This publication is a synthesis report which documents the level of preparedness for the Busan Agenda among Youth and Child Rights civil society organisations (CSOs) in four countries, namely: Kenya, Swaziland, Tanzania and South Africa. The report was commissioned by Reality of Aid-Africa (RoA-A) as part of its oversight role over[RA1] monitoring the commitments of governments and their development partners over the Busan Agenda to[RA2] usher an enabling environment for effective development.
ROA-A is of the position that the capacity of Youth and Child Rights CSOs to engage in a multi stakeholder framework at the national level must be strengthened. To achieve this, African governments need to fully implement their commitment on enabling CSOs to exercise their role as independent development actors, with emphasis on improving their legal and regulatory framework. In this regard, relevant legal, institutional and structural frameworks must be reformed for this to take effect.
The continent’s CSO preparedness towards the implementation of the Busan Agenda at regional and national levels remains paramount. This is largely because the region has the largest concentration of countries that receive aid. It is also a region where the legal framework and the working environment for CSOs is increasingly becoming disenabling. Therefore, it is important to design relevant strategies to exploit the opportunities provided for in the Busan outcome context while simultaneously guarding against the threats it poses to CSO work in Africa.
Six years after the signing of the Busan Agenda Framework in 2011, and nine years after the Accra Agenda on Action Aid Effectiveness meeting[RA3] , presents an opportune moment to assess the progress made toward the two milestones’ commitments. This is undertaken through analysis of the working social, economic and legal environment in Africa. Africa remains critical for such a study because the region stands to benefit the most, should the Busan Agenda become a reality.
The first part of the report highlights the findings on the status of Universal Rights within each of the four countries. The study found that, because the four countries have freedoms and universal rights entrenched in their constitutions, this evidently had ushered in some degree of liberty for the Youth and Child Rights CSOs to form, register and operate. This was however juxtaposed with a steady shrinkage of operational space. The research[RA4] showed that his conjecture was related to how governments dichotomised CSOs into service providers, versus the governance and accountability organisations and categorized them under the friend/enemy binary. The result was a negative tension between government and those viewed as the enemy of the state.
The following section highlights CSO relations with government emphasising how government apparatus responded to criticism particularly from Youth and Child Rights CSOs. The study iterates the adverse actions that government took, which included intimidation, invocation of state security terrorism threats and/or public disturbance, as justification for suspension of CSO members’ human rights.
The section on Policy Influencing highlights how each of the governments has made progress in including CSOs in policy processes. While there was no contestation in terms of the goals set by the Busan Outcome in this context, the study illuminates the many challenges in optimising this undertaking. Key, are challenges pertaining to Youth and Child Rights CSOs’ capacity, organisational, geographic reach and location and inaccurate representation of CSO’ s policy input.
This is followed by a section on findings on Donor and CSO relations. These unveiled how the topic remains a highly-contested site, which evokes emotive narratives around difference and abuse of power, reminiscent of colonial and settlers’ dichotomy. Part of the contestation is evident around the alleged lack of commitment by multilateral and international donors in seeing the Busan Agenda through. Many Youth and Child Rights CSOs research respondents felt that donors had not taken any concrete transformative steps to meet the agenda requirements.
The last part of the report lists the recommendations directed at all stakeholders: governments, CSOs, constituencies, local and international donors and aims to elicit a reflective process at all stages, initiating some measure of redress to bring Busan Outcome’s objective of effective aid closer to reality.
The African Effective Development Co-operation Community of Practice Meeting was initiated with the welcoming remarks provided by Mr. Lamin M. Manneh, as UNDP Regional Service Center Director for Africa. In his remarks, Mr. Manneh, insisted on the importance of reinforcing the African Community of Practice on Development Effectiveness, underlying the specific needs of African countries and the unfinished business related to the implementations of Effective Development Cooperation principles at country level.
Consequently, the Agenda and overall scope of the meeting was presented to the 46 participants and each of them introduced themselves indicating the name of the country they represented, their institution and the key objective for them in this meeting.
The full report can be downloaded via the link below.
Interview with Vitalice Meja on the Future of development Cooperation in the post-2015 era
Bringing the future of the development cooperation to post 2015 era
1.What is the future of development cooperation particularly in Africa?
Development cooperation scope is shifting focus from the north-south approach to a more south-south approach.
This cooperation will only develop well if nurtured depending on the level of preparedness, creating an enabling environment and ensuring that a strong institutional and policy framework is in place that caters for all the major players involved.
2.Are you satisfied with the progress in strengthening effective development cooperation? What milestones do you feel the event achieved and what challenges are still looming in the development cooperation progress?
Progress in strengthening the effective development cooperation has been very little. As we are well aware African governments are signatories to the Busan framework that calls for domestic ownership, transparency and accountability and partnerships for development. Having this in mind then we see that there is a lack of operative and clear frameworks to domesticate ownership. The lack of accountability waters down the measurement of results. An inclusive framework is vital going forward. It is evident that CSOs are facing shrinking space and lack an enabling environment despite their significant role in the development agenda as they directly engage with the world’s citizens in poverty eradication. As CSOs were reiterate the increasing urgency and need for governments to view the CSO community as partners in development cooperation and hence assist the efforts of our work.
Regarding milestones, there have been great strides towards this agenda. We see that governments have instituted reforms around public finance management systems. Strong accountability institutions have been created and increased transparency in budgetary processes has been strengthened effective development cooperation.
Above all, setting the agenda for development has been an important step in ensuring eradication of poverty and stimulating industrial reforms.
Response to donors
3.Why is Monitoring and Accountability in development cooperation so important?
Monitoring and accountability helps to assess the impact of the development projects. With a proper framework we are able to measure, change tact through midterm reviews, get feedback from the public and ensure that the projects implemented are people centered. It is important that the monitoring and accountability framework is participatory to harness reviews that will assist in developing better poverty eradication strategies that are relevant and effective.
4.How can CSOs engage effectively in development cooperation? What is their role?
The civil society organizations are central to this agenda as 99 percent of their work is geared towards eradication of poverty. Therefore, they are central to this call and hence are a voice from the grass roots which is essential in ensuring that the development projects and frameworks put in place are actually relevant, well executed and effective to the development agenda. These groups engage in neglected matters that are vital to an inclusive approach to development cooperation.
Vitalice Meja is the Coordinator of the Reality of Aid Africa Network, a pan African initiative that focuses on lobby and advocacy for poverty eradication policies in the international aid system and development cooperation.
The Africa Action Plan on Development Effectiveness with key priorities for development cooperation is inspired by the vision of the African Union of “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena”.
The Action Plan is based on the Continent’s development priorities as expressed by the African Union Agenda 2063, the Constitutive Act of the African Union and NEPAD, the 2011 African Consensus and Position on Development Effectiveness, as well as, regional and continental consultations held in preparation for the First High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership of Effective Development Cooperation.
- Towards an Enabling Environment for Youth and Child Rights Civil Society Organisations: A Synthesis Report Written on Wednesday, 16 May 2018 07:54
- African Effective Development Co-operation Community of Practice Meeting Report Written on Wednesday, 16 May 2018 07:50
- CALL FOR PROPOSALS: DEVELOPMENT RESULTS OF PRIVATE SECTOR PROJECTS FINANCED THROUGH OFFICIAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE Written on Thursday, 08 February 2018 06:30
- INCLUSIVE PARTNERSHIPS MULTISTAKEHOLDER VALIDATION/ WORKSHOP IN CAMEROON Written on Monday, 24 April 2017 07:31
- Civil Society statement on the Second High Level Meeting (HLM2) of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC) Written on Thursday, 08 December 2016 06:31