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Challenges to NSA Engagement in EIF Nepal Findings and Proposed Roadmap By Julian Mukiibi, CUTS International, Geneva.

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Presentation on theme: "Challenges to NSA Engagement in EIF Nepal Findings and Proposed Roadmap By Julian Mukiibi, CUTS International, Geneva."— Presentation transcript:

1 Challenges to NSA Engagement in EIF Nepal Findings and Proposed Roadmap By Julian Mukiibi, CUTS International, Geneva

2 2 Summary 1.Introduction About sPokes NSAs’ Participation in EIF Objectives and expected outcomes Methodology 2.Themes presentation Communication practices Institutional mechanisms Capacity to engage NSAs’ impact on trade policies/programmes formulation Inclusiveness & Balancing interests Consultations among NSAs

3 3 Introduction – About EIF sPokes The Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) A programme for integrating LDCs in the global trading system The EIF “Strategic Action Plan until 2013” identified among its priorities the need for broad-based and regular consultations of NSAs towards setting national trade priorities and hence the development of this module that is aimed at: Building buy-in and engagement from wide range of stakeholders Consolidating EIF deliverables with similar initiatives Sharing good practices Ensuring that NSAs’ inputs are integrated into national priorities Supporting the NSC to effectively guide and monitor EIF process and activities Hence the EIF sPokes project was designed to address the above priorities.

4 4 Introduction – NSA Participation in EIF Attain sustainability of national development strategies through: Specificity: Taking into account every country’s own set of problems, which requires its own solutions. Then stepping aside from ‘one size fits all’ solutions Legitimacy: Ensure that national stakeholders have the feeling that they are listened to, which is essential for acquiring a broad based consent

5 5 Introduction – Objectives and expected outcomes The specific objectives of the EIF sPokes project are the following: The National Implementation Arrangements (NIAs) Have a better understanding of stakeholder engagement and good practices Adopt a roadmap to improve NSAs involvement in EIF mechanisms and similar initiatives Have strong and sustainable connections with NSA network that leverage EIF delivery The Non-State Actors (NSAs) Increase their participation in EIF processes Have access to tools for easier participation in EIF processes and similar initiatives Have effective impact on EIF activities and similar initiatives

6 6 Introduction – Methodology 1. Guidebook for NSAs engagement Practical guidance for effective engagement processes (Examples and case stories, Best practices) Online platform with tools for better engagement : Website; Trade mainstreaming refresher course; Evaluation survey (SEPI); Mailing list; Discussion forum.

7 7 Introduction – Methodology 2. The Stakeholder Engagement Performance Index (SEPI) The SEPI is a simple self-assessment tool based on a set of indicators used to analyze the level/extent of NSA participation in EIF and related processes. The outcome should then serve as the baseline for improving NSA participation and engagement processes. The objective of the SEPI is to assess performance on the following key aspects of successful NSA engagement:  Communication practices  Institutional mechanisms  Capacity to Engage  NSAs impact on trade policies and/or programme formulation  Inclusiveness and balancing interests  Consultation among NSAs sPokes module process

8 8 Introduction – Methodology 3. Face-to-Face Interviews Face-to-Face interviews were conducted with various stakeholders (government officials; private sector Apex bodies; commodity associations; trade consultants; women’ entrepreneurs, and NGOs) in Nepal, to compliment the SEPI questionnaires that had been disseminated electronically. The criteria for the selected interviewees took into account the following considerations: Membership to the NSC ; NSAs that have participated in EIF and related activities ; NSAs that have not, but should have participated in EIF and related activities ; The NIU and NECTRADE. The interviews sought to gain insights of respondents on NSA engagement in the EIF and trade related processes; challenges they face; instances of successful NSA engagement in the processes and lessons learned; as well as ideas on the way forward. sPokes module process

9 9 Introduction – Methodology 4. Workshop Deliver refresher course on importance of trade mainstreaming Identify challenges for NSAs engagement in EIF and similar initiatives Identify possible solutions Adopt roadmap towards implementation of solutions agreed sPokes module process

10 10 Communication Practices Why is this important? Essential to ensure buy-in by stakeholders including NSAs in initiatives such as the EIF What does it entail? Regular communication about nature and progress of EIF activities in the country Nepal Enhanced Capacities for Trade and Development (NECTRADE), supports the Focal Point in the implementation of the overall EIF activities, and has the role of inter alia raising awareness among NSAs on trade related issues In-country survey findings  NECTRADE is already using the media to disseminate information country-wide on a regular basis.  Journalists expressed the need for regular training on trade issues to enhance their capacity to cover and disseminate accurate trade and related information to the masses.  The government maintains a very good relationship with NSAs, with whom they coordinate on a regular basis.  Some NSAs are not receiving information or regular updates about the EIF initiative.

11 11 Communication Practices Possible improvements Use the media. Invite journalists to events, send regular press releases etc. Train the journalists on trade mainstreaming issues. Maintain a mailing list of NSA contacts. EIF spokes tools: mailing list & subscription form. ONLINE REFREGISTRATION FORM TO COLLECT CONTACT EMAILS This Online registration form can be put on any website to increase the list of EIF communication subscribers. The information filled in is automatically sent to a Google spreadsheet where it can then be sourced and used to update the mailing list.

12 12 Institutional Mechanisms Why is this important? For NSAs to meaningfully participate in Public Private Dialogue (PPD), institutional mechanisms need to function efficiently. Means through which NSAs can make valuable inputs in policy and programme development/implementation. Generally, it is apex bodies that represent NSAs in such forums. What does it entail? To adopt best practices for consulting NSAs that include: Allow meaningful participation from each and every NSA Effective representation of NSAs Build a broader picture of NSAs points of view Enhance legitimacy of NSAs views in NSC meetings

13 13 Institutional Mechanisms In-country survey findings The NSAs’ participation in PPD is important and well-known in Nepal Some of the PPD forums are not very well institutionalised Lack of regularity and motivation of NSAs to utilise PPD forums PPD Forums are not well coordinated The abundance of PPD forums on trade and related issues may result in overlaps Possible improvements Re-evaluation of the existing forums to ensure clarity, effectiveness, and non-collusion of tasks Formalisation of all PPD mechanisms, and duplication existing in some of the forums should be addressed Give NSAs prominent roles and responsibilities in order to motivate their participation.

14 14 Capacity to Engage Why is this important? NSAs have different backgrounds, knowledge and skills Ensure that NSAs have the capacity to engage effectively in initiatives such as the EIF and similar initiatives What does it entail? Build knowledge and skills to engage efficiently into participatory processes In-country survey findings Need to identify their capacity needs and gaps, and redressing them appropriately Government regularly consults NSAs and more especially the private sector in the development of trade and related policies In Nepal trade mainstreaming initiatives more and more appreciated as tools for development, growth and poverty reduction Lack of a national databank on trade and related issues which could inform policy decisions Lack of knowledge on issues that are subject of engagement, to meaningfully contribute

15 15 Capacity to Engage Possible improvements Conduct targeted capacity building workshops in Nepal for stakeholders Offer a refresher course targeted to both NIAs and NSAs on “Trade Mainstreaming for Development in Nepal: Rationale and Significance” The document written in concise and non-technical language should enable NSAs, including at the grassroots, to better understand the importance of trade mainstreaming, its governance structures as well as their own stake in the process. REFRESHER COURSE ON TRADE MAINSTREAMING FOR DEVELOPMENT IN NEPAL This “Refresher Course” highlights in simple language the basics of trade mainstreaming in Nepal. It can be used by the National Implementation Unit (NIU) and NSC to raise awareness and interest of NSAs.

16 16 NSAs’ IMPACT ON TRADE POLICIES/PROGRAMMES FORMULATION Why is this important? NSAs will have a more effective impact on trade and related policies and programmes Means through which NSAs can have a more favourable business environment In-country survey findings NSAs actively participate in identifying challenges and contributing to development plans Involvement of NSAs is often weak and they do not seem to be motivated Implementation of agreed policies and programmes remains very disappointing The government has allocated budgetary funding towards sectors identified in the NTIS Limited resources to implement development plans remain challenging Dependency attitude from NSAs who look towards government or initiatives such as EIF to address their issues

17 17 NSAs’ IMPACT ON TRADE POLICIES/PROGRAMMES FORMULATION  Needs  Leverage NSAs participation  Ensure NSAs involvement in a functional manner  Manage NSAs expectations arising from their active engagement in PPD forums Possible improvements  Make clear commitments to NSAs  The NTIS is in the process of being updated to reflect current realities in the country, leading to better planning for trade and related sectors  NSAs should participate actively in this process to ensure that their interests are reflected in the updated NTIS, which will be the basis of government’s trade development programmes and policies

18 18 Inclusiveness and Balancing Interests Why is this important? Inclusiveness in PPD forums essential for ensuring ownership and legitimacy of policy decisions and programmes Country ownership of EIF processes = a large spectrum of NSAs included in representation schemes But NSAs have different interests and priorities Hence conflicting interests can often arise In-country findings Civil Society Organizations are not directly represented in all PPD forums such as the EIF NSC Some CSOs like the South Asia Watch on Trade and Environment (SAWTEE) and the Federation of Women Entrepreneurs’ Association of Nepal (FWEAN) engage with government regularly Interests of some NSAs not articulated by their representative bodies

19 19 Inclusiveness and Balancing interests Possible improvements Allow direct representation in PPD forums of Civil Society Organisations, as they represent an important constituency and would ensure wider outreach to NSAs Put in place a representative mechanism to ensure the relevant and fair representation of stakeholders, and enable them to bring their issues to the fore

20 20 Consultations among NSAs Why is this important? NSAs have a critical role to play in PPD on trade : reflect the views of their constituencies or other NSAs not directly consulted by the government In-country findings FNCCI encourages direct participation of its members in PPD forums Development partners have found more effective to deal with commodity associations rather than apex bodies According to the SEPI survey: 56% of NSA are aware of who represent their interests in the EIF NSC 44% of NSC members’ constituencies felt that their apex body relayed their interests NIU usually provided enough lead time to undertake NSCs’ consultations At times government calls meetings on very short notice, consultations may not be possible

21 21 Consultations among NSAs  Need for more effective coordination mechanisms between the Apex bodies and the commodity associations at the grassroots level  Need for more transparency and feedback from apex bodies to their members on how they advance their interests in PPDs. Possible improvements NSC members should systematically disseminate a report to all their members after participating in PPDs EIF sPokes online forum as a useful tool to undertake online follow-up discussions NIU/NECTRADE should make all necessary efforts to reduce instances of meetings called at short notice This “Online Forum” provide to all stakeholders the opportunity to stay in touch, to advertise events, to give feedbacks, to ask questions, etc.

22 22 Thank you

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