Transformation from Conflict to Collaboration through Multistakeholder Process: Shihwa Sustainable Development Committee in Korea
- Transformation from Conflict to Collaboration through Multistakeholder Process: Shihwa Sustainable Development Committee in Korea
- Kim, Dong-Young
- Multi-stakeholder process; participatory governance; sustainable development
- Issue Date
- Series/Report no.
- KDI Working Paper Series;WP11-09
- Multi-Stakeholder Process (MSP) is a very sophisticated and complex process where many
diverse stakeholder representatives deliberate and negotiate to solve public problems together.
While MSPs have been suggested as good governance mechanism in both developed and
developing countries, its ideals still obscure than clarify. It is not clear how a MSP can be
initiated given power imbalance and lack of trust in a society. It is more challenging for the
members of the process to manage complex, volatile, and conflicting situations that are
inherent in multiparty negotiations.
The Si-Hwa case in Korea provides many interesting implications as a relatively
successful multi-stakeholder process aimed at balancing development and environment
around regional development plans. A long-term multi-stakeholder forum (2003-current)
involving the government bodies (central and local), state-owned corporations, local
politicians, non-governmental organizations has made collective decisions regarding
environmental management and regional development projects, and transformed the almost
dead Si-Hwa Lake into a lively lake.
The process could be successful mainly because people could transform conflicting
countervailing powers into collaborative countervailing ones before and during the process.
The sources of collaborative powers are 1) the will of the government to incorporate
stakeholder participation due to its poor BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated
Agreement), 2) bottom-up initiative from local NGOs, detaching themselves from central
NGOs. They have built trust by making the process transparent through its own webpage,
establishing consensus-based decision rule, and conducted joint fact-finding process. More
interestingly, the members managed the complex process without any help of professional
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