The CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) Asia secretariat The Reality of Aid-Asia Pacific (RoA-AP) has successfully organised CPDE CSO Aid Observatorio Workshops held May 25, 27, and June 1, 2021. Over the course of three days, civil society organisations (CSOs) from Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa , Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia took part in the capacity development initiative aimed at advancing people’s research to strengthen civil society.
Guided by the CSO Aid Observatorio Handbook, the content of the workshop covered four modules: Aid and Development Cooperation Concepts and Principles, People’s Research in Development Cooperation, Data Sourcing and Management, and Dissemination and Popularization.
The handbook can be downloaded here in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian, Bahasa, and Nepali.
The Aid Observatorio is a CSO-initiated and maintained database of development projects funded through the Official Development Assistance (ODA) or international financial institutions (IFIs). It offers on-ground narratives and evidence-based analysis of development projects in fragile nations and developing countries.
The workshop aimed to create a space as interactive as possible, providing opportunities for rich discussions and sharing of best practices between CSOs for setting up research-related projects. Activities were conducted in smaller groups and consisted of applying the harnessed research, monitoring, and analysis skills to existing or potential development projects.
With the high level of engagement from the organisations and the enthusiastic feedback received from participants, CPDE intends to conduct more of these capacity development activities.
At the end of the Workshop, it is hoped that the participants are able to:
- Reflect the transformations in the aid architecture and development cooperation;
- Situate development cooperation concepts and examples in the current context;
- Discuss new challenges and emerging trends in development cooperation policies and practices;
- Encourage CSOs to practice re-imagined ways of aid monitoring and policy engagement;
- Harness CSOs’ capacities to develop national-level CSO Aid Observatorio Platform; and
- Adapt or modify the global workshop program to conduct national-level CSO Aid Observatorio Workshop.
With the ultimate goal of upholding Effective Development Cooperation (EDC) principles, the CSO Aid Observatorio Platform is an excellent opportunity to strengthen the role of CSOs by equipping them with the research and analytical capacities to hold governments, donor institutions and other stakeholders accountable in development decision-making processes.
The overall objectives of the CSO Aid Observatorio Platform are to:
- Promote awareness and transparency on the management of aid by recipient governments and other development cooperation providers;
- Aid research and analysis on the trends and impacts of development projects and public-private partnerships;
- Assist engagement of CSOs with recipient and donor governments and other providers for the effective and efficient use of public funds and for the protection of human rights and democracy;
- Assist advocacy campaigns of communities or grassroots and peoples’ organizations for the assertion of their democratic rights and for seeking transparency and accountability from governments and other providers; and
- Facilitate shared learning and discourse among CSOs, policymakers, academia, media, and activists for the promotion of a human rights-based, people-powered sustainable development and forwarding of critical solutions or recommendations.
To learn more about the platform, visit: https://realityofaid.org/cso-aid-observatorio/.#