Grant Projects: Activities
Dr. Matsuura organized an international workshop: “Learning from the practice of consensus building and participatory planning in Asia” in Tokyo
update：July 9, 2014
On 19th and 20thJune, Dr. Masahiro Matsuura, Associate Professor of University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Public Policy, organized an international workshop; “Learning from the practice of consensus building and participatory planning in Asia” as a part of his granted project “Drawing Grounded Lessons from the Practice of Consensus Building in Asia”. (Project number: D13-N-0123) Nationality of participants includes the United States, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Its objective was to draw lessons out of the practice of consensus building in Asia, and to share them with public officials and practitioners. On the first day, the participants introduced their experience on their project sites in each country and consensus formation practices. Cases ranged from natural resource development and utilization such as water, forest, energy to other areas like city planning and even social security systems.
On the second day, as a follow up, the participants exchanged views on consensus building tool and deepened mutual understandings. While understanding commonalities of each case and its tools, they also talked over difference in strategy by their social background or political system.
As for cases from Japan, an example of failures of biomass utilization projects, deliberative poll about the choice of energy and environment and consensus building practices from East Japan great earthquake disaster were shown and got strong attention from other participants. People use the same word on consensus building tool (e.g., "transparency of the information") different way by a country and a position/ affiliation of the participant.
The workshop was truly successful with informative presentations and lively exchanges. In terms of drawing common lessons or input to public officials or practitioners related to each case, however, we need to wait for other opportunities. Rather, it was meaningful opportunity to provide food for thoughts to its participants and to strengthen their peer network on consensus building.
(Kaori Osawa, Program Officer, Group for International Grants)