Transnational multistakeholder partnerships for sustainable development: Conditions for success

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This perspective discusses nine conditions for enhancing the performance of multistakeholder partnerships for sustainable development. Such partnerships have become mainstream implementation mechanisms for attaining international sustainable development goals and are also frequently used in other adjacent policy domains such as climate change, health and biodiversity. While multistakeholder arrangements are widely perceived as a positive contribution to addressing global change, few studies have systematically evaluated the existing evidence for their positive performance. This poses an urgent and important challenge for researchers and practitioners to understand and improve the effectiveness of partnerships, in particular since their popularity increases despite their past track record. The recommendations presented are based on own research, a literature survey and discussions with a large number or international Civil Society Organizations at two occasions during 2014. This article proceeds as follows: first, we define multistakeholder partnerships, outline their rational and summarize available assessments on partnership success; second, we provide a set of concrete recommendations based on lessons-learned from over 10 years of scholarship; and third, we conclude with some reflections on the future of multistakeholder governance for sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-51
JournalAMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
Issue number1
Early online date23 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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