UNITAS Bolivia: Organizations evaluate whether Civil Society acts in an environment that enhances its contribution to development

Bolivia: Organizations evaluate whether Civil Society acts in an environment that enhances its contribution to development

La Paz, October 18 (UNITAS) .-   The National Consultation that takes place in Bolivia as part of the Third Monitoring Round (3MR) of the Global Alliance for an Effective Development Cooperation (AGCED) was attended by more than 80 representatives of social organizations, NGOs, international cooperation, universities and other non-profit institutions.

The activity seeks to open a plural and open dialogue that allows gathering evidence to know, among other things, to what extent the government consults with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) when designing, executing and monitoring national development policies ; if there are coordination processes that facilitate the participation of CSOs in the political dialogue and / or coordination among CSOs at the national or sectoral level; the extent to which CSOs implement their development work guided by international human rights standards and principles or to what extent partnerships between funding CSOs and partner CSOs are equitable and based on mutual interest.

The standard questionnaire that is being applied in all the countries participating in this 3RM gathers opinions on the so-called indicator two, to know if “Civil society acts in an environment that maximizes its participation and its contribution to development”. That is, it addresses issues related to the legal and regulatory framework, the exercise of freedom of association, assembly and expression in the country, and other aspects that influence the work of the Director of the National Union of Institutions for Work. of Social Action (UNITAS), Susana Eróstegui.

“The idea is to analyze the progress made regarding the commitments assumed in the Busan Alliance by governments and donors to guarantee a favorable environment for civil society and provide evidence that will feed collective reflection in our country and the global report,” he said. In addition to indicator two, Eróstegui reported that in total there are ten indicators that are part of the monitoring scheme implemented by governments around the world, in light of four principles of Development Effectiveness: ownership by countries, focus on results, inclusive alliances, and transparency and shared responsibility.

For those who were present representing different organizations, in addition to indicator 2, the indicators referring to gender and women’s empowerment, public-private partnerships, transparency, focus on results and others that are evaluated by the governments themselves in consultation with other development actors (Non-Governmental, national, international organizations, international cooperation, academia and private sector).

 “We have had some discrepancies among us about the attitude of the Government in relation to regulations that exist and that are not met in practice. With regard to the protection of Human Rights (HR), beyond what is established in the Political Constitution of the State (CPE), there is a lack of legislation that complements this aspect specifically, for example in terms of vulnerable sectors such as the indigenous or the disabled, LGBTI groups or gender policies, although it shows that there is more progress and openness, “said the Director of an NGO in Santa Cruz.

This monitoring exercise complements and contributes to the monitoring process of the SDGs, since it generates official data regarding SDGs 17 and 5, which allows the countries to determine the extent to which the joint work of all the actors contributes to the priorities and development results established by the country.

For many social movements and collectives, there is an urgent need to address specific issues regarding harassment and harassment of groups considered by the Government as opposition. “All the issues that have questioned us have been treated in depth, what is debated is that there is excessive control of the government towards everything they understand as opposition or all that they see as negative for their actions,” says the representative of an original indigenous peasant organization.

Other opinions stressed the “need to unite the national population in the request for guarantees for freedom of expression, especially the media that are under acute economic suffocation,” they said.

Regarding the indicator referring to gender equality and the empowerment of women, the indicator measures three criteria: The first focuses on the intention of a government to address gender equality and the empowerment of women by checking whether a country has policies / programs that are sensitive to gender issues and allocations of funds to support their implementation. The second criterion evaluates whether a government has mechanisms to monitor the allocations of funds throughout the public finance management cycle – from its inclusion in the budget to the evaluation of the impact of spending.

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