Somalilandsun – The Country’s civil Society organizations-CSO’s have raised issues with the new deal for Somalia-SSA in a position paper in which they, CSO’s, attribute to their responsibilities as instruments of both policy advocacy initiatives and services delivery
CSOs Position Paper on New Deal Issues
1. Preamble: Date:29/10/2014
CSOs are seeking for ways to strengthen greater participation with the New Deal process at domestic and international levels. Believing that meaningful and structured participation for CSOs in the New Deal process and Somaliland Special Arrangement (SSA) can wider the trade- offs both policy setting and technical substantive discourses underway. CSOs viewed the New Deal process as state and donor centric approach which CSOs have had minimum contribution and representation in the process of the New Deal conceptualization arrangements and framing of its priorities.
Moreover, enlarging CSOs engagement with New Deal process is genuine, legitimate and can bring vibrant and holistic development partnership between CSOs, relevant authorities and international New Deal stakeholders. Thus, CSOs have the credible leverage and technical knowledge that could make the New Deal process implementable, impactful and realignable to the national priorities. Therefore, scaling up the level of CSOs participation is timely and helpful. The future of the New Deal architecture requires more civic participation and pragmatic relations across beneficiaries, CSOs, government of Somaliland and donors community.
However, maximizing the CSOs space in decision making is not only the avenue for reflective policy initiative but it is also an inception of promoting political and social ownership in this New Deal -SSA process. Notwithstanding, the Somaliland CSOs are committed to pursue the New Deal PSGs which the SSA framework broadly adopted by aligning with Somaliland’s national and regional priorities and it is the extent that Somaliland CSOs are dedicated to explore the mutual manifestations in order to acknowledge both shortcomings and progress of the New Deal – SSA development modalities and implementation landscape.
The concept of “CSOs” embraces a wide range of actors with different roles and mandates. Definitions vary over time and across institutions and countries. EU considers CSOs to include all non- state, not for profit structures, non –partisan and non- violent, through which people organize to pursue shared objectives and ideals, whether political, cultural, social or economic. Operating from the local to the national, regional and international levels, they comprise urban and rural, formal and informal organizations. The EU values CSOs’ diversity and specifies; it engages with accountable and transparent CSOs which share its commitment to social progress and to the fundamental values of the peace, freedom, equal rights and human dignity. European Commission (2012) The roots of democracy and sustainable development: Europe’s engagement with civil society in external relations – Communication from the commission to the European Parliament, the council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the regions, Brussels, 12. 9. 2012 – Com (2012) 492 final
2. Somaliland CSOs New Deal – SSA Working Group:
Somaliland CSOs consist of SONSAF members and NGO Consortium members approximately 22 competent and dedicated organizations established “Somaliland New Deal – SSA working group” on Aug 18th2014, without a doubt, this initiative is welcomed by Somaliland Government particularly Ministry of Planning and National Development and international community. One of the motives of this New Deal – SSA- working Group is to create CSOs channels of communication to the international donors and domestic existing structures and this working group will be realigned with current New Deal structures so as to consolidate the simultaneous efforts and policy trends of the New Deal development trajectory.
Furthermore, the progress update is showing unbelievable level of CSOs participation, information sharing and huge policy discourses are on track, notably the CSOs highlighting significant policy implications on financing the SSA despite Somaliland Development Fund which has now been launched its first inception phase occupied by many priorities. The scope of this New Deal working group is to also generate enabling and accessible environment on policy discussions and adoption a set of objectives and targets of the New Deal – SSA development parameters.
In the meantime, the synergies between CSOs, Government and donor community can help to tackle some of the potential obstacles of the SSA development trajectory because prevailing the range of issues associated with the policy design, the domestic and international actors’ commitment, and grassroots involvements may pave the way keeping the spirit of the CSOs on promoting mutual accountability and Do No Harm principles. CSOs are encouraging responsible and state democratic institutions which are civic oriented and can instigate adoptable policies through interactive and participatory process.
3. Policy Recommendations:
The Authorities Somaliland should:
• Conduct widespread consultation and establish structures for information sharing with the widest range of civil society actors on the structures and implementation of the Somaliland Special Arrangement (SSA).
• Establish Somaliland New Deal – SSA Task force that encompasses CSOs, government, members of parliament and international community in order to ensure the coherence and proper coordination of the New Deal – SSA programs.
• Conduct public outreach on the SSA including through the media, and make documents available in the Somali language.
• Support CSOs engagement and implementation process of the SSA as it can be the best option in addressing the most critical and cross- cutting thematic issues including gender mainstreaming, disability, youth, media and human rights.
• CSOs have wider and variety knowledge which can be used the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms of the New Deal – SSA process, in order to overcome constrains experienced as unique challenges that Somaliland may face, notably some social, political and technical implications. CSOs must have a clearly defined role in the monitoring of the SSA.
• Understand that SSA needs to cascade to its current status by addressing issues and priorities at micro and macro level, on other hand, CSOs are demanding donor community to give special treatment and attention to the SSA and its structural framework with depoliticized environment that can be incorporated with CSOs and relevant authorities.
• CSOs are recommending the Somaliland Special Arrangement Annual Report,2014 should be given a sufficient attention, consideration and separately disseminated through High Level Partnership Forum in Copenhagen on November, 19th -20th 2014.
• CSOs are calling for donor community – bilateral and multilateral actors to recognize the significant contribution of the CSOs, in which without them the spirit of the New Deal – SSA cannot be realized.
• Promoting CSOs greater initiative on development and holding state institutions accountable is an alternative way to realize the peace-building and state- building goals of the Somaliland Special arrangement (SSA).
• Calling for donor community to facilitate any technical and political implications that Somaliland Special Arrangement SSA can face through inclusive and participatory arrangements and maximize the CSOs meaningful and constructive engagement with New Deal partnership and SSA.
• CSOs are encouraging the upcoming High Level Aid Coordination Forum to quest for more commitment for international community’s assistance to Somaliland.
• CSO welcomes the continuing support and assistance that international community provides to Somaliland as Somaliland Development Fund (SDF) and other anticipated Trust Funds Arrangements.
Organized and coordinated by SONSAF and NGO Consortium