Many countries in the SADC region are beginning to involve stakeholders in the policy formulation and implementation process. Consultative forums are being created to provide a channel for information gathering, consensus building and a framework for broader understanding of agriculture and policy related issues.
Effective policy analysis depends on the ability to identify and measure the impact of various economic options, to assess trade-offs, and to present well thought out choices to policy makers and managers. In order for policy researchers to synthesize and weigh various alternatives for solving complex problems in a dynamic environment with competing interests, and with a limited time span, there is need to engage the stakeholders in consultative dialogues. Policy advice must be founded on technical competence, practical insight and effective communication skills. Policy operates in a social, cultural, political and bureaucratic environment, which requires sensitivity and skills in public administration, negotiating techniques and consensus building.