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Non state actors participation

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Tuesday, 05 July 2005

Non state actors participation

Assessment of non-state actor participation in the mid-term review in Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo
The European Commission (EC) has recently published its assessment of non-state actor (NSA) participation in the mid-term review (MTR) process[1]. The mid-term review took place in 2004 as part of the programming process. Its purpose was to adjust strategies and resource allocations to African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. The Cotonou agreement states that Southern states should take the lead in determining how their societies and economies are to develop. Recipient governments must do this in collaboration with non-state actors. This means that, under the terms of the agreement, local development actors should be contributing to the formulation, review and, where possible, implementation of development policy for their country.
In the Great Lakes region, this has not been the case so far. While the European Commission acknowledges the importance of partnership with civil society, significant obstacles block the realisation of a truly effective working relationship. The EC’s paper recognises that there is room for further progress. The success of participatory approaches depends not just on the attitude of governments in partner countries or on the capacities of local actors, as the assessment indicators might suggest[2]. The EC delegations must fully assume their responsibility to invest time and money in relationship building with a complex and diverse range of actors. A one-size-fits-all approach will not work.
The aim of the paper is to complement the Commission’s evaluation by providing information and recommendations from non-state actors in the field. This paper takes the same structure as the EC’s draft assessment paper in order to establish a parallel analysis of the mid-term review process in three countries of the Great Lakes region, as observed by EurAC members and local partner organisations.