Building a strong civil society role in aid and development effectiveness

Yaounde The Civil Society of Cameroon converged last January 18-19, 2011 at Hotel Jouvence, Yaounde, to address key challenges, which affect the effective implementation of PD and AAA.  The AIDNET Group Cameroon organized the 2-day dialogue with the aim of contributing a strong CSO message for the High Level Forum in Busan.  The message was formed around building and strengthening effective partnership, strengthening the Ministry of Finance and addressing leadership and democratic ownership inherent in the implementation of PD and AAA. The first day was allotted for a CSO Consultation while the second day was designated for planning and a multi-stakeholder consultation.  Invited to this dialogue were CSO representatives from the capital as well as CSOs from the regions, sector representatives, Members of Parliament, UN Women, EU representative, members of the French donor community, private sector and media.

The meeting paved the way to discuss how CSO participation can move away from being token participants to actively engaging in the process and influencing aid policy and practice.  It also provided an entry-point to include parliamentarians, media and the private sector in development effectiveness process. In particular, the Members of the Parliament were keen to bring the issue to the house hearings in the coming months.

Civil society organizations in Cameroon are starting to increase their engagement through active participation, dialogue mechanisms and lobbying for the inclusion of the development agenda into the aid debate.  There is a strong need to monitor aid flows and manner of utilization.  In addition, there is the demand of CSOs to influence the donor community to harmonize and align their efforts using the existing country development plan and country systems.