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Civil society commits to Enabling Environment and Istanbul Principles: Page 2 of 3

Posted on 1 July 2013
all work of the CPDE fall on priority areas and shall all be coordinated within the structure. CPDE also branches out to different arenas of development work to improve CSO representation and participation. Besides the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC), it also engages with the Policy Forum for Development (PFD) of the European Commission, Development Cooperation Forum (DCF), and the Post-2015 Development Agenda of the United Nations. Advocacy engagement works of the CPDE were done through its working groups, i.e. Working Group on CSO DE, Enabling Environment, Post- 2015 Agenda and Human Rights-based approach.
 
Ms. Ciana-Marie Pegus of CIVICUS delivered a presentation on CSO Enabling Environment. Ms. Pegus emphasized the current emerging international consensus on the importance of enabling environment for civil society, such as the recognition from the Busan Partnership Document (paragraph 22). She also shared that CIVICUS produced a State of Civil Society Report for 2013 which documents the current situations that CSOs experience in their country context. According to Ms. Pegus, CIVICUS is working out an Enabling Environment Index to track progress on commitments and actions following Busan HLF. The CPDE Working Group on Enabling Environment (EE) is now deep into fleshing out GPEDC Indicator No.2, which zeroes in on the issue of enabling environment for civil society. CIVICUS also co-chairs the CPDE WG on Enabling Environment, alongside the Reality of Aid- Africa.
 
After plenary presentations, participants were divided into break-out groups where they worked on activities in the Practitioners’ Guide. Break-out sessions served to be spaces to share their thoughts on the plenary discussions. Activities were also used to provide opportunities for interaction, and simulation for future outreach work on CSO DE in different levels of CPDE work, especially at the country and organizational levels.
 
Ways forward for CSO DE work
 
The participants were also asked to chart their own regional plans to bring the CSO DE work forward, which were presented in the plenary for sharing and discussion. Most plans from the participants centered on three areas of work for the CPDE, namely capacity development, outreach and expansion and advocacy and engagement.
 
Mr. Duncan Holmes of Canada together with Ms. Kemberley Gittens of Barbados plan to conduct capacity development interventions such as setting up virtual working groups and hosting several sessions in North America and the Caribbean. They also intend to produce a social media plan for their general public and media outreach for the two regions.
 
Participants from South Asia shared their plans of replicating the training to CSOs to their constituencies in their countries and in their region.  Baseline research was also one of the key plans that they want to work on to guide succeeding works around CSO DE.  The group’s plan to review existing country laws that directly and indirectly affect the existence of CSOs and their operations were presented by Jyotsna Mohan of India.
 
The group composed of participants from Asia-Pacific (South East Asia, Pacific and Central Asia) plans to improve coordination among CSOs and start building a database of knowledge and experiences
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