CSOs in Togo face challenges to participation

Lomé - CSOs cited highly technical discussions, unsystematic CSO participation and limited resources as main challenges for CSOs to participate in official dialogue mechanisms on aid and development effectiveness.  In her welcome remarks, Mme Ama Elise Esso, President of Groupe d’Action et de Réflexion pour l’Environnement et le Développement (GARED), emphasized the need to create spaces for CSO participation and reinforce human rights as the focus of development programs.

CSOs shared that the highly technical discussions on aid effectiveness prevent the CSOs, which do not have expertise on the technical language, to follow and contribute to official dialogues.  Limited resources also hinder CSOs to set-up mechanisms to make governments and donors accountable.

Togo, a fragile state, adheres to the commitment of PD and AAA by setting-up instruments and strategies, primary of which is the Document de Stratégie pour la Réduction de la Pauvreté (DSRP).  Some CSO representatives took part in the development of this paper, but they also admit that there is a long way to go to achieve broad participation.  ‘The responsibility to citizens is weakened, both because of the lack of transparency mechanisms to enable citizens and parliaments to audit donors and governments,’ says Nao Nyaku, a member of Dynamique OSCAF.  Togo receives most of its aid from EU countries (49%).  In terms of bilateral partners, France provides the most aid (15%).

CSO representatives, and delegates of the Ministre de la Planification, du Développement et de l’Aménagement du Territoire convened at CASEC, Lome, Togo on August 10 and 11 to discuss collaboration of various stakeholders in strengthening aid effectiveness implementation in the country.