CBAsia "best practice" report, a product of the 2014 workshop, is now available:

Available for download as PDF

CBAsia 2014 International workshop: Learning from the practice of consensus building and participatory planning in Asia

June 19-20, 2014
University of Tokyo, Japan

We have successfully organized CBAsia 2014 International workshop: "Learning from the practice of consensus building and participatory planning in Asia" at the University of Tokyo's Hongo campus on June 19th and 20th, 2014.

The two-day workshop was joined by 18 practitioners and scholars from 10 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. They represent a wide range of fields, including national planning, urban planning, energy, ecosystem preservation, and forest management. Its goal was to draw lessons out of the practice of consensus building in Asia, and to share them with public officials and practitioners for improving consensus building processes for environmental policy issues.

We paid special attention to the peculiarities of consensus building in Asia from the perspective of collaborative planning and deliberative democracy. Instead of simply promoting specific technical approaches to consensus building, we will discuss ways of designing various kinds of best practices that fit with the local context and making that happen even in the fields where technocratic top-down decisions have been imposed. Therefore, we stressed each participant to point to his or her specific experience when they generate the relatively abstract list of best practices.

In the 2-day workshop, participants have collaborated for preparing a set of recommendations to practitioners in Asia regarding the ways of improving their consensus building practice. While the workshop produced a draft outline of such recommendations through interactive sessions, they will be promulgated into a document to be distributed through the web, as well as in the form of leaflet. The list of best practices in Asia, reflecting on their practice, focused on three stages of consensus building: 1) Pre-negotiation phase, including a) identifying stakeholders, b) situation assessment, c) process design, d) setting up a platform for negotiation, and e) funding; 2) Negotiation phase, including a) improving communication, b) building trust, and c) packaging and trading between options; and 3) Implementation phase.

Participants generated a long list of best practice under these headings, and deliberated over these ideas generated through brainstorming sessions. Drawing on our collective wisdom, a policy recommendation document will be drafted by the project leader and edited by the participant before publication.

One of the main conclusions we can draw from the workshop discussion is the similarity of, rather than differences among, our practice in Asia. For instance, we share the experience of difficult moments such as developing trust and dealing with bureaucracy. This finding is encouraging because we, from different backgrounds in Asia, can continue to learn from each other for improving our own practice of consensus building.


June 19 (Thu.): DAY 1: Sharing stories from the field of practice


10:00 - 11:00 Introduction

10:00 - 10:30

Introduction by the organizing committee
Masahiro Matsuura (University of Tokyo: Japan)
Boyd Fuller (Fuller Negotiation: Canada)
Dongyoung Kim (KDI School of Public Policy and Management: South Korea)


10:30 - 11:00

“The Cooperation Imperative”
Peter Adler (Accord 3.0, USA)

11:00 - 12:00 Resource and Energy cases

11:00 - 11:20

"The Opportunity and Challenges of Using Dialogue in Thai Community: Environmental Conflict in Mae Sot, Tak Province, Thailand"
Supanat Permpoonwiwat
(The Office of Promoting Politics of the People, Thailand)


11:20 - 11:40

“The Power of Listening. Principled Negotiation in High Stakes Stakeholder Engagement Process”
Barbara Sharp (Pax Populus: Australia)


11:40 - 12:00

"Consultation and Consent (The intersection of PPP approaches and consensus building in the reduction of non-revenue water) and Cases and Experiences in Empowered Dispute Resolution/Management Processes: Engaging cultural challenges"
Gwen de Vera
(University of the Philippines, College of Law: Philippines)

13:20 - 14:30 Forest Management and Rural Planning cases

13:20 - 13:40

“Kelekak: A Local Wisdom to Sustain Community Legacy: A Case Study from Belitung District, Bangka Belitung Province, Indonesia”
John Haba & Robert Siburian (Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI): Indonesia)


13:40 - 14:00

“Community Participation in Mangrove Forest Management: Challenges and Opportunities”
Nghiem Phuong Tuyen (Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (CRES) Vietnam National University: Vietnam)


14:00 - 14:30

"Failure analysis on biomass use and nature restoration projects in Japan"
Osamu Saito (UN University: Japan) &
"Decision making under stress: challenges of disaster recovery from 3-11"
Shizuka Hashimoto (Kyoto University: Japan)

14:50 - 16:00 Planning cases

14:50 - 15:10

"Sharing Singapore's Experience - Our Singapore Conversation"
Stephanie Tan (Civil Service College, Institute of Governance and Policy: Singapore)


15:10 - 15:40

“City Planning in Vietnam – the road to public participation and consensus building”
Hieu Nguyen Ngoc (National Academy of Public Administration: Vietnam) &
Ta Quynh Hoa (National University of Civil Engineering: Vietnam)


15:40 - 16:00

"Project of Deliberative Poll on Energy Policy in Japan,2012"
Hironobu Uekihara (Hakuhodo Inc.: Japan)

16:30 - 17:30 Reflection Session


June 20 (Fri): DAY 2: Synthesis sessions

Part I -- Morning

Participants are grouped into three subject-based groups (Resource and Mining, Forest and Rural, and Planning and Energy). Each group brainstormed on the best practice by reflecting on their experience, using a standarized table to elicit their ideas.


Part II -- Afternoon

All participants made comments to the tables generated in the morning session and collectively reflected on their list. The reflection identified a few key ingredients to be discussed in our policy recommnedation.



This workshop is made possible by generous support from the following sponsors:

The public session is organized as a part of 2-day intensive workshop. The rest of the workshop is closed to invited participants.