Engaging civil society for outcome frameworks
Richard ManningSeoul, 7 October 2013
Value of nationally-owned strategies for achieving key outcomes…..supported by internationally consistent data collection and monitoring…..….and by regular review at national, regional and international levels
Public Plans for Implementation Matter
Governments always likely to default to easy, politically convenient, and short-term decisionsGovernments in any case unable to deliver on issues that involve behaviour change at community or individual levelAnd Governments severely limited in ability to deliver services directly
But they will never be sufficient
CSOs roles in:Delivery of servicesCommunity engagementMonitoringCampaigningHolding Governments to account
Hence Role of Civil Society (and Private Sector) essential
NOT just ‘NGOs’Value ofegreligious institutions, trade unions, professional associations and standard-setting bodies, independent media, think-tanksetc
Defining Civil Society
For:Ensure comparabilityFacilitate comparisonBasis for campaigningShould encourage donor supportAgainst:Not locally ownedMay be inappropriateIgnore sub-national dimensionSo: use them intelligently – good servants and bad masters!
For and Against Internationally-agreedObjectives
Run independent process(es)Access and use dataMonitor public service deliveryChallenge poor and inappropriate policiesEnsure own standards and legitimacy
How can Civil Society best encourage progress?
Good start by post-2015 and other CSO groups at international level. Need to bring the development and environmental communities together more effectively.Key actions however at national (and maybe sub-regional) level. UNDP role has been important in facilitating this, but must be locally-owned.Understand and communicate with Governments but maintain independence and ability to challengeWork together!
Run Independent Process(es)
The percentage of countries and territories for which most (16 to 22) of the MDGs indicators series present at least two points in time rose from 2 to 83percentin a decade (EcosocE/CN.3/2013/21).But data still lacking (egat subnational level)Data needs quality analysis and dissemination: role for think-tanks and media, as well as for campaigning NGOs.
Access andUse Data
Much discussion of thisNeed more evidence of what works (egreports bySvenssonet al and now Zeitlin et al on Uganda)But undeniably an important area for CSO interest
MonitorPublic Service Delivery
Classic role for campaigning NGOsNeeds good underlying analysis and arguments, based on real experienceNeeds enabling environment
Importance of an operating environment that encourages pluralism and opennessToo often, public institutions can be capricious andunaccountableAnd Governments too sensitive to criticism‘The conditions in which civil society operates are shaky at best and even deteriorating in many parts of the world.’Civicus, 2013Governments need to be readier to allow uncomfortable criticism, but…
The Enabling Environment
…CSOs cannot reasonably expect to be taken seriously if their own house is not in orderCSOs legitimacy is not ‘built-in’ (like that of an elected legislature) but needs to be earned2006: Istanbul Declaration, and INGO Accountability Panel2011:BusanHLF: InternationalCSOs declared that alignment of CSO accountability is a key factor in the improvement of aid effectiveness.Leads tonew CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE).Ongoing: JointStandard Initiative (JSI), which is developing common verifiable standards for the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP), Sphere and People in AidProposed:GlobalStandard for Core CSO Accountability (ACFID (Australia),InterAction(US), Philippine CNC (Philippines),QuAM(Uganda),RendirCuentas(Latin America) and VANI (India))