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Towards a better understanding of civil society: Building support for civil society-led assessments United Nations Development Programme Partnership Bureau,

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Presentation on theme: "Towards a better understanding of civil society: Building support for civil society-led assessments United Nations Development Programme Partnership Bureau,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Towards a better understanding of civil society: Building support for civil society-led assessments United Nations Development Programme Partnership Bureau, Civil Society Division Beniam Gebrezghi, Programme Specialist

2 Emerging global UNDP initiatives supporting nationally owned assessments 1.CIVICUS/ national stakeholders and UNDP: Civil Society Index (27 countries incl. Jordan, Bahrain, Morocco and Lebanon) 2.UNDP and national stakeholders: Country-led Governance Assessments ( 20 countries incl. Egypt and Morocco) 3. CIVICUS-led Consortium to scale up existing initiatives and bridge gaps in follow-up. ‘Breaking the Silos’! 2

3 The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action A shift in thinking from: External local national assessments Less reliance on international experts national institutions and local expertise Purely technical approach integration of political and managerial issues.

4 Assessments The CIVICUS CSI is a participatory needs assessment and action planning too, with the ultimate aim of creating a knowledge base and momentum for cs strengthening initiatives. The principle of country-led governance assessment entails a country undertaking a reflective and systematic evaluation of its own national governance processes.

5 Key principles underlie the two assessments National ownership and capacity building! Accountability: Country-led assessments act as a critical accountability mechanism for local stakeholders Participation: A broad and representative range of national actors have opportunities to provide input to key stages of the assessment process. Transparency: National actors have unbiased access to information on the assessment process, and the results of the assessment are made available to the public as a public good. Legitimacy: National actors agree that the assessment process and its results are legitimate.

6 Growing demand from Civil Society and UNDP COs Africa: Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Madagascar, Rwanda, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia Europe and CIS: Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Macedonia, and Kosovo Arab States: Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco and Lebanon Asia-Pacific: Philippines and Samoa Latin America and the Caribbean: Uruguay

7 Signs of impact Fiji - the CSI initiative contributed to the establishment of the ‘Social Leadership Training Institute’ by bringing civil society stakeholders together to find solutions to address the leadership gap in Fijian civil society. Macedonia - the Government adopted the ‘Strategy for Cooperation with the Civil Society Sector’ in January 2007 based on CSI findings and diligent work of CSOs involved in the CSI project. Uganda – from the CSI consultative process and findings, civil society stakeholders in Uganda mobilized and developed proposals in affecting change to government and Legitimacy, Transparency, and Accountability (LTA) policy.

8 Main benefits of UNDP’s involvement Generated valuable new information Increased UNDP’s dialogue with a wider constituency through a participatory and inclusive process. Positive trends in improved cooperation with CSOs Opened space for civil society engagement in policy processes UNDP country offices have used CSI findings to inform strategic directions in their Civil Society engagement and strengthening initiatives

9 Ways forward 2010 Knowledge products: A User’s Guide to ‘Measuring Civil Society’ (What) A UNDP Guidance Note on Civil Society Assessments (How) Knowledge sharing: International CSI workshop in Montreal (August) Ongoing regional workshops on CSI findings in 2011 CIVICUS/UNDP-led Consortium: A pilot ‘Global CSI Programme’ towards end of 2010 A CIVICUS-led Consortium and UNDP Trust Fund

10 The CIVICUS-led Consortium will.. a) serve as a network of mutual learning and discussion based on the findings of the CIVICUS CSI project; b) support national ownership and capacity development of national partners to be able to undertake and use cs assessments to enhance democratic governance, and; c) contribute financially to the pooled funding earmarked primarily for CSI implementation at the country level.

11 Ways forward 2010 Knowledge products: A User’s Guide to ‘Measuring Civil Society’ (What) A UNDP Guidance Note on Civil Society Assessments (How) Knowledge sharing: International CSI workshop in Montreal (August) Ongoing regional workshops on CSI findings in 2011 CIVICUS/UNDP-led Consortium: A pilot ‘Global CSI Programme’ towards end of 2010 A CIVICUS-led Consortium and UNDP Trust Fund

12 A NEW UNDP CIVIL SOCIETY STRATEGY Voice and Accountability for Human Development (2009) Invest in civil society and civic engagement Citizen action for democracy and development Citizen action for democracy and development Strengthen civic engagement for multilateralism Strengthen civic engagement for multilateralism Enabling environment Support/partner for policy impact Revitalize UN(DP) environment Voice Accountability Unleash the power of local actors New multilateralism Re-visioning of Human Development Breaking the Silos

13 Flagship 1: CIVICUS Civil Society Index (CSI) Participatory action research of and by civil society; reports assess civil society strengths and weaknesses Country studies are structured on: Civic Engagement Level of organisation Practicing of values Perceived impact External environment 50 CSI reports published so far: Currently discussing a consortium to enable more countries to engage in CSI (Today 27 COs)

14 Flagship 2: UN Global Indigenous Peoples’ Partnership (UNIPP)  Focusing on the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  Partnership with ILO and OHCHR Flagship 3: Platform Human Development 2010  Milestones: 20th anniversary of the Human Development Report  Mobilization: Multiple levels and areas for debate and action  Dialog: Advancing inclusive multilateralism  Revitalization: Civic engagement and human development

15 1. UNDP and Civil Society Organizations – A policy of engagement (2001) 2.UNDP and Indigenous Peoples – A policy of engagement (2001) 3.The Cardoso Panel Report (2004) 4.The UNDP Strategic Plan ( ) 5.Voice and Accountability for Human Development – A UNDP Global Strategy to Strengthen Civil Society and Civic Engagement ( ) A Mandate for Engagement with Civil Society 15


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