The term has its origins in international diplomacy, offering an alternative to official governmental action through unofficial, non-governmental methods of conflict resolution.
When applied to domestic policies, the ‘Second Track’ offers a ground-breaking approach to government consultation, allowing previously ad-hoc mechanisms for stakeholder engagement in policy development and decision making to become an accepted method of ‘fast-tracking’ solutions to key issues.
The process unites diverse experts from relevant sectors in government, business, academia, NGOs and consumer groups. Working collaboratively and sharing a positive approach, ‘Second Track’ groups identify problems, initiate discussions, prepare papers, develop practical solutions and oversee their implementation.
The ‘Second Track’ process has become the GAP flagship and offers a unique way for key industry stakeholders to work alongside current government initiatives without becoming entangled in public sector red tape. The ‘Second Track’ model has increased the ability of individuals to encourage real and lasting change in their area of expertise and interest. Its success demonstrates that innovative approaches to stakeholder interaction can be developed, tested and refined for the public good, without risking the fundamental machinery of government.