South- south cooperation has been receiving attention in recent years. South-South cooperation has shown unprecedented dynamism in terms of trade, finance and investment thereby enhancing the productive capacities of developing countries hence contributing to long term economic growth and development.

The Bandung conference was a significant event in the initiation of principles such as economic win-win cooperation, mutual trust and political equality that provided a strong basis for SSC. Therefore, the underlying principles of SSC like respect for national sovereignty, national ownership and independence, equality and mutual benefit clearly shows exclusion of citizens, lack of transparency and accountability and promotion of commercial interests under the disguise of development assistance. The present-day model of south to south cooperation is characterized by unsustainable practices of production and consumption, monopolization of public services, non-environmental considerations in sectoral plans and programs and indecent jobs.[1]

 Moreover, South to south cooperation is mainly restricted to government to government affairs with no mention of citizens and civil society organizations participation in the development agenda despite being of great significance in the attainment of sustainable development goals. SSC tends to disengage from a more holistic approach to economic growth that involves the inclusion of people in development agenda so as to fulfill their full potential, contrarily it majorly focuses on extractive industries and public physical infrastructure.

The Busan Partnership agreement recognized Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) as important development actors in their own right. This is because CSOs play a crucial role in promoting government accountability and transparency, in representing the views of the marginalized and the poor and informing policy making with specialized knowledge and experience. However, in SSC agenda there’s little to no proof of CSOs involvement. Also, in many countries there are shrinking spaces for CSOs engagement. A lot of CSOs are facing opposition from the governments in the form of threats, attacks and legal harassment because governments are yet to see their meaningful input of participation in SSC agenda. For this reason, CSOs lack an enabling environment to operate and engage in the SSC agenda due to the antagonistic nature of the cooperation and also importance is given to trade, finance and investment processes and programs in this cooperation. CSOs participation in SSC agenda is essential and this is because CSOs ensures the needs and interests of citizens are better aligned with SSC agenda. And the fact the citizens are not only beneficiaries of development projects of SSC but also active players in the implementation processes, CSOs should partner with the government to create relevant institutional framework and legislation that will compliment their contributions in the development processes in their respective states.[2]

There is serious lack of transparency and accountability in SSC agenda. Reason being there is no availability and public accessibility of information on development process like aid information (terms &conditions), public financial management system and development results. The lack of transparency and paucity of information encourages corruption. Therefore, CSOs are unable to access information on aid flows and financial deals. This paralyses the citizens and CSOs efforts of demanding accountability from the government on the utilization of the finances and how beneficial the development projects are to the people, economy, society and the environment. This leaves citizens with the burden of repaying huge loans due to lack of transparency and accessibility of information. Therefore, without availability and accessibility of information there can be no meaningful participation in shaping policies and monitoring of development results of SSC from both the citizens and CSOs.[3]

Respect for national sovereignty as one of the guiding principles of SSC should not be used as a way of condoning human rights violations, corruption, bad governance and environmental destruction in host countries. In the same way, CSOs are not only advocating for a just society which is pro-poor but also on issues touching on human rights. CSOs have been critical about the practices of some of the Southern aid providers. For example, China provides development assistance in total disregard of the awful human rights history of some of their partner governments. Giving development assistance without paying attention to human rights violations, social and environmental considerations is accepting behaviors that are morally wrong and offensive in the interest of accessing a country’s resources. This approach has received a lot of criticism from the CSOs because it infringes the rights of citizens.[4]

From the above discussion it clears there’s no citizen involvement in South-South Development Cooperation agenda and also CSOs and the community are not supported in anyway in SSDC projects. This because SSC does not see the real value of participation of the above-mentioned actors. Therefore, the African CSOs together with the intergovernmental stakeholders came together to dialogue so as to have a joint position to influencing the outcome of the UN Second High Level Conference since the adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA) for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries. The Pan African CSO Conference under the underlying theme ‘African CSO Voice Towards A People’s collaborative Agenda on South - South Co-operation’ was a platform used by African CSO to consolidate their positions for the preparation of the UN Second-High level meeting (BAPA +40). The key priorities of the African CSO for the SSC Agenda was mainly to ensure a people centered approach which included the following:[5]

·         Adopt a people centered approach to South-South and Triangular cooperation. People are excluded in South-South cooperation agenda and yet they are important players in the achievement of development goals.

·         Create a mutistakeholder partnerships and Enabling Environment for relevant actors more so the CSO in the development process

·         Address the illicit financial flows in the South so as to prevent the loss of resources that will contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals in the continent

·         Address Youth Empowerment. Youth and children should be included in the development agendas because they are key development actors in their own right and majority of the population.

The BAPA + 40 Conference as a global platform gave opportunity to all relevant actors from Civil Society Organizations, Private Sector, National Governments and Multilateral Institutions to contribute to the Agenda of shaping the South-South cooperation and the triangular cooperation. Reality of Aid Africa Network together with CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness held a side event as members of the Southern CSO Alliance on South-South Cooperation to push for institutionalized support for CSO to be included in all South-South Cooperation processes and also promote a people centered approach to SSC agenda in a way that people are fully engaged in development agenda within the framework of solidarity, justice and mutuality. [6]

RECOMMNENDATIONS

In order to achieve a people-centered approach in South-South cooperation agenda both the Southern providers and partner countries must take responsibility on the quality and the impacts of South-south Development cooperation Agenda. The following recommendations when put in practice will ensure people are fully included in SSC agenda:

v  Development of strong policies and institutional frameworks by both parties that will promote democratic ownership of development process, transparency and achievement of development results that will contribute to poverty eradication and empower people.

v  People participation in SSC agenda should be institutionalized, promoted and supported through capacity building and financial resources.

v  Partner countries need to strengthen information systems to ensure greater disclosure and public oversight on aid flows, disbursements & expenditure considering the role of CSOs and citizen in the accountability processes.

v  CSOs should be funded so that they can be in a position to monitor and evaluate government projects and programs mainly on how development assistance impacts the citizens or not more so those living in extreme poverty.

v   Increase accountability to citizens and taxpayers through a more open and political space and improvements in media freedoms

v  The Southern providers and partner countries should work closely with CSOs to provide an enabling environment that maximizes their contribution to development.

CONCLUSION

In summary, people’s active participation in SSC agenda is paramount and lack of it clearly shows that human rights standards, instruments and principles are not guiding the SSC development process. Civil society organizations are important development actors in SSC agenda. Reason being citizens often speak through CSOs because CSOs are committed to holding the government accountable to its people. Due to restrictions from the government CSOs are unable to fully participate in development processes that will result to aid effectiveness. Therefore, there is need to fund and create an enabling environment for CSOs so that they can perform their role effectively.

 


[1] South Centre. (2009). South-South Cooperation Principles: An Essential Element in South-South Cooperation. Geneva: South Centre.

[2] Vaes, S (2013). ‘Time Out for Civil Society? BIC’ positions on the role of civil society in South-South cooperation with Africa. Leuven: KU Leuven; HIVA – Research Institute for Work and Society.

[3] Goss Gilroy, Inc. (2014). International Development Evaluation: Comparing DAC and Non-DAC Approaches. Beijing: United Nations Development Programme

[4] Mawdsley, E. (2014). Human Rights and South-South Development Cooperation: Reflections on the “Rising Powers” as International Development Actors. Human Rights Quarterly, 36 (3), 630-652

 

BY SCHILDER OMINDE

Published in Blog

CSO Nairobi Declaration

On the

Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation - Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

 

Preamble 

1. We, the Participants at the Pan African CSO conference on  “The Road to Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation under the theme African CSO Voice Towards A People’s collaborative Agenda on South - South Co-operation ’ held in Nairobi, Kenya on 30th – 31st  January 2019

2. Having come together as African Civil Society Organisations, women’s organisations, labour unions, faith based groups, youth and children and networks, in the spirit of solidarity and partnership and as key actors in the South – South  Development Co-operation  from 25 African countries with over 500 million citizens of Africa to consolidate our position in our preparation to the second High Level Meeting ;

3. Supportive of the collective position under the African political priorities for South-South Co-operation focused on the critical areas of regional dimension for South – South Co-operation, democratic ownership and citizen participation in mutual learning, and support for horizontal and triangular partnerships;

4. Reaffirming that if the citizens of Africa are to see transformational and sustainable change in quality of life, Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation, must place Africa’s priority for development, gender equality, youth and children’s empowerment, at the centre of its focus in the agenda. 

5. Concerned that the current state of the South-South Co-operation has failed to address important issues including conflict and political instability, conditionality, debt crisis, illicit financial flows, migration,  domestic accountability, citizen participation and shrinking civic space;

6. Concerned that Africa loses over USD 50 billion every year through illicit financial flows (IFFs), we urge governments to address the systemic global inequalities in the south, unfair tax regimes, tax evasion, trafficking, illegal dealings and corruption that fuel IFFs in the South. 

7. Noted that the principles from the Nairobi outcome document on UN South South and triangular co-operation principles remain critical for multistakeholder development in the implementation of nationally aligned SDGs as well as result measurement framework. SSC principle on Results based outcomes and mutual accountability must be consistent and aligned with the National Development Plans and their respective Results Frameworks for impact;

8. Recalled that the main objective for the adoption of the Nairobi outcome document embraced a multi-stakeholder approach, including non-governmental organizations, the private sector, civil society, academia and other actors that contribute to meeting development challenges and objectives in line with national development strategies and plans.

9. Noted with concern the lack of citizen ownership of the South-South Co-operation agenda, and the shrinking space for civil society in the global south and urge governments to recognize and promote Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) as critical actors in achieving all aspects of  South-South Cooperation and Agenda 2030 

 

Hereby; 

1. Underscore the importance of South–South Co-operation in promoting Africa’s integration and development; free movement of people, as well as movement of goods and services is critical to SSC but also in making Africa integrated as articulated in the Agenda 2063 and the African Common Market Free Trade Area. 

2. We call upon African governments to undertake a mapping of the potential of intra African trade. African countries and partners should invest more in implementing regional coordinating mechanisms especially the Abuja Treaty and the Lagos Plan of Action to spur development effectiveness.

3. We call for action to curb both supply and demand elements of illicit financial flows and deepen analysis of the revenue and social impact economic free zones and tax incentives on extractive industries in Africa and particularly in countries experiencing fragility and conflict.

4. Urge that the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation outcome promotes the attainment of the SDG agenda relevant to Africa’s needs as captured in Agenda 2063 and promote human rights based approach to, as well as social and environmental justice in its strategy and activities; 

5. Further Note that South-South Cooperation was yet  to lead to behavioral change and investment necessary for Africa’s transformative agenda and was instead leading to new debt build ups, environmental degradation,  illicit financial flows and lacking in domestic accountability

6. Urge for SSC to adopt a horizontal approach towards its co-operation with  a monitoring framework for South–South Cooperation reflecting the uniqueness of South-South Cooperation for political accountability and Call for  a political agreement on citizen participation and consultation with all stakeholders in its development agenda

7. Call for the strengthening of the country statistical capacity and institutional framework on data collection, use and publication on the development impact of South-South Cooperation

 

Key Priorities of African CSOs for South South Co-operation

We underscore that at the centre of South – South co-operation should be a more systematic improvement of individual and institutional capacity, supported by enabling policy frameworks; focusing on the harnessing of local capacities and strengthening of Africa’s development finance institutions, African research institutions and universities towards adding value to the Continent’s abundant natural resources.

 

1. Adopt a people Relevant South- South  and Triangular Co-operation

The current model of South – South Co-operation is based on unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, privatization of public services, exploitation of women’s labour poor working conditions, and indecent work. Furthermore citizen have not been incorporated in the SSC agenda despite their importance in the achievement of SDGs.  South - South Co-operation investments remains disconnected from the major sectors of the economy where majority of the citizens are found with major focus being restricted to public physical infrastructure and extractive industries. 

With this in mind, we:

• Demand that SSC investments pursue the development agenda that put peoples´ rights first and aligns to other progressive instruments for food security including; the Maputo Declaration on food and agriculture and key sectors where majority of citizen are found, 

• We call for Policies that ensure decent work based on employment opportunities, respect for labor rights, social protection, and social dialogue. We demand that SSC adheres to the principles of democratic ownership, transparency and accountability, inclusivity and development results

• We call for an integrated approach to the SSC Partnerships with governments committing resources for facilitating CSO capacity building in monitoring the development impact of SSC investments and capital flows. African countries must develop South-South cooperation strategies that are mainstreamed into their national development plans including through the establishment of South-South Cooperation coordination units at national, regional and continental levels. 

• Urge for deepening of the participation of women and girls as key development actors in the development, review, monitoring and  implementation of development policies 

• We oblige all the development actors to prioritize financing for gender equality and women’s rights including financing Women’s Rights Organisations especially from the Global South. 

• Note that provision of essential services such as health, education, housing, water and clean energy remained a core responsibility of the government to the majority of the poor of Africa and not to be outsourced to southern based private sector and urged African governments to exercise caution in developing Public Private Partnership arrangements on the provision of social services and public goods by companies

• Recognise the important role of the African domestic private sector and called for its support including through the creation of an enabling environment, facilitation of access to resources and capacity development. 

 

2. Create Multi-stakeholder partnerships and Enabling Environment

Multistakeholder partnerships and creation of enabling environment for non state actors particularly civil society remain in important in the achievement of SDGs and the realization of the leave no one behind principle. Strong legal and institutional framework is needed to set requirements to ensure inclusive partnerships and democratic ownership in the development agenda of  south – South Co-operation. In this regard we 

• Create enabling environment for civil society operation and engagement with the South – South Co-operation initiatives

• Ensure diverse representation from the civil society and in the design and implementation of  national development strategies; They should include CSOs in the advisory or decision-making bodies of their governments

• Provide access to information for effective multi-stakeholder dialogue. Urge governments to remove practical road-blocks including through institutional processes, which undermine CSO access to the correct, requested information on a timely basis.

• Commit to addressing the shrinking civic space for civil society Organisations  

 

3. Address the Illicit Financial Flows in the South

Illicit financial flows (IFFs) continue to pose development challenges for many countries of Africa. The continent currently loses over 50 billion dollars in illicit financial flows, resources that could contribute to the achievement of the SDGs and agenda 2063 when put into good use. Given the global nature of this menace, we call upon the Africa countries and countries of the South to play their role in ceiling the loop holes contributing the IFFs. 

We specifically; 

• Strengthen the capacity of Southern Countries including through setting up and running training facilities for tax administrators on trade mispricing; commodity tax evasion; secretive investment vehicles, drugs and arms transfers smugglings, money laundering, shelve companies, tackling corruption.

• Strengthen and deepen Co-operation on information sharing system and enact appropriate legislation to fight Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) 

• Strengthen citizen and CSO capacities to demand accountability from duty bearers including the owners of the companies. 

• Create and operate an observatory to monitor Illicit Financial flows within the framework of the South-South Cooperation

• Implement the core outcome recommendations on the Thambo Mbeki High panel  report on IFFs.

 

4. Address Youth Empowerment

Youth and Children make the majority of the population and hold the key to the future of sustainable development realization. Governments and regional economic blocs are called upon to develop trade policies that are responsive to youth entrepreneurs and create enabling environment for the youth and children as important development actors.

We hereby 

• Demand for supporting young people as partners in development and establishing structures that promote meaningful participation of youth. Urged for governments to put in place mechanisms for monitoring progress on measures taken to support youth in development and commitments to the SSC conference outcome on youth 

• Urge for trade and investment policies at regional and national levels to be friendly to young women and youth investors/entrepreneurs. 

• Reiterate that investment in children has high economic and social returns, which will have future positive outcomes for women and youth and all segments of the human populations in the South. 

• Urge governments to ensure that national budgets are child sensitive, through the involvement of children and child focused organizations in the budgeting cycle. 

 

We commit ourselves to the following:

1. Undertake to engage fully with the forthcoming second High Level Meeting to promote and champion the interests and concerns of the African citizens.

1. Organize impactful event to deliver the Africa Civil Society Common Position for the second High Level Meeting

2. Popularize and strengthen a national platform to monitor the implementation of Buenos Aires outcome on the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation.

3. Continue to work with all government and other development partners in building capacity of all partners to engage meaningfully in the South-South Cooperation agenda across Africa

 

Published in News & Features

CSO Nairobi Declaration

On the

Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation - Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

 

Preamble 

1. We, the Participants at the Pan African CSO conference on  “The Road to Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation under the theme African CSO Voice Towards A People’s collaborative Agenda on South - South Co-operation ’ held in Nairobi, Kenya on 30th – 31st  January 2019

2. Having come together as African Civil Society Organisations, women’s organisations, labour unions, faith based groups, youth and children and networks, in the spirit of solidarity and partnership and as key actors in the South – South  Development Co-operation  from 25 African countries with over 500 million citizens of Africa to consolidate our position in our preparation to the second High Level Meeting ;

3. Supportive of the collective position under the African political priorities for South-South Co-operation focused on the critical areas of regional dimension for South – South Co-operation, democratic ownership and citizen participation in mutual learning, and support for horizontal and triangular partnerships;

4. Reaffirming that if the citizens of Africa are to see transformational and sustainable change in quality of life, Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation, must place Africa’s priority for development, gender equality, youth and children’s empowerment, at the centre of its focus in the agenda. 

5. Concerned that the current state of the South-South Co-operation has failed to address important issues including conflict and political instability, conditionality, debt crisis, illicit financial flows, migration,  domestic accountability, citizen participation and shrinking civic space;

6. Concerned that Africa loses over USD 50 billion every year through illicit financial flows (IFFs), we urge governments to address the systemic global inequalities in the south, unfair tax regimes, tax evasion, trafficking, illegal dealings and corruption that fuel IFFs in the South. 

7. Noted that the principles from the Nairobi outcome document on UN South South and triangular co-operation principles remain critical for multistakeholder development in the implementation of nationally aligned SDGs as well as result measurement framework. SSC principle on Results based outcomes and mutual accountability must be consistent and aligned with the National Development Plans and their respective Results Frameworks for impact;

8. Recalled that the main objective for the adoption of the Nairobi outcome document embraced a multi-stakeholder approach, including non-governmental organizations, the private sector, civil society, academia and other actors that contribute to meeting development challenges and objectives in line with national development strategies and plans.

9. Noted with concern the lack of citizen ownership of the South-South Co-operation agenda, and the shrinking space for civil society in the global south and urge governments to recognize and promote Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) as critical actors in achieving all aspects of  South-South Cooperation and Agenda 2030 

 

Hereby; 

1. Underscore the importance of South–South Co-operation in promoting Africa’s integration and development; free movement of people, as well as movement of goods and services is critical to SSC but also in making Africa integrated as articulated in the Agenda 2063 and the African Common Market Free Trade Area. 

2. We call upon African governments to undertake a mapping of the potential of intra African trade. African countries and partners should invest more in implementing regional coordinating mechanisms especially the Abuja Treaty and the Lagos Plan of Action to spur development effectiveness.

3. We call for action to curb both supply and demand elements of illicit financial flows and deepen analysis of the revenue and social impact economic free zones and tax incentives on extractive industries in Africa and particularly in countries experiencing fragility and conflict.

4. Urge that the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation outcome promotes the attainment of the SDG agenda relevant to Africa’s needs as captured in Agenda 2063 and promote human rights based approach to, as well as social and environmental justice in its strategy and activities; 

5. Further Note that South-South Cooperation was yet  to lead to behavioral change and investment necessary for Africa’s transformative agenda and was instead leading to new debt build ups, environmental degradation,  illicit financial flows and lacking in domestic accountability

6. Urge for SSC to adopt a horizontal approach towards its co-operation with  a monitoring framework for South–South Cooperation reflecting the uniqueness of South-South Cooperation for political accountability and Call for  a political agreement on citizen participation and consultation with all stakeholders in its development agenda

7. Call for the strengthening of the country statistical capacity and institutional framework on data collection, use and publication on the development impact of South-South Cooperation

 

Key Priorities of African CSOs for South South Co-operation

We underscore that at the centre of South – South co-operation should be a more systematic improvement of individual and institutional capacity, supported by enabling policy frameworks; focusing on the harnessing of local capacities and strengthening of Africa’s development finance institutions, African research institutions and universities towards adding value to the Continent’s abundant natural resources.

 

1. Adopt a people Relevant South- South  and Triangular Co-operation

The current model of South – South Co-operation is based on unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, privatization of public services, exploitation of women’s labour poor working conditions, and indecent work. Furthermore citizen have not been incorporated in the SSC agenda despite their importance in the achievement of SDGs.  South - South Co-operation investments remains disconnected from the major sectors of the economy where majority of the citizens are found with major focus being restricted to public physical infrastructure and extractive industries. 

With this in mind, we:

• Demand that SSC investments pursue the development agenda that put peoples´ rights first and aligns to other progressive instruments for food security including; the Maputo Declaration on food and agriculture and key sectors where majority of citizen are found, 

• We call for Policies that ensure decent work based on employment opportunities, respect for labor rights, social protection, and social dialogue. We demand that SSC adheres to the principles of democratic ownership, transparency and accountability, inclusivity and development results

• We call for an integrated approach to the SSC Partnerships with governments committing resources for facilitating CSO capacity building in monitoring the development impact of SSC investments and capital flows. African countries must develop South-South cooperation strategies that are mainstreamed into their national development plans including through the establishment of South-South Cooperation coordination units at national, regional and continental levels. 

• Urge for deepening of the participation of women and girls as key development actors in the development, review, monitoring and  implementation of development policies 

• We oblige all the development actors to prioritize financing for gender equality and women’s rights including financing Women’s Rights Organisations especially from the Global South. 

• Note that provision of essential services such as health, education, housing, water and clean energy remained a core responsibility of the government to the majority of the poor of Africa and not to be outsourced to southern based private sector and urged African governments to exercise caution in developing Public Private Partnership arrangements on the provision of social services and public goods by companies

• Recognise the important role of the African domestic private sector and called for its support including through the creation of an enabling environment, facilitation of access to resources and capacity development. 

 

2. Create Multi-stakeholder partnerships and Enabling Environment

Multistakeholder partnerships and creation of enabling environment for non state actors particularly civil society remain in important in the achievement of SDGs and the realization of the leave no one behind principle. Strong legal and institutional framework is needed to set requirements to ensure inclusive partnerships and democratic ownership in the development agenda of  south – South Co-operation. In this regard we 

• Create enabling environment for civil society operation and engagement with the South – South Co-operation initiatives

• Ensure diverse representation from the civil society and in the design and implementation of  national development strategies; They should include CSOs in the advisory or decision-making bodies of their governments

• Provide access to information for effective multi-stakeholder dialogue. Urge governments to remove practical road-blocks including through institutional processes, which undermine CSO access to the correct, requested information on a timely basis.

• Commit to addressing the shrinking civic space for civil society Organisations  

 

3. Address the Illicit Financial Flows in the South

Illicit financial flows (IFFs) continue to pose development challenges for many countries of Africa. The continent currently loses over 50 billion dollars in illicit financial flows, resources that could contribute to the achievement of the SDGs and agenda 2063 when put into good use. Given the global nature of this menace, we call upon the Africa countries and countries of the South to play their role in ceiling the loop holes contributing the IFFs. 

We specifically; 

• Strengthen the capacity of Southern Countries including through setting up and running training facilities for tax administrators on trade mispricing; commodity tax evasion; secretive investment vehicles, drugs and arms transfers smugglings, money laundering, shelve companies, tackling corruption.

• Strengthen and deepen Co-operation on information sharing system and enact appropriate legislation to fight Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) 

• Strengthen citizen and CSO capacities to demand accountability from duty bearers including the owners of the companies. 

• Create and operate an observatory to monitor Illicit Financial flows within the framework of the South-South Cooperation

• Implement the core outcome recommendations on the Thambo Mbeki High panel  report on IFFs.

 

4. Address Youth Empowerment

Youth and Children make the majority of the population and hold the key to the future of sustainable development realization. Governments and regional economic blocs are called upon to develop trade policies that are responsive to youth entrepreneurs and create enabling environment for the youth and children as important development actors.

We hereby 

• Demand for supporting young people as partners in development and establishing structures that promote meaningful participation of youth. Urged for governments to put in place mechanisms for monitoring progress on measures taken to support youth in development and commitments to the SSC conference outcome on youth 

• Urge for trade and investment policies at regional and national levels to be friendly to young women and youth investors/entrepreneurs. 

• Reiterate that investment in children has high economic and social returns, which will have future positive outcomes for women and youth and all segments of the human populations in the South. 

• Urge governments to ensure that national budgets are child sensitive, through the involvement of children and child focused organizations in the budgeting cycle. 

 

We commit ourselves to the following:

1. Undertake to engage fully with the forthcoming second High Level Meeting to promote and champion the interests and concerns of the African citizens.

1. Organize impactful event to deliver the Africa Civil Society Common Position for the second High Level Meeting

2. Popularize and strengthen a national platform to monitor the implementation of Buenos Aires outcome on the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation.

3. Continue to work with all government and other development partners in building capacity of all partners to engage meaningfully in the South-South Cooperation agenda across Africa

 

Published in Reports

The Secretariat is pleased to announce that the 2018 ROA Report is finally out! While waiting for the printed copy of both the abridged and full versions, please download your e-copy of the abridged version at: http://www.realityofaid.org/roa_report/the-changing-faces-of-development-aid-and-cooperation-abridged/

Special thanks to our writer-content editor Brian Tomlinson, managing editor Erin Palomares, editorial assistant Neri Gueta and layout artist Jennifer Padilla for all the hard work!

Published in News & Features

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.

Published in News & Features

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.

Published in News & Features

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.

Published in Publications

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

UNDCF EVENT 2014

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.

 

Published in Blog

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.

Published in Reports
FaLang translation system by Faboba