Civil society commits to Enabling Environment and Istanbul Principles

Posted on 1 July 2013
APRN Secretariat
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Around forty (40) civil society educators, facilitators and trainers gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa on June 25 to 27, 2013 to attend the first Global Training of Trainers (Global ToT) on CSO Development Effectiveness. The Global ToT was among the major activities of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) through its Working Group on CSO Development Effectiveness (WG on CSO DE)* to reach out and encourage more civil society organizations to look closely into their organization’s praxis as accountable and effective independent development actors. The CPDE is the unified platform coming out from the two civil society processes, post-Busan High Level Forum IV, i.e. the Better Aid (BA) and the Open Forum on CSO Development Effectiveness (OF). 
The Training of Trainers aimed to develop the capacities of trainers, educators and facilitators to further promote the Istanbul Principles and the Siem Reap International Framework on CSO Development Effectiveness, at the country, regional and sectoral levels. The three-day training provided an opportunity for participants not only to be familiarized with the resources and tools produced  to further the work around CSO development effectiveness, but also to walk through some of the discussions and activities developed in the Implementation and Advocacy Toolkits, CSO Wiki Page and the Practitioners’ Guide . The WG envisions that the participants will replicate the training in their country and/or constituency and further promote and implement the Istanbul Principles and the complementary tools.
CIVICUS Secretary General Danny Sriskandarajah, in his welcome address, reminded the participants that donors, governments and other development actors have not lived up to the promises they made around development. He said that for civil society, development effectiveness is essentially about citizen voices to say enough is enough.
CPDE, CSO Development Effectiveness and Enabling Environment
Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN) Chair Maria Theresa Lauron discussed the historical and political context of the CPDE. In her presentation, Ms. Lauron emphasized the important role played by CSOs, through BA and OF, in shifting the discourse of aid effectiveness (AE) to a more thoroughgoing development effectiveness (DE).
Ms. Lauron provided the background on civil society engagement in the aid effectiveness discourse, as well as how civil society struggled to gain official recognition as an independent development actor with multiple roles played in development. Civil society went to Busan as an independent development actor co-equal other development actors such as governments, and donor agencies. The civil society key messages were brought into the table through CSO Sherpa Antonio Tujan, Jr., now co-chair of the CPDE. Ms. Lauron also shared on the global CSO-led process which led to the consolidation of the Istanbul Principles, and the International Framework, which became the core civil society reference for its own effectiveness and accountability. The presentation also emphasized on the new structure and mandate of the CPDE, and how the work should synergize with other initiatives. In the end, she also shared that the CPDE has designed a multi-year plan which reflects activities at different levels of work. Ms. Lauron also added that
Global Region: