Tujan on civil society’s role in Busan outcome document : Page 2 of 3
Posted on 29 January 2012
process of the outcome document?
No one is a signatory to the outcome document which remains voluntary for everyone. But CSOs do endorse it – and being CSOs we have a dual attitude to this document: 1) as watchdogs, who have and maintain a normative role in society, we are critical of the document and continue to push to improve it and ensure improved implementation; 2) as parties to the document, we are also morally bound to implement them, and indeed we will ensure the appropriate progressive interpretation of the commitments in this regard, including the commitment for implementation of the Istanbul Principles and Siem Reap Framework of CSO Development Effectiveness.
We are now gearing up to actively implement the commitments by setting up multi?stakeholder country frameworks or compacts in which CSOs will be able to take government and international development partners to account and ensure implementation of commitments for development effectiveness. We will also actively participate in regional, continental and global initiatives and activities for monitoring and ensuring support for country level implementation.
NGLS: How were you selected/elected as the CSO Sherpa? What were some of the biggest challenges that you faced in this position – both within the civil society community and during the negotiation process?
The BetterAid open platform has a Global Coordination Group composed of more than 35 CSO networks which decided on my selection as the CSO Sherpa. This was also supported by Open Forum, the open platform specifically engaged with CSO development effectiveness and a CSO enabling environment. BetterAid has thousands of direct CSO participants besides tens of thousands of indirect participants. A CSO Sherpa is in a sense the antithesis of the usual Sherpa who has upward accountability. My accountability is downward and thus involves an elaborate but difficult process of information, gathering views and negotiating positions within civil society. BetterAid created a Negotiation Team which supported the Sherpa besides the support from the Secretariat.
We will publish my reflections on the negotiations which were very interesting. Having a CSO Sherpa means having a person with a normative framework (by definition of CSO advocacy responsibility) that needs to deal with compromises in negotiations. This is also complicated by having a moral and not sovereign authority. It is an interesting addition to the equation of international diplomacy – which has tremendous merits and advantages, but also superlative challenges.
NGLS: Where is the international community at in supporting a paradigm shift from aid effectiveness to development effectiveness? How much progress has it made and how much more does it have to do?
The two years preparation to Busan was a process of CSOs convincing the international community to accept development effectiveness which everyone has accepted but in different definitions and interests. It is a miracle but also a result of give-and-take that tthe Busan Outcome Document has been endorsed. The test, of course, is in the implementation – a challenge that CSOs are gearing up for.
NGLS: What is most needed to ensure that the commitments made in Busan