National Dialogues: Lessons Learned and Success Factors

12th February 2019
Author: Huma Haider

This rapid review synthesises the literature from academic, policy and knowledge institutions sources on lessons learned about making national dialogue processes for peacebuilding most effective. The review focuses on literatures studying on the lessons learned from both political context and process factors. National dialogues are conceptualised as : “nationally owned political processes aimed at generating consensus among a broad range of national stakeholders in times of deep political crisis, in post-war situations or during far-reaching political transitions” (Blunck et al., 2017, 21). They are typically accompanied by broader societal consultations, involving all sectors of society. Their objective can involve broad-based change processes (e.g. negotiating a new social contract) or more narrow objectives.. It has only been in the last couple of years that various guidance and case studies have been published on national dialogues. These emerged in acknowledgement that there are many open questions and uncertainties regarding the concept of national dialogue; and that there are limited resources that provide guidance and practical support for those who are exploring national dialogues (Blunck et al., 2017). While there is no blueprint for such dialogues, attention to lessons learned can help actors involved to identify factors contributing to the success and failure of national dialogues and to key challenges.

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Suggested Citation

Haider, H. (2019). National dialogues: lessons learned and success factors. K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies


12th February 2019


Continent: Global

Country: Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Yemen