We often debate about the need for stakeholder consultation. Found this interesting (but rather critical) take on what it could mean in the context of trade policy consultation.
"But at least the administration granted public interest groups like us some time to offer input. As in, a half hour. Total. For all consumer groups. In a 1.5-day-long forum otherwise filled almost exclusively by industry representatives. If relative allotment of time is indicative of the relative importance the administration attributes to industry views on TAFTA vs. the views of everyone else, big business "stakeholders" hold 76% of the administration's attention, technical standards organizations hold 11%, and the opinions of the rest of us are worth 13%."
Varied stakeholders - industry, business interests, sectoral experts, civil society organisations and of course the consumers. How one hears their views, balances them and articulates them in policy making is the real challenge. Finally the articulation of national interest may be an amalgam of these views. How one arrives at this amalgam becomes crucial.
It is easier said than done - stakeholder consultation is one of the most complex aspects of policy making.