On 24 August CIVICUS organised the first webinar session for National Associations that are part of the AGNA network. The online discussion brought together organisations from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas to discussion specific accountability challenges of a membership organisations and how different National Associations are using Codes of Conduct to strengthen practices within the civil society sector.
All participants had an opportunity to share their experiences and learn from lessons of other National Associations.
As I participated in a conference last week that debated the recent trends in the monitoring and evaluation of civil society organisations, I was struck by the amount of energy and resources devoted to measuring the impact of the sector.
Around 170 development practitioners from all corners of the globe gathered at the INTRAC conference in the Netherlands to discuss how the increasing demand for value-for-money and evidence of results by aid donors is affecting the work of civil society organisations. Indeed, with growing pressure from donors who are increasingly struggling to justify their overseas development aid budgets amid domestic budget cuts, discussion was lively.
The reality is that the impact of development work has always been notoriously difficult to measure. But in today’s era of advocacy projects and quests for good governance, there are more and more new monitoring and evaluation (M&E) challenges confronting CSOs. Complex political contexts, multi-sector networks and humanitarian relief programmes in fragile environments all pose their own unique challenges to measuring the impact CSOs are having. So the question posed to the diverse group of grassroots organisations, international NGOs, donors and government officials was: Are we doing the right thing? Rather than, are we doing things right?
A representative of one of the largest Japanese CSO networks visited the Philippines to share their experience in working with CSOs in Japan and to get a glimpse of the level of the legitimacy, transparency, and accountability (LTA) of CSOs in the Philippines.
The visit was part of the Peer Learning Exchange Program of the Affinity Group of National Associations (AGNA), an international network of national associations convened by CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizens’ Participation, of which CODE-NGO and JACO are members.