This guidance note from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) was prepared to support policymakers and civil society actors in developing inclusive stakeholder engagement and participation processes. It complements the UNECE Guidelines for Mainstreaming Ageing.
The document makes the case for the participation of older persons and civil society in decision-making and advocates for long-standing engagement that genuinely shapes policies. It suggests some key steps to bring governments and civil society together and recommends tools to make the engagement of civil society actors and older persons meaningful. Some of the most important are:
- including older persons and civil society throughout the design, implementation and evaluation of policies;
- creating institutional bodies that involve older persons and civil society along with focal points from line ministries and various levels of government;
- facilitating the creation of older people’s groups and dedicated spaces for marginalized older persons;
- establishing channels between older persons, civil society, other relevant stakeholders and decision-makers;
- building the skills of older persons to engage in policy processes.
In addition, the guidance note showcases a variety of good practice examples from the UNECE region. It highlights cases of regular and systematic stakeholder engagement to inform ageing-related policy, as opposed to one-off consultations.