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Talking Points. Why is it important to have advocacy groups involved in building inclusive policy systems? What does experience to date with the inclusion of such groups teach us ? A dvocacy groups = commercial private sector, civil society (NGOs, farmers’ organisations etc )

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talking points
Talking Points
  • Why is it important to have advocacy groups involved in building inclusive policy systems?
  • What does experience to date with the inclusion of such groups teach us?

Advocacy groups = commercial private sector, civil society (NGOs, farmers’ organisations etc)

Experience: PRSPs, MDG consultations, CAADP, national planning frameworks (e.g. Ghana) …

theory of advocacy group involvement
Theory of advocacy group involvement
  • Better information for planning
  • Accountability for delivery

Context = “autonomous” African states (van de Walle 2001)

information for planning
Information for Planning
  • Need for information: central state may have limited information on
    • Agricultural realities around the country
    • Needs of the private sector
  • Demand for information only if
    • Strong political pressures to deliver ag. growth (critical to government survival), e.g. Rwanda
    • “owned” commitment to pluralistic policy, e.g. Ghana
  • Otherwise, involvement of advocacy groups is largely “box ticking”
impediments to effective participation
Impediments to Effective Participation
  • The following impediments have to be overcome even where governments do desire better information:
    • Mutual suspicion: gov-private sector-civil society
    • Private sector and civil society are both fragmented and with divergent interests
    • Representative organisations for private sector and civil society are weak (latter may lack both resources and understanding of policy process)
accountability
Accountability
  • Participation is in government’s “gift”:
    • who participates and who does not
    • govcontrols agenda, e.g. when are views sought?
    • Views may be heard then ignored
  • Advocacy groups have little leverage over governments:
    • Formal private sector contribution to employment and budgets (c/w US/Europe)
    • Few, if any, programmatic political parties representing business agenda
    • No rural social movements
    • Rural votes not exchanged for agricultural policies