Consensus Building Institute (CBI)

For over 20 years, the Consensus Building Institute (CBI), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, has helped groups and organizations around the world collaborate more effectively. In complex policy dialogues, public disputes, and high-stakes negotiations, CBI works with stakeholders to create more valuable agreements and satisfying results. We help organizations and leaders build their capacity to interact with communities, interest groups, agencies, corporations, and other stakeholders in ways that create value. Where appropriate, we facilitate credible engagement between agencies and communities.

CBI recognizes that progress on an issue as complex as climate change will not occur without the substantive involvement of women globally at the negotiating table. Using our expertise in collaboration and process design, CBI’s Women and Consensus Building initiative seeks to expand decision-making processes to ensure that women are fully represented amongst stakeholders and able to effectively participate in negotiations.

Our primary focus is on expanding CBI’s existing services to clients with a gender mission, partnering with other organizations to provide capacity-building and political acumen training for women working on climate change mitigation and adaptation.  Research shows that far fewer women than men are involved in substantive dialogues of any kind, be they at the community level, the national level, or the international level level. To offset this imbalance, CBI seeks to build women’s capacity so they can be involved in climate change negotiations, policy, and planning and effectively influence decisions.

Overview of the Political Acumen Framework
CBI trains women leaders from UN agencies, governments, NGOs and corporations in managing and resolving divergent and sometimes conflicting stakeholder interests and perspectives in order to achieve development results. Development leaders need political acumen in many situations, and particularly when the following factors are present:

important stakeholders—government, partner organizations, advocacy groups, donors and others—have divergent mandates, interests and values on a significant development challenge;
there is a high degree of complexity, fluidity, and uncertainty in the interactions among the stakeholders and with regard to the challenge itself;
the risk of impasse is high; and• the risk to the credibility of the leader’s institution from either action or inaction is high.

Learn more about the Political Acumen Framework
Improving Development Outcomes by Including Women in Community Dialogues
Civil society organizations, corporations, and governments are increasingly making policy and program decisions based on the tacit recognition that addressing gender equality plays a central role in achieving numerous societal objectives (ranging from reducing poverty to improving public health). Likewise, the unique role that women play in strengthening post-conflict reconstruction has been widely documented. However, less well documented is the important role that engaging women at the community level plays in improving human development outcomes.  Read more.