Pojoaju Paraguay’s NGOs Association
Which is the most significant and paradigmatic story of a development
partnership that you have experienced?
On the occasion of the second monitoring round of the commitments reached in Busan, at the initiative of the Paraguay's NGOs Association, some meetings were held at the beginning of the process with the Presidency of the Republic of Paraguay's Technical Secretariat for Economic and Social Development Planning, in which the steps for the preparation of the report on the Busan commitments were jointly drawn up. Subsequently, they invited UNDP Paraguay to take part in the second monitoring round. UNDP representatives were amazed by how the country was working on that issue; the State and Civil Society's level of information; and the progress made in terms of dialogue and joint work actions. Thus, they agreed to join and support the initiative.
During the drafting of the country report, the STP committed to refer the part of the report concerning the Civil Society to the Paraguay's NGOs Association, so that the Association could include its own contributions and remarks. Said contributions were assumed by the STP and were incorporated in their entirety in the country report. This is a surprising and unexpected fact, considering that the level of dialogue between the Civil Society and the Paraguay Government's social movements in other areas is not especially smooth.
The most significant aspect of this experience is the openness of the STP's Cooperation team to dialogue, design the working meetings, and coordinate joint actions with the rest of the actors involved throughout the second monitoring round.
This has enabled the State institutions, cooperators, and CSOs to open an unprecedented space for dialogue. Furthermore, World Bank representatives in Asuncion also committed to support the new space. This open space for dialogue will remain active in the future, since it is expected to hold at least two annual meetings with the participation of the State, the Civil Society and Cooperation representatives in the country. Two training sessions on SDGs and financing for development have been scheduled for the members of the cooperation teams working within the cooperation directorate of different ministries. The STP and Pojoaju will be in charge of this training, supported by UNDP.
The launch of this space for dialogue debate has been made possible thanks to the good will and the wide experience of those in charge of the STP's Cooperation Directorate. Therefore, there is no possibility to predict whether it will be institutionally and sustainably preserved after the replacement of the Directorate's members. In other fields, the lines of dialogue between the current government and civil society are not, in fact, lines of dialogue, but lines of confrontation, criminalization of social protest, persecution of human rights defenders, and even de-legitimization made by several political role models for CSOs' work. Unfortunately, the national authorities do not acknowledge publicly the contribution of CSOs to democracy, human rights, and development.
How was the process of Monitoring this Development Partnership?
Paraguay has participated in the second monitoring round of the 10 indicators established to monitor the commitments made in Busan with the aim to strengthen the effectiveness of development cooperation, promoted by the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC). It is worth mentioning that Paraguay did not participate in the first round held in 2013-2014. A working team made up of a set of focal points —the Ministry of Finance, the Technical Secretariat of for Economic and Social Development Planning, and the Paraguay's Pojoaju NGOs Association— was constituted in order to launch the second round. The first working meetings took place in February 2016. Representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNDP Paraguay, and the World Bank also joined this initial working team.
Furthermore, representatives of several agencies and bodies of the Paraguayan State, international cooperation agencies, and CSOs representatives attended the first inter-agency meeting held in March 2016.
The main objective of this first interinstitutional and cross-sectoral meeting was to bring together some reflections made by cooperation organizations in the country, CSO organizations, and State agencies on the current situation and the perspectives of development cooperation in Paraguay, with a view to drafting
the country report to be prepared by the State on the basis of the monitoring indicators for Aid Effectiveness agreed by the Busan Partnership in 2011. Specifically, the meeting sought to generate inputs on the progress, setbacks, and impasses of development cooperation effectiveness from the perspective of indicators 2 and 4.
Several working meetings were held with the focal points team in order to draft the report and perform the necessary adjustments. After that, they carried out a process of consultation, revisions, and adjustments on the country report.
The report mentions each one of the ten indicators, and it is based on the data obtained from the different sectors that make up the Partnership in the country.
The private sector did not participate in the meetings or in the spaces of dialogue, even though the STP consulted this sector throughout the drafting process of the report.
A second interinstitutional meeting was held in July 2016 aimed at presenting the national results and defining the main challenges and actions to be addressed over the next two years.
Which was the monitoring role of the CSOs?
The NGOs Association of Paraguay (Pojoaju) has played a very active role in the process, carrying out advocacy actions with the State and cooperation specialists in order to generate collective reflections and create a joint working agenda involving all the actors —the State, cooperation specialists, and CSOs. The association has actively participated in the dialogue generated and has advocated for the transparency of the process the participation of CSOs in the monitoring of the second round. Work is at an early stage. We hope to carry out further actions to strengthen the role of CSOs in this process.
What type of monitoring of government-led DPs is occurring in your country?
Open to all stakeholders,
and include their ideas
Open to all stakeholders, but doesn’t include their ideas
Open to a few, chosen stakeholders, and include their ideas
Open to a few, chosen stakeholders, but does not include their ideas
Not open at all
Which are the actors or development agents that had participated in
the Development partnership that you describe in this story?
The two inter-agency meetings held on the occasion of the second monitoring round brought together the cooperation offices working on the three powers of the State —Executive, Legislative and Judicial powers— at the national level; several CSOs identified by the NGOs Association of Paraguay; and various cooperation agencies present in Paraguay. The private sector did not take part in these tripartite inter-agency meetings with the participation of the State, CSOs and cooperation partners. However, the STP held a bilateral dialogue with the private sector.
How could you define the dialogue process between the
multistakeholders involved in the Development Partnership?
Lack of proper listening, cycling the same arguments, no learning.
Encouraging listening and taking voices into account
Could you explain how the four-development effectiveness principles were used
as monitoring criteria in the experience you are presenting?
By clicking on the round circles in the graphic you could read more about how the principle has been used.
Key Primary Tool
Principle not used in the monitoring
The exercise carried out during the second monitoring round was based upon these four principles, as opposed to the implementation of the Busan commitments and their subsequent actions, which did not take said principles into account.
Ownership of development priorities by developing counties
Recipient countries define the development model that they want to implement.
Focus on results
Having a sustainable impact should be the driving force behind investments and effort in development policy making
Partnerships for development
Development depends on the participation of all actors, and recognises the diversity and complementarity of their functions.
Transparency and shared responsibility
Development co-operation must be transparent and accountable to all citizens.
How has the Human Rights Based Approach been used as
monitoring criteria in the monitoring experience you are describing?
CSOshave used the Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) as a monitoring standard during the review of the report. Nevertheless, many public sector workers who hold political, managerial, or even technical positions are not aware of this approach, making dialogue difficult. In this sense, there is a need to work on a whole line of development effectiveness, SDGs, and HRBA.
How did the government or other stakeholders react after
you have presented the monitoring initiative/some monitoring results?
The Government has acknowledged that there are limitations, since this is the first time that this exercise on the second monitoring round is being performed. Moreover, participation in this exercise is open to CSOs and cooperating institutions and thus, the Government sees this work as an opportunity to make progress on the international commitments undertook in 2011 —before the current government came to power in 2013.
Monitoring experiences from CSOs like the one in my story happen in my country...
Rarely, given that there is little practice regarding accountability and the effective participation of CSOs in the decision-making processes of the current governments. While it is true that Paraguay has an act on access to public information —which enlarges the access to information, decision-making processes have no clear mechanisms for CSOs participation. One of the CSOs' missions consists in drafting shadow reports for have as a practice run reports shadows for various UN's working committees on Human Rights. However, they do not draft this kind of reports on this specific filed of development cooperation.
Which capacities do you consider as key in order to realise this monitoring experience?
Capacity to relate, by participation in coalitions and networks of CSOs to engage engaging at multiple levels,
with the community and a variety of stakeholders
Capacity to foster dialogue with government and other stakeholder. Convene around a common landscape
Communication and outreach capacity. Counting with media in reaching and influencing public opinion.
Capacity to conduct evidence-based research and policy papers.
Capacity to commit and act, through a well-elaborated strategy for lobby and advocacy.
Capacity to conduct Lobby and Advocacy representing right-holders, from a legitimate, accountable and trustworthy representation.
Capability to mobilise public support and create and maintain operational space. Contributing to the public debate and maintain legitimacy of representation.
Capability to ensure organisational sustainability (with financial sustainability and capability to attract and retain qualified staff)
Capacity to adapt and renew, pro-act to changing external contexts. Organizations should be able to monitor changing circumstances and respond accordingly.
Capacity of culture of learning and innovation in the organisation. Developing an own learning agenda
The capacity grown through the organisation trajectory:
Pojoaju is a flagship entity working at the national and the international level. Thus, it is a valid CSO interlocutor to work on issues of development, democracy, and human rights, as well as the enabling environment for CSOs' work in the country.
Pojoaju's working team has extensive knowledge on the issues regarding the second monitoring round exercise and particularly, on issues of development and international cooperation, as well as citizen participation, accountability, and human rights.
Which are, in your opinion, the capacities needed to conduct a good monitoring of Development partnerships?
The major need is to have sustainable economic resources in order to monitor the Partnerships' actions and have a greater impact on them.
To which extent has this experience been articulated through networks and
shared at regional level in other countries?
We have shared this experience thanks to the meeting processes organized with the Articulation Board for Latin America and the Caribbean along with ALOP, in several meetings held with organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean. We have been able to share our experience with other organizations from other countries, particularly with the CPDE.
Which is the projection of the organisation/network at the moment
in their national and international context?
The main expectation is to keep drafting studies, reports and advocacy actions while monitoring the Busan commitments and the Istanbul principles within the new SDGs framework. To do so, the Paraguayan National Development Plan for 2030 serves as a working tool along with the UN recommendations on Human Rights related to the country's most vulnerable groups. We hope that after the meeting in Nairobi, we will have a clearer global and regional roadmap that will enable us to make adjustments at the national and the local level in order to perform an effective monitoring of this working process.