porLiliana Azevedo
a 22 MAI 2013

à conversa com…. Antonio Tujan Jr., Coordenador do CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness

Em resposta à arquitectura da ajuda ao desenvolvimento que se tem vindo a redesenhar no seguimento do 4º Fórum de Alto Nível sobre Eficácia da Ajuda, as plataformas BetterAid e Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness decidiram aliar esforços e criar uma nova parceria global das organizações da sociedade civil (OSC em português, CSO na sigla em inglês) que tem por nome CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE). A Revista da Plataforma entrevistou o seu coordenador, Antonio Tujan Jr., também director da organização filipina IBON Foundation. Publicamos aqui a entrevista na versão original. Pode encontrar a entrevista em Português na Revista da Plataforma Portuguesa das ONGD.

CSO were recognized as independent development actors in their own right in Accra, at the HLF-3, but it only become real at HLF-4, in Busan, where CSO sat at the negotiations table for the first time. What does this step mean to CSO all over the world?

The Busan experience showed that CSOs can effectively bring diverse voices together, work in a very critical but constructive way with governments, and maintain a normative role while dealing with compromises in negotiations. It is a new facet of international diplomacy, with its own merits and challenges, that opened the door for civil society to engage as development actors and stakeholders within official processes that were previously just the purview of governments. In Busan, civil society was able to move the agenda from aid effectiveness to an expanded and deepened agenda of development effectiveness premised on democracy and human rights. The challenge since then has been to ensure the appropriate progressive interpretation of commitments and improved implementation. Also, opportunities for civil society engagement of multi-stakeholder spaces need to be pursued not just at the global level but at all levels, especially at the national level where development policies can have the most impact for the poor and marginalized.

The Nairobi Declaration, that represents the foundations of CPDE, claims a new approach to development. Which are the main challenges of this new global partnership for development?

Much of the advantage and potentials of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) lies in its inclusiveness as embodied by its multi-stakeholder character. However, this cannot be assumed as a given and civil society needs to continue advocating for a more accountable multi-stakeholder framework for development. A key element of any reform is the pursuit by governments of minimum standards to ensure an enabling environment for people's participation, the promotion of democratic ownership from national to global level. Moreover,  initiatives to push forward CSO positions, defend gains in policy reforms, and advance further a human rights-based approach to development are continuing tasks and challenges.

What is your perception on the evolution of the realization of an enabling environment for CSO: what have we got so far and which steps forward do we still need to push for?

We are still far from realizing an enabling environment for CSOs as shown by increasing tide of violence, harassment, legal restrictions, funding cuts, etc. faced by civil society around the world. CSO enabling environment is multifaceted and can only be fully achieved within a framework of democracy and human rights. It is a positive step that it is now recognized in the context of development effectiveness, with a monitoring indicator being developed for GPEDC because we demanded it in Busan. There's a caveat to this though because the burden is placed on CSOs and there's no accountability mechanism in place yet. At this point we are pushing for the promotion of a minimum standard for an enabling environment for CSOs.

What can the contributions of CSO in post-2015 Development Agenda be?

CSOs must push for a new vision of development and real social transformation and contribute to the crafting of concrete commitments and targets based on human rights, democracy and justice. For CPDE, based on its history and orientation, the focus should be on the role of global partnerships and advocating for just, inclusive and sustainable development and development cooperation that is human rights-based, calling for structural reforms on trade, finance, aid and debt. To do this the platform plans to advocate and engage at different levels in relation to the GPEDC and other intersecting official processes, push for country-level multi-stakeholder processes for setting the post-2015 development framework, and link with other platforms especially those working with social movements and grassroots.

What are the priorities of CPDE for the next 2 years?

The platform's priorities now are to enable civil society to shape and inform the evolving architecture of aid and development effectiveness as well as relevant processes such as the post-2015 development agenda. There is also emphasis on promoting an enabling environment for CSOs and monitoring progress in this area.

If a CSO wants to improve its own effectiveness, what would be your advice?

It is important for a CSO to commit to looking at development effectiveness within so it can perform its various roles as a development actor. A CSO must uphold the Istanbul Principles to guide its work and practices, and cultivate empowerment, equity and accountability within its rank and among those it works with or influences. Having said that, this should be pursued simultaneously with sustained advocacy for an enabling environment for CSOs, without which, efforts to our own effectiveness will be severely hampered.