Civil society sees strengthening implementation as the most important agenda for the first Ministerial-level meeting of the Global Partnership, says Steering Committee member Tony Tujan.

“Civil society is quite hopeful on the progress since Busan and our constituencies are really raring to look at implementation, especially at country level,” said civil society representative Tujan on the sidelines of the third Global Partnership Steering Committee meeting.

The full interview recorded at the meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 25-26 July, 2013, can be viewed here, or the transcript read here.

He thought that some countries had already done a lot of good work, but added that his members were ready to see progress pick up pace ahead of the first Global Partnership Ministerial to be held in Mexico, in early 2014.

“Strengthen implementation. We think that is the most important thing. We would also like to see a better assessment of results, and see where the bottlenecks are,” said Tujan, who represents the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) on the Steering Committee.

“We think that South-South co-operation is very important and also the question of knowledge sharing is important. There is also the issue of domestic resource mobilization, which we think is important.”

He said that African countries could be making money from their resources through innovative export taxes.

“Of course, on the other hand, beyond the question of raising the dollars is the question of how to spend it,” he added.  “This is where it is also important for Civil Society what are budgets how they are developed and how they are being properly spent.”

Civil society “at the table” in Post-Busan Agenda

Vitalis Meja, who works for Reality of Aid Africa, also recently voiced Tujan’s assertion that civil society is ready to play an active role in the post-Busan development cooperation debate.

Meja, said that while there is still more to be done on civil society-government dialogue – his organization Reality of Aid Africa had already engineered discussions on the post-Busan agenda in several African countries, including Zambia and Rwanda.

“Over the past one year we have held regional and sub-regional consultations where civil society has come to give to updates on progress on the implementation of the post-Busan agenda and also highlighted their key priorities at the national level as what they see as civil society the need to inform part of the debate on taking the post Busan agenda forward,” Meja said.

Studies looked at Zambia’s progress toward accomplishing the Busan agreement and convened a series of government-donor discussions on “where we are in regard to Busan and how civil society is going to play their role.”

“There is increasing recognition from the government that it needs civil society at a national level to play an important role in enhancing and advancing the Post-Busan agenda,” he added.

CSOs need time for monitoring 

However, Meja said CSOs need time to prepare on issues in the national progress monitoring reports.

“We expect that we would be given sufficient time to prepare, to engage with this process at a national level so that it is not just an impromptu invitation to come and give inputs and submissions,” he said.

“Apart from that, there is the element of building capacity on civil society to be able to more and better understand what Busan is all about, what it entails and what does it mean for the development agenda. We are hoping that through these processes we will be able to design a capacity building program that will then help civil society at the national level post-Busan.”

Tujan also advocated continued civil society input: “Civil society, as well as other actors, needs to be at the table.  Since Busan that has been the “how” mark of this partnership; that everyone is together, they are on the same page and they are all recognized as important development actors.”