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

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

1 Challenges to NSA Engagement in EIF Zambia 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 Awareness and communication Interest and incentives Capacity to engage Formal mechanisms Consultations among NSAs Balancing interests

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 priority

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 understand 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. Inception phase (in-country survey) Interviews with EIF stakeholders to get insight with regard to: Engagement in EIF processes Challenges that face them Instances of successful NSAs engagement Lessons learned Ideas on way forward Compile a report with proposed solutions sPokes module process

8 8 Introduction – Methodology 3. 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 Along 6 themes namely (i) Awareness and communication, (ii) Interest and incentives, (iii) capacity to engage, (iv) formal mechanisms, (v) consultation among NSAs, (vi) balancing interests sPokes module process

9 9 Awareness & Communication Why is this important? Essential to ensuring 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 Challenges identified Lack of appreciation of trade mainstreaming as an engine for development Limited information dissemination to the public Difficulty of accessing updated information online about EIF Zambia

10 10 Awareness & Communication Possible solutions Use the media. Invite journalists to events, send regular press releases etc. Maintain a mailing list of NSA contacts. EIF spokes tools: mailing list & subscription form. Strengthen knowledge dissemination, e.g. through trade mainstreaming “refresher course” Launch an EIF newsletter to send regular information to the mailing list. The EIF sPokes’ subscribe form can be used to add contacts. Opportunity should be given to unsubscribe. Use a website to make the latest/relevant information online. EIF sPokes website made available for this purpose.

11 11 Interest & Incentives for NSAs Why is this important? Essential with regard to ownership of national policies Ensuring buy-in from a wide range of stakeholder (“what is in it for me” factor) What does it entail? Make sure that NSAs identify their priorities in the EIF and similar initiatives Triggering NSAs interest in EIF and related process Maintaining NSAs interest and incentives to participate in EIF and related processes Possible actions to raise NSAs’ interest Identify NSAs interests and ensure they are reflected in the EIF activities agenda Continuous engagement should lead to long term partnerships

12 12 Interest & Incentives for NSAs NIU could organize brainstorming sessions (e.g. in focus groups) with NSAs for them to become aware of their interests. Effective consultations among NSAs can help them identify their interests. Produce fact sheets highlighting relevant sections of the “refresher course” where NSAs interest is addressed. Awareness-raising efforts should include success stories of NSAs who benefited from EIF (e.g. “Trading Stories” videos). Send more regular EIF communications to NSAs.

13 13 Capacity to Engage Why is this important? NSAs have different backgrounds, knowledge and skills Therefore, it is important to ensure that they 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 Challenge indentified Lack of knowledge on issues that are subject of engagement Limited human and financial resources impeding research to back-up inputs to the EIF and related initiatives Lack of logistics to regularly attend meetings and events

14 14 Capacity to Engage Possible solutions Planning the engagement process should include costs of capacity building of both NIU and NSAs NSAs should be provided with enough time to understand and reflect on issues under consideration Draw on knowledge of other stakeholders who may be qualified and well informed e.g. government officials, research institutions and others Ensure issues under consideration are well understood by all NSAs (no assumptions should be made) Provide logistical/financial support for attending meetings/events on the basis of clear and transparent criteria

15 15 Formal Mechanisms Why is this important? Means through which NSAs participate in EIF is essential for ownership of national policies 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 In-country survey findings Representatives of the private sector tended to send junior persons with no decision-making power. However, this has since been redressed through a requirement for NSAs representatives to be at the director or the deputy level

16 16 Formal Mechanisms Challenges identified Difficulty of accommodating broader business perspectives Impartiality of NSC chairmanship doesn’t allow for lobbying Lack of a permanent communication channel for NSC members Possible solutions Provision of non-technical background information Giving advance notice to allow for pre-meeting consultation Adopt the principle of the revolving chair Use the online forum

17 17 Consultations Among NSAs Why is this important? Essential for NSAs representatives in the NSC to accurately reflect the views of their constituencies including other NSAs not directly represented What does it entail? Time to consult with their NSAs constituencies Credibility of NSAs representatives in the NSC and similar initiatives Ensure inclusiveness of such initiatives In-country findings Consultations with NSAs constituencies rarely happen before engagements in NSC meetings and similar initiatives

18 18 Consultations Among NSAs Challenges identified NSC members have little time for pre-meeting consultation Bureaucracy discourage constituencies’ participation in consultations Possible solutions NSC meetings should be notified in advance to allow time for downstream consultations Non-State NSC members could hold consultations during other regular activities NSC meetings invitations to include simple, non-technical background materials for members and their constituencies’ understanding

19 19 Balancing Interests Why is this important? NSAs have different interests and priorities Hence conflicting interests can often arise This can in the worst case lead to sabotage if expected outcomes do not meet certain stakeholders’ expectations In-country findings Conflicting interests led to prolonged delays in reaching decisions. Challenges identified Difference in objectives leading to conflicts Complex issues under discussion Positions hardening Loss of momentum

20 20 Balancing interests Possible solutions Acknowledge differences and explore means to reach common ground Complex issues could be tackled through smaller working groups dealing with sub-issues and/or through brainstorming sessions Position hardening may require reframing issues and reviewing the effects of not agreeing In order to maintain momentum, periodic evaluation of progress made is necessary. The evaluation could also review any pressure and constraints that may exist, and the means of tackling them.

21 21 Thank you

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