Fifteen CSO focal points drawn from Benin, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Senegal, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia convened to map-out key action points from 27th February to 1st March 2018 in Lusaka Zambia.
A key objective of the meeting were to prepare the sub-region’s CSOs to engage meaningfully with the government, donors, private sector, parliaments and other relevant stakeholders committed to implement the Nairobi Outcome Document on effective development cooperation (EDC).
The meeting also aimed to equip CSOs with the capacity to monitor the progress of implementation of the Nairobi commitments on development effectiveness, including democratic ownership and human rights-based approach to development.
CSOs were also trained in monitoring compliance to the Istanbul Principles and CSO accountability.
Domestication of the Busan Principles have been at a very slow pace necessitating the need for CSOs to understand the changes in the development cooperation architecture affecting their countries in the last 13 years since the 2005 Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness.
Today, CSOs are no longer just mere actors monitoring government’s implementation but also hold a set of commitments to which their constituencies can hold them to account. To be an effective participant in development, the group agreed that CSOs must assert for an enabling environment as well as monitor private sector commitments within the development effectiveness agenda.
During the monitoring exercises, member-CSOs were cautioned to scrutinize the country situation and not just respond from their personal point of view as Country Focal points representing other CSOs’ point of view. The importance of having a shared understanding of what an enabling environment meant for CSOs was also underscored .
The importance of linking principles of aid effectiveness with the SDGs, using platforms for SDG discussions to create awareness on EDC principles and the role of gender equality in the development effectiveness agenda.
Key action points that were identified were the need to conduct National CSO Dialogue on Monitoring Modules for Consensus Building, organize sub-regional meetings to define and implement development effectiveness roadmaps and ensure that all principles are localized to the community levels.