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Civil Society Engagement in EFA in the post-Dakar Period 2000 to date COLLECTIVE CONSULTATION OF NGO’s FOR BASIC EDUCATION
I – PREAMBLE The first special session on Partnerships between Ministers of Education and Civil society organizations was held in Geneva in September 2001, during the International Conference for Education.
i) alternative service providersii) critical thinkers and innovatorsiii) advocacyiv) policy partners MAJOR ROLES AGREED FOR CS
Preconditions for effective CS engagement in policy dialogue identified Strong commitment to EFAClear government policy for collaborationOpen, democratic and stable political systemMutual trust and transparencyMechanism for ongoing policy dialogue between governments and civil societyCapacity building for civil society organisationsInternational solidarity in supporting national efforts
The Policy Role - contributing to building a culture of civic participation and social responsibility that favours education - contributing to the democratization and reform of educational institutions and legal frameworks - contributing to developing more relevant content and pedagogy of learning which foster fulfilment, citizenry, equity and social inclusion
POLICY TRANSLATED INTO CONCRETE ACTIONS • coalition building, networking and exchange of good practice among CS • policy dialogue with governments and other EFA ptrs • campaigning, lobbying for specific issues • independent monitoring and “watchdog” • policy research • capacity building.
What successes have resulted from the engagement of civil society in EFA policy processes?
1. Coalition building, Networking and exchange of good practice among civil society An increasing number of CSOs and networks are engaging in policy influcing and advocacy. More coherence by CSO on issues of education policy leading to coalitions at national levels.
For Example: • Women’s association, teachers unions, faith based organizations, teacher parent associations and others, have formed coalitions and networks to advocate jointly for the right to education for all.( GCE and its affiliates at and international levels). • In Africa: ANCEFA and GCE affiliates i.e. Action Aid , Oxfam, Education International, Global March against Child Labour and FAWE have strongly supported coalition building processes in 23 countries. • In Asia, Latin America and the Arab regions, networks of CSOs like ASPBAE, CEAAL and ARC are supporting national coalition buildingaround EFA.
e ANC FA INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ARENA MDGCAMPAIGN GCE UNESCO CCNGO, MINEDAF, CONFINTEA …. MDGs, HLG, EFAWG … BOARD MEMBER VOICE REGIONAL “Our vision? One civil society, one voice” Gorgui Sow, ANCEFA Coodinator E W C SUB-REGIONAL VOICE S SUB-REGIONAL ACTION PLANS NATIONAL COALITION NATIONAL COALITION NATIONAL COALITION SUPPORT TO BUILD STRONG, DIVERSE, ACTIVE NATIONAL COALITION TO SHARE A COMMON PLATFORM
2. Policy dialogue with governments and other EFA partners CSO participation in technical committees, on some of the different EFA goals, which are part of the national EFA processes. Opportunities to participate systematically in transversal sector –wide committees and policy forums.
Policy Dialogue…. Contd: • Multi-partner mechanisms (including CSO) on EFA policy issues are in place in some countries. -The Advisory Council for Literacy in Algeria, which orients national literacy policies, is one example. -The Basic Education Development Committee (BEDC) in Tanzania responsible for implementing and monitoring the Primary Education Dev Plan In conclusion, most networks report some successes and positive developments regarding their relationships with the government, albeit with a number of constraints.
3. Campaigning and lobbying • Global Campaign for Education week of action • National campaign work: • In Kenya, ELIMU YETU organized CSOs on Free Primary Education (FE) leading to its adoption by the new Govt. • In the Philippines, E-Net monitors policy developments through constant information sharing. • In Brazil an El Salvador, CSOs are involved in monitoring public spending on education.
4.Civil Society Capacity Building • Participation in policy dialogue requires skills and knowledge hence building critical mass within the civil society is an urgent necessity • INGOs: Action Aid, Oxfam, CEF and UNESCO supporting training needs and tools development. • GCE,ANCEFA and ASPBAE joint initiative, ‘Real World Strategy’ capacity building initiative in Africa(17 countries) and Asia pacific( six countries)- Dutch Govt. • UNESCO and ANCEFA joint capacity building program for NGO’s and CSO’s cover 11 countries • CEF (ActionAid,Oxfam and Save the Children) support civil society platforms in 17 countries and ANCEFA – UK Govt.
5. Independent monitoring and watching • Bangladesh has the most innovative and comprehensive experience to share- CAMPE pioneered the Education Watch project. • The regional networks as ASPBAE, FAWE and ANCEFA have conducted case studies on issues related to EFA plans and girls education. • GCE survey on National EFA Action Plans.
The Constraints • CSO networks – even those that have achieved enhanced competencies – have been largely absent in national policy platforms and/or processes • They are often confined to dialogue on specific isolated issue • CSO engagement rarely extends beyond information-sharing and consultation. • CSOs are hardly ever in monitoring and evaluating policy implementation
The challenges • Expanding CSO capacity building requirements. • Linking global and local advocacy work (grounded in local realities and informed by local interest). • How to sustain national coalitions AND regional networks positive work in the policy process. • How to make CSOs participation in the policy dialogue a guiding principle and not a favour. • Expanding the Space and voice for civil society to dialogue with governments and other stake holders
Recommendations • We hope to get some ideas from the Break away Group. • Thank You.