholder Engagement Planning and Assessment Tool-This stakeholder engagement planning and assessment tool has three integrated elements: four “dimensions” of meaningful stakeholder engagement for the 2030 Agenda; a framework of indicators of meaningful stakeholder engagement; and an assessment guide. The tool responds to the need for a practical way to describe meaningful stakeholder engagement, and to identify gaps that need to be filled. The tool has been developed under a partnership of ESCAP and the International Association for Public Participation.

stakeholder engagement for the 2030 agenda

  • A preliminary framework for planning and assessment of quality engagement: Benefitting from work done at a multi-stakeholder workshop in August 2017, the framework captures four key dimensions of engagement and presents a preliminary set of indicators for the planning and assessment of engagement processes for the 2030 Agenda.


Partnerships – guidebooks, manuals and tool books

partnering for SD

Stakeholder engagement training manual

methods matrix

GPSA Knowledge Platform

The Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA) aims to provide strategic and sustained support to civil society organizations’ (CSOs) social accountability initiatives to ultimately improve governance and service delivery. This Knowledge Platform, complemented with offline activities, has been envisioned as the main tool for supporting the learning, networking and knowledge exchange of the GPSA’s grantees and of other CSOs working on social accountability in the global south.


Foundational Primer on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

This SDG Primer aims to establish a common base of understanding and approach for the UN system in supporting the 2030 Agenda. It is primarily meant to inform, in broad terms, the programmes and actions of all UN entities, including their engagement with government and civil society partners.


Stakeholder Engagement Design and Planning  



Stakeholder engagement for conflict resolution for the 2030 Agenda

  • United Nations Staff College 

Research and Case Studies

Stakeholder Engagement and Partnerships