Transparency of Engagement and Decision Making

/Transparency of Engagement and Decision Making

Transparency of Engagement and Decision Making

Transparency of Stakeholder Engagement & Decision Making in the Marine Stewardship Council

It’s crucial that MSC adopts best practices for transparent consultation during this review. Stakeholders must understand who is invited to engage and why, how best to engage, how input is used, and how and why decisions are made at each step of the way. We are rating MSC against our best practice recommendations that draw from the leading literature on consultation as well as our members’ many years of experience engaging with the MSC programme.

This rating covers the 2019 research phase of the FSR, leading up to the Board’s public announcement of the Review in February 2020. This period included some information gathering workshops and meetings with stakeholders

Meets Expectations Improving Below Expectations NOTE: Click on each “finger icon” for more information.
  • Outline each process as early as possible with clear timelines and show how related processes are linked
    • A basic, high level timeline was released, but with little detail or clarity on how individual elements are related or feed into decision making.
    • The timeline has changed before and since the announcement of Terms of Reference, with the release of new Standard and adoption date now pushed back, adding to the lack of clarity.
  • Demonstrate a strategy of stakeholder selection
    • Little public rationale for who was selected to participate in 2019 information gathering workshops.
  • Give stakeholders multiple entry points for engagement
    • Stakeholder numbers were limited and workshops were only face-to-face in London requiring travel, despite requests for virtual meetings, unclear other input options open to clients, stakeholders
  • Allow all stakeholders to assist with designing the process
    • Stakeholders were initially asked to rank preferred topics for information gathering workshops, but few were then run.
    • Limited involvement of stakeholders in selection of questions or proposals for the workshop agendas.
    • Requests to broaden discussion topics were disregarded e.g. bycatch reduction in the ETP species workshop.
  • Be clear about the goals of the process from the start
    • Lack of clarity on how broad the FSR would be, which topics could be revised, and why particular topics were chosen for specialist information gathering workshops for the research phase.
    • Original plans for more information gathering workshops changed.
    • Some confusion between the goals of FSR and Fisheries Certification Process Review due to overlapping topics, such as shark finning.
  • Demonstrate the current stage of the process of consultation, and the decision that led to it
    • Early in the research phase there was no clarity on when workshops would happen, what they would cover, and why.
    • Clarity improved for workshop attendees once they had been identified – better information on what input was used to inform workshop development and goals.
  • Allow full access to all the information provided during the process
    • Reports and inputs were available to participants of workshops only.
    • Consultation documents, research and workshop reports are not all publicly available.
  • Allow stakeholders to share information and address gaps by being open about who will be, or was, involved in the process
    • Participant lists were only available to those in the workshops, and in the final report.
    • Some workshop reports to date are shared only months later with participants, thereby not allowing meaningful follow up.
  • Share the decision-making framework and rationale for each step of the process:
    • Who is involved in decision-making, at which level, and who leads the process?
    • What criteria are used to make decisions and how are they ranked?
    • What decision rules are used to finalize the decision?

    • Decision-making process was opaque and seemed to change frequently, particularly in the first half of 2019 when workshop plans were being made.
    • No criteria has been released to indicate which topics have moved forward, which will be revised.
  • Regularly review the stakeholder engagement process
    • No publicly available review of the previous review processes and improvements, or of the research phase of the current FSR.
2020-08-25T14:13:00+00:00July 23rd, 2020|