At the CPDE All-Country Meeting held in Paris, France last 15-17 March 2023, 14 of the global civil society platform’s country partners committed to do effective development cooperation advocacy work at the national level.
The meeting aimed to gather country inputs for CPDE’s new Strategic Plan, improve the understanding and ways of working of CPDE country work, and define ways forward to deliver value-adding results for country EDC advocacy. The agenda, presentations, and session designs were heavily informed by a survey on Organisational Competencies, Good Practices and Challenges of Country CSOs filled out by the participants before the activity.
Activities included inputs on the context of implementation, which updated participants on the state of country work for the past two years and lessons learned, network management and capacity development for country work, which clarified unit responsibilities in supporting country work, and discussed capacity development challenges and lessons.
Regional caucuses were also held 1) to determine ways for improving regions’ ownership of country work implementation, the role of the GS; and coordination with the regional and global secretariats, and 2) to define and agree on approaches for improving in-country engagement among CPDE members, involvement of sectors and other thematic groups, and collaboration with other CSO platforms.
The global secretariat also presented the initial iteration of the CPDE Strategic Plan 2024-2026, titled Build Trust to Forge Unities and Motivate Decisive Actions in Advancing Effective Development Cooperation, and gathered feedback from the partners.
Functional sessions featured inputs on Policy and Advocacy and Communications. The Policy Team provided the country partners an introduction to Evidence-Based Advocacy (EBA), through sessions on 1) data generation (with the GPEDC Monitoring framework and the CPDE Annual VNR Study as examples); 2) using and producing data to develop informed advocacy (with member’s and TF’s initiatives as examples: Engaging evidence gathering processes (Albania’s National CSOs engaged in monitoring, and Reality of Aid’s Analysing and interpreting data to support advocacy objectives through the Aid Observatorio; and 3) implementing EBA at country-level work. The last session discussed the low evidence-based engagement and possible reasons while trying to determine solutions, established a baseline of advocacy capacities, and identified challenges to country-level EDC advocacy.
Meanwhile, the communications session presented an overview of the communications tools and requirements for country work, discussed common challenges in communications for country work, formulated recommendations to improve communications for country work, and promoted inter-constituency and inter-country collaboration and support in communications work. Identified capacity gaps include resources to maintain staffing complementation and increase visibility, skills in such tasks as content creation and digital/social media, lack of unified terminologies being communicated to target audience/s, and lack of systems/mechanisms to monitor and measure impact of external communications
For the last day, the participants were equipped with deeper understanding of the CPDE country results framework, and the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) tools and processes. Presentations included the relevant country results indicators, initial assessment of implementing the new M&E guidelines, and relevant evaluation findings on CPDE M&E practice. The session also validated existing and defined additional relevant country success indicators in the strategic plan.
Finally, the meeting presented and validated the survey results on project management and financial sustainability along with proposed ways forward, established the added value of CPDE as a country sub-grantor, and drew an agreement among the country partners and the CPDE Global Secretariat regarding recommendations on delivering more effective country work for effective development cooperation.
The CPDE All-Country Meeting participants included MacDonald Munyoro of Zimbabwe, Simekinala Kaluzi of Malawi, Jennifer Guste of the Philippines, Josephine Joseph of India, Klotilda Kosta of Albania, Ruben Quintanilla of El Salvador, Gabriela Murillo Paz of Bolivia, Marita Gonzalez of Argentina, Ondo Elibiyo Sentiment of Gabon, Iyad Mousa Amra of Palestine, Upakar Pandey and Rup Sunar of Nepal, Chinara Aitbaeva of Kyrgyzstan, and Kurniawan Sabar of Indonesia. Regional coordinators Henry Morales (Latin America and the Caribbean) Sarah Torres (Asia), Marie-Jose Saade (Middle East and North Africa), and Marija Visinova (Europe),
Sessions were led by the CPDE Global Secretariat composed of Executive Secretary Roberto Pinauin, Senior Policy and Liaison Matt Simonds, Network Manager Jodel Dacara, European Commission Project Manager Leo Pura, Deputy Programme Manager Marc Ignacio, Capacity Development Coordinator Glenis Balangue, and Communications and Capacity Development Officer Daniela Sepulveda.#