The purpose of this approach is to stimulate thinking and offer guidance on a tested approach for enhancing social inclusion in and through natural resource management. It can be used to accompany processes of community engagement and community-based or -led deliberations on natural resources management or other topics of local importance.
The approach draws attention to the importance of representation (who is invited), process (how is dialogue taking place) and content (what is discussed and when). It represents a facilitated process of active engagement among participants, accompanied by both women and men facilitators, over time. It brings about potential of collective action to work through situations of discrimination or conflict via inter-group contact under a set of predefined conditions. This process can allow groups to better know and understand each other, work through their differences, and create group unity.
Given the time and human resources involved, the community dialogue process must be adequately planned and budgeted for from its inception. It can be applied to fields other than natural resources management.