CPDE Capacity Building Workshop on CSO Development Effectiveness- East Africa sub region
Hotel Hilltop & Country Club
23-24 March 2017, Kigali-Rwanda
The CPDE Capacity Building Workshop for East Africa sub region took place on 23-24 March 2017 in Kigali, Rwanda.
The Training that was planned by Reality of Aid Africa Network in the capacity of the CPDE implementing Unit and hosted by Rwanda Development Organization, was attended by 24 national and sub-regional CSOs from Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya working on policy dialogue and advocacy, human rights, youth, women, labor, faith based organizations, mobilization of grassroots communities, research, among others.
The workshop’s main focus was to strengthen East African CSOs understanding of development effectiveness with regards to monitoring the implementation of the Nairobi commitments as well as the lobbying and advocacy strategies in favor of an enabling environment for CSOs that meant to ease the process of undertaking substantive work with governments, parliamentarians and other development partners.
The workshop’s discussion was specifically to:
Prepare East African CSOs to engage in advocacy work to get the government, development partners, the private sector and parliamentarians to engage in the implementation of the Nairobi
Empower CSOs with the vital tools to monitor the implementation of the Nairobi commitments with a Rights-Based Approach(RBA) to development;
Train CSOs on how to monitor the Istanbul Principles with a special focus on setting accountability mechanisms for civil society entities.
In line with moving from aid effectiveness to development effectiveness, the building of inclusive partnerships, employing knowledge sharing tools, and experience sharing on lobby and advocacy strategies, participants expressed their views as follows:
In the country context, Aid is still tied to conditionality and this remains an issue that hampers the adoption of national development priorities of developing countries
The need to actually utilize and sustain knowledge sharing mechanisms particularly amongst CSO counterparts remains central in their ability to act for progress
Building capacity of CSOs at grassroots level is critical to ensuring citizen participation and engagement in national development planning
Working effectively with the Government and the private sector still poses a challenge; as engagement is yet to be institutionalized and where it is, appears tokenistic
It is vital to establish a civil society synergy that is capable of ensuring development effectiveness for the people;
There is need to strengthen the process of each country and each stakeholder in monitoring the Nairobi commitments to ensure achievement of these commitments;
Foster the visibility, credibility and importance of civil society actors on the ground
In terms of developing a comprehensive action plan for advocacy, participants committed to:
Carrying out training for CSO engagement with the Nairobi Outcome Document and harnessing gains from it
Creating awareness of the development effectiveness scope through various engagements with relevant government agencies, CSOs , DPs and other stakeholders particularly in a bid to highlight the synergies between the D.E agenda and Agenda 2030
Enhancing knowledge sharing on the different global processes and their interrelation with the D.E agenda within the sector to increase CSO effectiveness
Conduct country baselines on relevant clauses of the NOD so as to fast track implementation
Revive thematic task forces at country level that can carry the D.E agenda effectively
Intensify meaningful and structured CSO involvement in government planning processes, programs, projects in a participatory role and not as observers in a bid to enhance inclusive partnerships
Promote mainstreaming of Human Rights Based Approach during identification of beneficiaries by focusing on the marginalized groups’ benefit in development programs.
Engage media in their countries in an effort to disseminate the Istanbul Principles
Undertake Resource mobilization to enhance roll out and effective participation of CSOs in country
Put in place monitoring and evaluation mechanisms that can evaluate progress of application of Istanbul Principles.
The discussions were organized into four main modules that drive development effectiveness:
MODULE I: Effective Development Cooperation: From Aid effectiveness to development effectiveness, Principles of Effective Development Cooperation, progress achieved thus far, The Nairobi Outcome document - Key commitments and achievements for CSOs and the very evident need to create an enabling environment
Mr. Vitalice Meja of Reality of Aid Africa network gave a good basis for understanding the transition process from aid to development effectiveness, weaknesses of the aid effectiveness agenda, what development cooperation should be about and the challenges that cumber this transition and how they can be tackled. Participants gave practical country experiences of these issues and deliberated on ways of moving forward from a realistic angle.
MODULE II: Knowledge sharing within the scope of Nairobi Commitments: Existing knowledge sharing mechanisms; what are they? Digging deeper into the monitoring process: What is the monitoring process? How does it work? How to track progress? Knowledge sharing within the Nairobi monitoring process and challenges
Madam Christine Andela of COSADER emphasized on the need to utilize knowledge sharing in a bid to strengthen the impact and thus results of our work. It was eminent that most network organizations expressed difficulties in facilitating knowledge sharing due to the lack of trust and hence the discussions focused on how this deadlock can be dealt with to ensure free flow of knowledge.
Module III: The Human Rights-Based Approach to the Nairobi monitoring process as a prerequisite in building an enabling environment
The two fold objective of the HRBA approach being participation and accountability formed the basis of the discussion on how the people need to be EMPOWERED while the capacity of the duty bearers requires strengthening in ensuring the people attain their rights.
Mr. Richard Ssewakiryanga of Uganda National NGO Forum took the participants through the need to employ a human rights based approach in their work in ensuring Nairobi commitments benefit the people.
Although most African countries have ratified key international conventions like the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights pertaining to these rights, almost all of these countries do not respect freedom of expression and freedom of public assemblies thereby creating a shrinking civic space CSOs in Africa.
However, respect for human rights is sine qua non to follow up the implementation of the Nairobi commitments. Strengthening participation through multi-stakeholder policy dialogue, empowerment, accountability, and non-discrimination should be the main pillars for development programs planning to ensure the harmonious development of all people.
MODULE IV: Strategizing on monitoring compliance to Istanbul Principles (IP) and accountability
This module tackled what the Istanbul principles were and their importance in ensuring the effectiveness of CSO work with a focus on accountability. This then drove the discussion to lobby and advocacy strategies for CSOs in their different country and sector perspectives and culminated in the drawing up of action plans at country level.
The workshop concluded with the confidence of each participant having understood clearly their role in the international development cooperation arena and armed with knowledge, skills and networks on furthering their effectiveness as Civil Society in East Africa. An action plan for monitoring progress was then developed by the participants that will assist Reality of Aid Africa create a follow up mechanism on the participating CSO partner commitments to enhance the D.E agenda.
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