Tuesday, 18 August 2020
Latvia’s policy-making process is inclusive, and cooperation is ongoing at many different levels. There was wide public involvement in the preparation of the NSDS in 2010 and the NDP2020 (in 2012) and NDP 2027 (in 2019).
For the NSDS - many regional forums and discussions took place before the draft was approved in 2010. There was also a national forum with the participation of over 1000 people. The consultation process led to improvements of the final draft. General information on the strategy was available on the NSDS website. The NSDS was nominated among best twenty entries for the Reinhardt Mohn prize awarded for success in vitalizing enhanced democratic participation.
The public participates in the SDG Review process as it does in any inclusive policy process. Individuals, non-governmental organisations and the public administration engage as they deem most appropriate.
- take part at any policy-making stage – problem identification, development of planning documents, policy implementation, monitoring and evaluation;
- become involved in public consultations, in formal and informal working groups, advisory councils and other forums, send written opinions;
- comment document drafts published on the relevant public institution’s website under the section “Public Participation”. (All official institutions have public participation sections on their websites).
Public participation in the creation of NDP2021 (in 2012) and NDP2027 (in 2019) followed these tenets. Steering committees were set up in both cases. Working groups co-created the content of the NDPs. Seminars and discussions were initiated both by the Cross Sectoral Coordination Centre and by stakeholders, first drafts were put online, taken into consideration. All suggestions were commented and published. The next draft was taken through the steering committee level and through to the National Development Council (which includes representatives of employers, workers, academia, local government and government) before being considered by the Cabinet (the meeting is online and representatives of different groups publicly stated their opinions). The process for the NDP 2027 differed from the previous process mainly in the increase in stakeholder participation in the working groups (up from 12 in 2012 to 40 and over in 2019) and in the number of stakeholders that initiated national development planning events providing input into the content of the plan.
In 2020, the NGO platform LAPAS, in collaboration with its member organization- the Center for Education Initiatives spearheaded the establishment of a Cross Sectoral Coalition for the Implementation of the SDGs. Attending were representatives of different NGOs, local governments, businesses and business organizations, academic institutions, the Central Statistics Office and the Cross Sectoral Coordination Centre. The Coalition will both follow SDG policies and promote information exchanges about communication, education and cooperation projects on sustainable development.