Civil Society Engagement Workshop Held in Mogadishu

Somali Civil Society, in collaboration with the Aid Coordination Unit at the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Planning & International Cooperation and UNDP through its Strengthening Institutional Performance Project organized a civil society engagement workshop in Mogadishu on 12-13 March 2016.

This responds to the will of the Government of Somalia and development partners of promoting inclusive engagement of multiple stakeholders –amongst which civil society- in the implementation of the Somali Compact and the future National Development Plan. There is common understanding that, although civil society is increasingly participating in Somali political and developmental initiatives, more needs to be done to ensure an effective contribution.

The workshop, which followed a series of 5 regional consultations held in late 2015 in Garowe, Adado, Baidoa, Kismayo and Mogadishu, aimed at deepening reflection amongst Civil society Organizations on how they can better contribute to development and reconstruction of Somalia, strengthen internal coordination and improve dialogue with the Somali State and other stakeholder groups as well as on capturing views of Somali CSOs on the quality of public-private dialogue in the country. 49 participants (53% of whom women) attended the workshop.

This initiative makes part of the Proposal of support to civil society engagement in New Deal implementation in Somalia funded by the New Deal Facility. The findings of the workshop will feed the 2nd Monitoring Round of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, which the Ministry of Planning & International Cooperation is leading, and might be considered in the aid management and coordination chapter of the National Development Plan.

The workshop stimulated groups’ discussions on how to set up spaces for multi-stakeholder dialogue on national development policies, accountability and transparency, official development cooperation with CSOs, legal and regulatory environment for improved civil society engagement, and Somalia’s readiness to host, create or sustain a public-private dialogue process. Participants agreed on the fact that there is a lack of coherent structures that facilitate engagement of civil society organizations, which leads to disconnection between CSOs and the governments (FGS, regional). They argue that a limited number of CSOs interact directly with governments and donors, and do not share information with the wider civil society. This results in a weakening of the role of the CSOs in the national dialogue.

UNDP Somalia will continue to support multi-stakeholder dialogue, coordination, inclusiveness and institutional strengthening as a means to promote peacebuilding/state-building goals and to accelerate transition from fragility towards resilience and development.