Getting ready for Busan: NGOs, civil society and an “enabling environment”

29/03/2011 at 9:54 pm 3 comments

In a number of previous blog posts, we have written about the need for greater donor-awareness of, and greater NGO investment in, the quality of aid work.

We have argued that NGOs must set out clear criteria for determining what makes good Development work, and that people who want to donate to “charities” should make sure to ask the right questions, to make sure the organisation of their choice we works in a smart, strategic way, addressing the causes – not the symptoms – of poverty.

And we have argued that Governments should be open and upfront about why and how they fund NGO work.

The Irish Government has an excellent Civil Society Policy – and it would need to, as a forthcoming OECD study shows that Ireland channels more of its overseas aid funding through NGOs than any other donor country: Over one-third of Ireland’s bilateral aid programme goes through NGOs.

(See also our analysis of trends in Irish Aid funding)

The OECD distinguishes between aid channelled “through” NGOs and aid “to” NGOs. OECD member countries channel more aid through NGOs (earmarked for donor-initiated projects implemented by NGOs – $ 6.3 billion in 2008) than aid given to NGOs (core aid, used to fund NGOs’ own projects – $ 2.7 billion in 2008).

Importantly, though, Governments have greatly varying reasons for working with civil society groups, and the mechanisms they have for supporting NGOs aren’t always transparent or supportive for NGOs. And many Governments, despite saying they support NGOs for their role in holding Governments to account, don’t actually put their money where their mouths are, and prefer to fund NGOs for their service delivery role, not their accountability roles. And few Governments go out of their way to ensure that civil society groups in developing countries are given the space to do what civil society groups are meant to do: empower ordinary people to work together to claim their rights.

In too many countries, the space for civil society is actually shrinking.

So while NGOs have a lot of work to do in terms of the quality of their own work, they will also continue to remind Governments that “Development Effectiveness” is more than being good, or efficient, at what you do:

  • Development Effectiveness is about doing things right, and doing the right thing.
  • Development Effectiveness is more than Aid Effectiveness.
  • Development Effectiveness requires an “enabling environment” for Civil Society.
  • An “enabling environment” is so much more than funding.
  • Civil Society is so much more than NGOs.

As Governments and civil society groups prepare for the next big event in the “Development Effectiveness” discussions (the “High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness” in Busan, South Korea, in November), they would do well to remember the multiple dimensions of good development practice.

 

 

Related posts:

- What does the future hold for Irish NGOs?

- The NGO of the future

 

Entry filed under: Development Effectiveness, Government, MDGs, NGOs. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

What does the future hold for Irish NGOs? Tracking Ireland’s funding commitment on HIV & AIDS and communicable diseases

3 Comments Add your own

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 190 other followers

Archives

Dóchas on Twitter

The World's Best News - images

These kids at the Baraka Za Ibrahim Children's Centre in Nairobi line up for their daily school meal. 
Thanks to overseas aid, the World Food Programme (WFP) provides daily meals to about 770,000 students and Kenya, and the Ministry of Education handles meals for another 750,000.
School meals are are major contributor to higher school enrolment rates across the developing world. (Photo: WFP/Rein Skullerud, February 19, 2010) #Ethiopia’s ‘African tiger’ leaps towards middle income.

Three decades since Michael Buerk's “biblical #famine in the 20th century” documentary, the country has, “like the proverbial phoenix, managed to rise from the ashes to become Africa’s fastest-growing non-energy-driven economy.” One effect of the progress is a greater capacity to cope with drought, preventing the descent into famine conditions that have occurred in the past. Ethiopia’s development efforts are also praised internationally for meeting some of the millennium development goals, particularly universal primary #education and a reduction in infant mortality.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2014/oct/22/ethiopia-african-tiger-middle-income?CMP=share_btn_tw 
Photo: People wait for a bus in #Addis Ababa. The government has launched an ambitious modernisation plan in the Ethiopian capital. Photograph: Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Green Jobs are booming in #Bangladesh.

The South Asian nation has become a top hot spot for #renewable energy jobs, creating a 'green workforce' as large as Spain’s in 2013.

How? Solar energy.

Bangladeshis are installing small #photovoltaic systems at a rate of 80,000 a month, says the report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). In a country where only 47 percent of the population had access to electricity in 2009, #solar is becoming a way to leapfrog the need to build a bigger power grid.

Read more at http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/05/why-a-green-jobs-boom-is-under-way-in-bangladesh/362087/?utm_content=bufferf16c2&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer "They have a good organisation. They are thinking ahead and using help wisely." The coffee industry in Nicaragua is facing big problems. but Soppexcca, a cooperative of coffee producers, is responding to the challenges- in an inclusive and democratic way. 
Read more: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/problems-brewing-for-nicaraguan-coffee-industry-1.1849541?page=1 and also http://www.soppexcca.org/en/ There are now over 65 mobile phones for every 100 people living in Africa. And NGOs like Gorta Self Help Africa are harnessing the potential of mobile technology, in the fight against hunger.

A new mobile phone based text and advice service ensures that farmers in #Malawi are accessing up to date information on their crops and harvests.
Read more at http://www.gorta.org/news/phones-spread-farm-information

To read more about how mobile phones are transforming agriculture across #Africa, have a look here:
http://www.thelondoneveningpost.com/business/how-mobile-phones-are-transforming-african-agriculture/

Photo: Advertisement from Esoko, a mobile phone company in #Ghana offering
market price information to farmers. In #Liberia, taxi drivers are the latest weapons against #Ebola.

Many of the country’s motor cycle taxi drivers are former combatants in Liberia’s devastating civil war, shunned by society. One successful local initiative, the Pen-Pen Peace Network, is now recruiting their skills for a public awareness campaign in communities within Monrovia to educate citizens about Ebola. 
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/oct/15/ebola-crisis-liberia-peace-building-conflict-pen-pen?CMP=twt_gu

Photo: Motorcycle taxi drivers are a good means of disseminating information during the Ebola crisis in Liberia. Photo by Handout/Reuters Nigeria has been declared officially free of Ebola after six weeks with no new cases, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says. 
WHO representative Rui Gama Vaz, speaking in the capital Abuja, said it was a "spectacular success story". http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29685127 
#ebola #nigeria Here's a great story from Gorta Self Help Africa about a #Malawian women's group who have increased their earnings and created employment with a tomato micro-business.

http://www.gorta.org/news/tomato-processors-retail-dividend Rafea Um Gomar, a brave Bedouin woman from a rural village has not only become the first female solar engineer in #Jordan, but she has also helped set up 80 solar installations providing electricity to her village! 
Today she is an elected leader and a teacher in her community, training others how to use sustainable energy. ‪

Photo by @unfoundation Activists use GPS to track illegal loggers in Brazil's Amazon rainforest

Read here how a hi-tech undercover operation used GPS tracking on timber trucks for the first time, as well as satellite and aerial images, to reveal the extent of illegal logging in the Brazilian Amazon forest.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/15/activists-use-gps-to-track-illegal-loggers-in-brazils-amazon-rainforest?source=tw&subsource=20141015fotw01&utm_source=gpeace&utm_medium=tw&utm_campaign=20141015fotw01

#Brazil #rainforest #logging #tech #gps #amazon #tracking #globaldev #activism Citizen journalists keep campaigning politicians on their toes.

As #Mozambique prepares to go to the polls on Wednesday, a small army of citizen reporters are gearing up to make sure the process is free and fair. Their work is not easy, and rarely welcomed by the powers-that-be, but is an essential safeguard of the democratic process.

Read more at http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2014-10-14-mozambique-citizen-journalists-keep-campaigning-politicians-on-their-toes/#.VD4l8_mUfkX

Visitors Map

Map

Dóchas Photos

undermining 0.7

tanaiste

More Photos

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 190 other followers

%d bloggers like this: