Multistakeholder governance model

The multistakeholder governance model, sometimes known as a multistakeholder initiative (MSI),[1][2] is a governance structure that seeks to bring stakeholders together to participate in the dialogue, decision making, and implementation of solutions to common problems or goals. The principle behind such a structure is that if enough input is provided by all actors involved in a question, the eventual consensual decision gains more legitimacy, and therefore better reflects a set of perspectives rather than a single source of validation.

A stakeholder refers to an individual, group, or organization that has a direct or indirect interest or stake in a particular organization, these may be businesses, civil society, governments, research institutions, and non-government organizations.

Multi-Stakeholder Models

The multistakeholder model is used in Internet governance by entities such as the ICANN and IETF.[3] It has been the foundation of local governance entities such as New York City's Community Boards.

Norbert Bollow, co-coordinator on the Civil Society Internet Governance Forum[4] distinguishes between "representative" multistakeholderism, using as examples the United Nation's MAG and ECWG, in which a limited number of seats are distributed to representatives through some selection process, and "open" multistakeholderism, as represented by the IETF and RIRs, which relies on participants self-selecting to balance perspectives.


  1. Utting, P. (2001). "Regulating Business Via Multistakeholder Initiatives: A Preliminary Assessment." (Paper prepared in late 2001 under the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) research project "Promoting Corporate Environmental and Social Responsibility in Developing Countries: The Potential and Limits of Voluntary Initiatives".) Accessed 14/May/2014
  2. Fuchs, D., Kalfagianni, A., & Havinga, T. (2011) "Actors in private food governance: the legitimacy of retail standards and multistakeholder initiatives with civil society participation", Agriculture and Human Values , September 2011, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 353-367.
  3. "Internet Society Questionnaire on Multistakeholder Governance Report and Summary of the Results. October 2013". Internet Society. Retrieved 13 March 2014. Cite web requires |website= (help)

Further reading

[[[1]]] Multistakeholder Cooperation: Reflections on the emergence of a new phraseology in international cooperation by Marcus Kummer

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