CONCORD, the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development, hosted the Civil Society Organisations Aid Effectiveness (CSO AE) Northern Regional Workshop in Brussels on October 15 and 16, 2007. The workshop was meant as a space for NGOs/CSOs to dialogue on the question: Is the Paris Declaration (PD) on Aid Effectiveness applicable to CSOs?
While the CSO community welcomed the initiative of signatory governments and donors to come up with concrete indicators and targets to measure progress of aid, it was equally felt that the PD presents the distinct approach of governments and donors, which is different than that of the CSOs. As CSOs – from both North and South - are important actors involved in development and aid, the PD fails to reflect on their role and work practices; further more, it challenges the good practice of partnership patterns between CSOs in the North and South, risking to adopt measures that could leave donors and Southern governments as unaccountable to citizens and government structures.
As representative of the National Platfom of Development NGOs (FOND) of a new donor country who signed the PD, Romania, Denisa Brand-Jacobsen describes it as "formative for her" to take part in the discussions. There are new tendencies in aid and development world wide that could be worked on nationally by both the government as donor and CSOs so that Romania adopts the lessons learned and abides by the 5 key principles defined by the PD in synergy with the concrete proposals from national CSOs as partners.
Similar regional meetings and consultations took place all across the globe: Hanoi, Lusaka, Cotonou, Katmandu, Dhaka and Managua – and were followed by a larger North and South dialogue in Nairobi in November, to discuss the conclusions of each of the regional meetings.
Information provided by Denisa Brand-Jacobsen, member of the FOND board, email@example.com