Seminar on Civil Society Organizations’ Policy Advocacy for Good Governance, Transparency & Accountability

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The Horn Economic and Social Policy Institute (HESPI) in support of Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) organized a seminar on Civil Society Organizations’ (CSOs) policy advocacy for good governance, transparency and accountability in Somalia with the objectives of enhancing the role of CSOs involvement in Public Finance Management (PFM) and Financial Transparency and Accountability (FTA) policy advocacy, which is desirable for collective actions for influencing governments to achieve integrity in fiscal management. The CSOs engagement can influence elected officials to ensure better mobilization of government revenues and execution of resources allocations. Effective engagement of CSOs is perceived to be important so long as they advance public interest, and ensure participation of the public in fiscal management. Consequently, the seminar focused on the following key objectives:

  • Share, debate and validate the HESPI studies research findings on CSOs current roles, capacity gaps, opportunities and challenges in PFM and FTA in Somalia.
  • Identify and familiarize the CSOs on pragmatic PFM advocacy strategies & approaches, provide new competencies and technical skills on how to cooperate and collaborate with public officials on sustainable transformational change in fiscal management through evidence-based policy advocacy.
  • Create learning and sharing opportunities for CSOs-led policy advocacy and lobbying for effective PFM and FTA in a developing country context.
  • Explore ways of enhancing internal capacities of CSOs for effective policy advocacy and influence on PFM and FTA

The content of this Seminar was designed in a manner to create awareness on the current roles of CSOs in good governance in the country, explore the available opportunities to better conduct public advocacy and influence, the challenges and mitigation measures for CSOs policy advocacy, and the identified capacity gaps and measures of building the effective capacities for CSOs. The policy advocacy issues may vary across countries based on the socio-political and economic structures of each and the prevailing corruption levels.

The following issues were addressed at the Seminar:

  • Design and reinforce specific reforms through targeted advocacy and capacity building interventions for the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and other independent actors to play an active and effective role in strengthening of good governance in the country,
  • Create evidence-based and shared understanding of the challenges and prospects of good economic governance, and reinforce sound decision making in the country, through consultative knowledge dissemination and targeted policy advocacy.
  • Ensure planned enhancement of good governance in the country to (i) improving public participation by providing fiscal space to CSOs engagement and advocacy, (ii) strengthening of transparency and accountability, and (iii) enhancing external scrutiny of financial operations through effective joint engagement of CSOs and public officials.