Why does inclusivity matter? The Busan Partnership Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development acknowledge the importance of inclusive policy making, openness, trust and mutual respect to ensure that “those directly affected can contribute to defining and tracking development policies and programmes that are intended to improve their lives”. Informing and consulting with CSOs is critical to ensuring they can effectively play their role as watchdogs to promote public accountability, and to ensure that donors are not losing sight of development aid’s core purpose: reducing poverty, fighting inequality, and making sure no one is left behind.
- • Greater transparency. The DAC’s plans to declassify more of its documents are promising, but it is not clear how they will be put into practice. We urge that all documents be declassified by default, unless there is a compelling reason to the contrary.
- • Greater consultation. The proposal to hold consultations with civil society before Senior Level and High Level Meetings is a welcome development, and we recommend that this be institutionalised. But this is not enough to ensure genuine inclusivity and meaningful dialogue. We also ask that the actual Senior and High Level Meetings should be open to civil society observers. And we call for civil society to be consulted whenever a key decision is approaching – not just once or twice a year. This consultation should be timely, regular, and transparent. Our requests and recommendations should not remain unanswered: the DAC should provide an explanation of whether, and how, it will address our concerns.
- • A CSO engagement policy that aims to strengthen participation of CSOs from the South. Efforts to intensify outreach and dialogue with CSOs should be cognisant of the barriers to Southern CSO engagement, and work towards bringing in and strengthening Southern CSO voices in DAC processes.
We welcome the DAC’s progress on responding to our concerns, but hope to see much more rapid progress in the coming months. Our conference calling experience has taught us patience, but the urgency of Agenda 2030 is such that a more inclusive dialogue with the DAC can’t wait.
Originally published by Eurodad