Facilitating WWF’s global public consultation on the Environmental & Social Safeguards & Social Policies
Celia de Vries
In 2019, the global WWF network adopted a new Environmental and Social Safeguards Framework (ESSF). While the intention for a public consultation existed from the outset, the release of the Independent Review that WWF commissioned to examine how to better embed human rights into nature conservation further heightened its significance. The public consultation was an integral part of WWF's three-year Action Plan to deliver its management response and address the recommendations made by the Independent Panel. The principal objective of the consultation was to seek input on WWF's revised social policies, the safeguards framework and its nine underlying standards and all-encompassing human rights statement.
It is the first time that WWF has undertaken such an extensive, global consultation on policy documents and therefore represents an important point in their goal for greater engagement and transparency. Fronteer partnered with WWF to organise this public consultation.
The consultation was designed to capture a diversity of perspectives, from ‘passing interest’ to those who have professional expertise and years of practical experience. To facilitate this, we combined an open platform consultation with multi stakeholder dialogues for validation and enrichment.
The public consultation was split into two different ways to gather input:
Quantitative: We designed an online portal to present the documents in an accessible way. This portal offered the opportunity to download all documents and submit feedback or input to the documents through an online survey.
Qualitative: Throughout the WWF network, a number of global and regional consultations were held to discuss WWF’s approach and enrich their safeguards and policies. These ‘dialogues’ were built on the co-creation principles from Fronteer. In addition, we also prepared training materials for regional and local offices to be able to host their own consultations.
This was the first time WWF held a global public consultation. A new and exciting way of working has been born; and we helped WWF navigate this new world. The aim is to keep working in this way; creating meaningful conversations between stakeholders, expressing the values they share and their mutual concerns.
During this project we gathered rich amounts of feedback through the online portal, training sessions and various multi-stakeholder dialogues. This feedback was consolidated into a series of recommendations which WWF is using as starting points to improve and revise their safeguards and policies.
For more information and a preview of our recommendations, please go to: https://consultation.panda.org/