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Institute for Research and Debate on Governance


Coproduction of Public Action

The state, main player in field of governance, no longer has the monopoly on the development, implementation, and monitoring/evaluation of public policies, which are conceived as collective actions to regulate societies. Gradually, civil society organizations, the private sector, and also private citizens have indeed become key players.

In recent decades, initiatives that bring together public and non-state actors have emerged in the form of consultation, participation, negotiation, or control and evaluation mechanisms. These new forms of public action have proliferated around the world. They have more often developed at a local scale, but also nationally and even internationally. They are rapidly evolving and vary from a geographical context to another, from a sector to another.

This program aims to analyze, by cross-cutting different perspectives and experiences, the functioning and effects of these multi-actor initiatives, which have became a major issue in the development of effective and legitimate regulations – i.e. accepted by actors within a democratic governance framework.

To find out more : Coproduction of public action program presentation [ PDF (168Ko) - Permanent link ]

Two strategic activity axes

  • Multi-actor arenas of dialogue for public action
    The IRG and its partners analyze here the processes and modalities of multi-actor dialogue experiences in order to understand how they are structured, how they are organized at the 0various levels of policy making (local, national and international), and how they vary across contexts, sectors and according to the actors involved.
    To find out more : see dedicated page
  • Coresponsibility of actors in the control of public action
    The IRG and its partners analyze here the evolution of the processes of control initiatives and the safeguards aimed at strengthening the accountability of all actors envolved in public action. With the development of practices from the civil society ("citizen control", "social control"), the control of public action is now provided for by a diverse range of actors (state and non-state).
    To find out more : see dedicated page

Expertise and research



  • Fifth Conference on Joint Cooperation of the Rhône-Alpes region, organised with the support of the IRG (Lyon & Annemasse, France, 2014).
  • International seminar on “Civil Society and public authorities : what kind of dialogue to engage policies serving the citizens ?” ("Société civile et pouvoirs publics : quels dialogues pour des politiques au service des citoyens ?) (Paris, 2013)
  • “Citizens, civil society and public authority : new issues, new challenges” colloquium, co-organized with the CFSI (2012)
  • “Non-state political actors and public health”, co-organized with the University of Virginia, avec the support of the UNDP and the French Embassy in Washington D.C. (Charlottesville, 2010)
    Cycle of international symposiums “Advocacy strategies of civil society in the promotion of international standards” in partnership with the Ford Foundation (Paris 2007, Rambouillet 2009).

Workshop and student reports

Series of studies with students from Sciences Po Paris, the University of Montréal, Columbia University, etc.

Leading program partners

Agence universitaire de la Francophonie - Desk Paris

: www.auf.org/

Université de Montréal

: www.umontreal.ca/

Ford Foundation

: www.fordfoundation.org/

United Nations Development Programme

: www.beta.undp.org

ATD Quart-Monde,
ATD Quart-Monde

: www.atd-quartmonde.org/

Médecins du Monde

: www.medecinsdumonde.org/

Agence française de développement

: www.afd.fr/

London School of Economics and Political Science

: www2.lse.ac.uk

Comité français pour la solidarité internationale

: www.cfsi.asso.fr

Concord, Sciences Po,
Sciences Po Paris

: www.sciencespo.fr/

C. Sud
Coordination Sud

: www.coordinationsud.org/


Launay-Gama Claire, Guihéneuf Pierre-Yves. "The search for influence, dialogue and social control. What kind of discussion forums for state and non-state actors ?" Gouvernance en révolution(s). Chroniques de la gouvernance 2012. Institute for Research and Debate on Governance. Paris : Charles Léopold
Mayer Publishing House, 2012. [Read PDF - Permanent Link]


Du 14 au 18 janvier 2013


The IRG participated in the seminar on the challenges of health democracy organized by the association AIDES (http://www.aides.org/) with its African partners. Pierre-Yves GUIHENEUF spoke on the theme "Democracy and health : Lessons and Challenges from the multi-actor dialogue" on January 14.

Paris, France

Du 26 au 27 mai 2011


Ever since 2006, the Institute for Research and Debate on Governance (IRG) has supported the CFSI in the capitalisation of its Civil society and participation programme. This programme (SCP2), which has been retained for the period 2010-2013, lies at the core of the issues arising between civil society and the authorities, in France as well as in partner countries. It aims to share and further innovative cooperation practices between CFSI members and their partners towards a constructive dialogue between civil society and the authorities. The international workshop planned for the 26 and 27 May revolves on these issues in background to the presentation of a capitalisation process hinging on two major lines of enquiry : arriving at a collective voice and joining in the dialogue with the authorities. This workshop will be held in Paris and will rely on the participation of CFSI members, stakeholders in pluriannual and annual projects supported by the SCP2 programme, members of the stirring committee, and CFSI and IRG teams

Read the PDF file : http://www.institut-gouvernance.org...

Paris, France

Du 25 au 26 mars 2010


Last December, the CFSI (Comité français pour la solidarité internationale) invited the IRG to take part, in 2010, in a project capitalising the experience from a huge programme on “civil society and participation” conducted with the backing of the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. This programme was notably aimed at increasing the participation of civil society organisations in the devising and implementation of public policies on development. Some fifteen CFSI member organisations were involved in some forty initiatives involving some twenty countries and offering an extraordinarily broad range of themes, methods, scales of intervention, advocacy issues, cooperation tools, etc..
The IRG chose to narrow its scope of observation to five case studies relating to initiatives conducted by four CFSI members with their Southern partners in two countries, Colombia and Madagascar. These case studies benefited from a number of filmed interviews and many other NGOs involved were interviewed.
During a seminar co-organised by the CFSI and the IRG and bringing together representatives from Africa, Brazil, Haiti and Europe on 25 and 26 March in Paris, the main observations arising from the capitalisation of experience were debated. First and foremost the distinct evolution of North-South relations and the Southward shift of the partnerships’ centre of gravity was observable, along with a new definition of the legitimacies to intervene and the progress towards autonomization of a growing number of Southern partners. Second, it was possible to analyse the growing momentum, on the part of Southern NGOs, of political involvement models that are more and more frequently slotting in networks and alliances reinforcing their collective voices and enabling them to join, invite, create consultation forums in which to dialogue with the authorities.

The acts of this meeting and the capitalisation of experience report will shortly be available on both the IRG and the CFSI sites

Paris, France

Du 21 au 23 mars 2010


The role of civil society towards co-producing health services and framing public health policies.
In the framework of the “Co-production of public goods and multi-actor partnerships” programme, this seminar organised by the IRG and the University of Virginia with the support of the UNDP and the French embassy in Washington brought together some thirty participants from China, France and the United States. Researchers, students, patients’ association representatives, NGOs and consultants met together to share their experience and analyses concerning the governance of national policies on public health. They chose to focus their critical analysis on two themes that warranted a strong mobilisation from non-State actors in the three countries involved : The fight against HIV/AIDS and access to health for the most deprived populations. The debates addressed the positioning of non-State organisations towards the State and public policies, notably on potential tensions between partnership and independence, on the establishment of State and non-State actors’ legitimacy and, beyond, on dialoguing modalities and forums between authorities and civil society. The steps following this meeting will be the object of a publication in the autumn of 2010.
This seminar was organised as part of the AGI, the Africa Governance Institute’s, activities towards political dialogue and advocacy for developmental governance in Africa. It follows the AGI’s inaugural workshop that took place in November 2009.

Charlottesville, United States of America

Du 24 au 26 mars 2009


The seminar will focus on a specific actor in civil society : the "self-help network", defending the rights of marginalised populations.

The defining characteristic of these networks is that members are personally concerned by the issue they defend. The IRG/Ford Foundation seminar is bringing together these networks in order for them to share their experiences in the establishment of advocacy strategies at the transnational level and to help evaluate strategies for developing alliances with others working in their field.

Rambouillet (France)

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Publications, les dernières parutions liées à ce programme

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Ressources documentaires, une bibliothèque virtuelle riche de plus de 700 documents - études, analyses, entretiens,expériences

17 dossiers

Others documents associated to this program

One video

26 essays

2 litterature reviews

one interview