Policy Mediation

Formal guidance

Policy mediation focuses on ‘wicked problems,’ complex societal conflicts, and gridlocked policy issues. Often, in policy mediation, one or more government entities are always involved. This means that various social, economic, and administrative factors come into play, influencing each other, making the problem even more complicated.

Policy mediation involves power imbalances, and often, it’s not entirely clear what the problem exactly is. The problem and its owners are mapped out, taking into account various interests. A policy mediator is also referred to as a policy facilitator.


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What does policy mediation entail?

A policy mediator deals with power imbalances. Often, it’s also not entirely clear what the problem exactly is. There are many stakeholders without a clear delineation of responsibilities. Multiple policy domains are involved, including multiple levels of government authority. The issues at hand also influence each other. It is important to establish the governance frameworks beforehand.

A policy mediator conducts a conflict analysis. Based on this analysis, they initiate a collaborative process to map out the conflict. Once this is clear, conflicting parties brainstorm possible solutions. Then conflicting parties negotiate, make decisions, and reach agreements.

Reasons to choose policy mediation

Policy mediation makes sense when conflicting parties are interdependent for a solution: when they want to think proactively about the future, prevent further escalation, and have a genuine need to come to an agreement together.

The advantages of policy mediation are:

  • The problem and its stakeholders are identified
  • The governance frameworks are adhered to.
  • Multiple competent bodies brainstorm about various solutions, taking into account different interests.
  • Conflicting parties make their own decisions and agreements to partially or fully resolve the problem.


About policy mediation


For policy mediation


"wicked problems” : maatschappelijke conflicten en vastgelopen beleidskwesties

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