Soliciting the expertise of the REPAOC members allowed Guinea Bissau CSOs to evenly appropriate the various complex stages of participatory governance
Following the mission for the identification of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Guinea-Bissau from 18 to 21 August 2014, the Delegation of the European Union through its Program of Support to Non-State Actors (EU-PAANE for its acronym in French) sought the contribution of REPAOC for capacity building of the Guinea-Bissau civil society. This was done by organizing a workshop to share the experiences of REPAOC member National Platforms (NFP) on good governance. The concept of good governance in its participatory, democratic and citizen approach helps create and foster a culture of mutual accountability.
To this end, on 14 and 15 October 2014, the Permanent Secretariat of NGOs (SPONG for its acronym in French) of Burkina Faso and the Platform of NGOs (PLATONG) of Cape Verde participated in the tenth Thematic Workshop on good governance in Guinea-Bissau.
The goal of the workshop was to contribute to the active participation of civil society in Guinea-Bissau in the field of Governance. It aimed at exchanging experiences on actions taken around this issue among CSOs in the sub-region and those of Guinea-Bissau, as well as creating a space for constructive, structured and sustainable dialogue for the appropriation the concept of good governance in Guinea-Bissau. The workshop helped to define priorities, in addition to actions that will be funded during the 4th call for EU-PAANE projects.
SPONG and PLATONG, represented respectively by Sylvestre TIEMTORE, National Coordinator and Mario Moniz, Executive Director, shared the concrete experiences of their organizations in the field of good governance through the process of defining and monitoring of public policies. They also shared innovative tools of internal governance. After demonstrating the need for CSOs to network, they urged Guinea-Bissau civil society to build structures that allow them to better play their role of questioning and accompanying public authorities.
The added value of SPONG’s participation in this workshop is the fact that SPONG, with its 40 years of existence, has put in place transparent and democratic mechanisms for internal management, and also developed a pool of expertise on certain themes which earned it its participation in consultation frameworks and gives it the legitimacy to influence, monitor and evaluate public policies at the national level.
Moreover, the Cape Verde platform shares the same language and the same history with Guinea Bissau. The presence of PLATONG was a source of motivation and inspiration for Guinea-Bissau CSOs.
The participation of REPAOC member NFPs in this workshop is a significant asset for REPAOC, which besides making them known, highlights their ability to support structuring and invigoration of civil society at the national level. This first experience with EU-PAANE and Guinea-Bissau CSOs is the beginning of a partnership for the development of a strong civil society in Guinea-Bissau.
Soliciting the expertise of the REPAOC members allowed Guinea Bissau CSOs to evenly appropriate the various complex stages of participatory governance. In addition, for REPAOC this action fits into the process of identifying its focal point in Guinea Bissau in order to broaden its representation to all ECOWAS countries by 2017.