Enabling environment as a key focus in the EC Policy Forum on Development

How can the European Commission’s international development agenda meaningfully link with global policy issues on development? This was one of the main themes guiding the discussion at the First Interim Meeting of the Policy Forum on Development, held in Brussels from 10 to 11 May 2012. CIVICUS was invited to provide an intervention on the issue of the enabling environment, and was represented by me.

The two-day Forum gathered close to 150 people, including EC officials, members of the European Parliament, other EU agencies, representatives of European member states, the OECD and CSOs, and local authority representatives from Europe and around the globe. It was opened by Mr Angelo Baglio, Head of Civil Society and Local Authorities Unit at the EC. Different sessions focused on preliminary presentations for a new EC funding framework and instruments for development from 2014, future policies of the EU with regard to support to CSOs in partner countries, aid and development effectiveness, and preparatory discussions on setting up a policy framework on development. Continue reading

In search of the higher ground – civil society and the Istanbul Principles

Fraser Reilly-King is a Policy Analyst with the Canadian Council for International Cooperation. He is on the Coordinating Group of the BetterAid Platform, the Civil Society member of the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness. He was in Busan for HLF-4. The opinions expressed are his own.

Busan and the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4) were in many ways a seminal moment for civil society.

Three years prior, at the HLF-3 in Accra, civil society was recognised as “independent development actors in their own right.” This was an important step in and of itself, recognising that civil society organisations (CSOs) weren’t just service delivery agents, but also aid donors, intermediaries and recipients, development actors setting their own priorities, programmes and partnerships, and agents of change. Continue reading

Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation – enabling environment holds the key to civil society’s role in implementation

Joint blog by Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness and CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation

The 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, held December 2011 in Busan, South Korea, was a landmark event where civil society participated in negotiations on the new direction for international development cooperation on an equal basis with governments and donors, the first such time in the history of these OECD-led events.

It concluded with a compromise and mixed results for civil society organisations (CSOs).[1]  One important gain is the acknowledgement in the outcome agreement of the International Framework for CSO Development Effectiveness, as a reference on best CSO practices and conditions required from governments and donors. Continue reading

Speech by Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, to Busan Global Civil Society Forum

Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association delivered the following speech during the Global Civil Society Forum in Busan, South Korea that occurred before the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF4).

Thank you very much for inviting me and giving me an opportunity to speak with you at this opening session of the Busan Global Civil Society Forum.  I would like to extend special thanks to the principle organizers: Better Aid, Open Forum, and Korea Civil Society Forum on International Development Cooperation.

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Moving the Goal Posts

For many in civil society, attention this fortnight will focus on the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea. The persistent global wave of protests against current economic models and the increasingly irrefutable evidence of accelerating climate change should provide the impetus and motivation for visionary leadership in Busan. This timely op-ed by Jeremy Hobbs (Executive Director, Oxfam International) reminds us all just how high the stakes are.

Moving the Goal Posts

Parents with young children will be familiar with the phenomenon – a game is going badly, little Daniel is losing, but rather than redouble his efforts he changes the rules of the game. He makes his goal smaller or tells his opponents only to kick with their left foot.

This can be amusing and endearing in children, but not when the richest, most powerful nations display it in their dealings with the poorest.

At the end of this month, Ban Ki-moon, Hillary Clinton and ministers from around the world will gather in Busan, South Korea, for the fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness. The rather dull title should not obscure the fact that this meeting will have important consequences for the world’s poorest people.

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Follow developments leading up to and during Busan on Twitter using #HLF4

It’s time to Make Aid Transparent

CIVICUS, along with 98 organisations from all over the world, is calling on governments to publish more information about the aid they give. The campaign, Make Aid Transparent, will culminate in just 4 weeks’ time at a high level meeting on Aid Effectiveness in Korea where we will be demanding that governments redouble efforts to meet their aid transparency promises. Continue reading

Co-operation for effective development: Looking to Busan

Few areas of development spout as many euphemisms as aid does. The view that resource transfers from one country to another are in fact a form of justice for centuries of colonial exploitation, or, at least, mutually beneficial investments, has given rise to terms like “development co-operation”, “partner countries” and the like in preference to words like “aid”, “donors” and “recipients”. Continue reading