(Message from Antonio Tujan, Jr., IBON International Director)
As of Friday, the CPDE based on the draft paper was endorsed by the BetterAid CG with comments forwarded to the new governance body of the CPDE. In doing so, the Coordinating Group of BetterAid signifies its agreement to the creation of a new open platform for development effectiveness engagement bringing together other platforms and CSOs initiatives, most especially the Open Forum.
I would like then to announce the dissolution of BetterAid, more than four years since its establishment in Johannesburg last October 2008, and to thank the more than 2,000 CSOs who have participated in one way or the other in our activities from global level engaging with the Working Party, the UN DCF, the OECD DAC and DCD, along with the myriad initiatives and activities whether country level, bilateral, and multilateral, that came with this engagement.
BetterAid, as a platform, a program and a campaign worked hard to improve capacity of civil society at various levels in engaging aid effectiveness policy and practice. In the process we were able to develop and have consensus around a series of realistic advocacy positions and policy proposals and were generally successful in getting broad support for these from key aid and development actors.
The CSO positions and policy proposals were reflected in the HLF4 Outcome Statement particularly in the key selected issues in implementation of the AAA, democratic ownership, CSO enabling environment and the needed reforms in the international aid architecture. CSOs proved that our positions gained leverage in the various multi-stakeholder policy spaces at the national and international levels, and advanced the aid effectiveness agenda to development effectiveness agenda. Our achievements have been more than exceptional as our assessment report "CSOs on the Road to Busan" relates.
Let me take this opportunity to thank the 35 CSOs who volunteered into the Coordinating Group, dedicating time and resources to take coordination leadership roles in the platform and its activities. We should also thank the Co-chair - first Cecilia Alemany and later Mayra Moro-coco both of AWID, and the facilitation group - Jan Dereymaeker of ITUC, Pauliina Saares of Kepa for Concord, Richard Ssewakiryanga of Uganda NGO Federation, Anne Schoenstein of AWID, and Roselynn Musa of FEMNET. We would like to thank the many members of the various working groups that were set up along the way - the CSO Management Group (managing the CSO basket fund), the Finance Committee, the Negotiation Team (for the Busan outcome document), and others.
Much of our work was made possible through the support of our very able program and secretariat staff. We would like to thank Krister Holm and Roberto Pinauin who were our program managers, Eden Gallardo and Reileen Dulay who supported us indefatigably as coordinators; Matt Simonds who acted as our Paris liaison, Clare and later Myrna Maglahus who were our communication officers, Joy Apolonio and Lester Sutian who acted as our finance officers, and Deedee Mijares, Patrick Soliguin, Allen Carillo, April Porteria, and Marc Ignacio who were assistants at different periods. Though the CG ends now and the BA program wraps up in December, during the transition period, the Secretariat Team will continue to support us until we finish the setting up of the new CSO platform.
The humongous work that BetterAid was able to take on and accomplish effectively has been recognized by our supporters and partners, both from developing countries and their program partners. These would not have been possible without the active participation and sacrifice by all concerned, most especially the Secretariat who put in more hours than expected in order to provide effective secretariat support in a global scale, almost 24/7. They know that we all appreciate their work, but it must be reiterated here that BetterAid has been great because of them.
And of course, we have all been engaged, contributing our creativity, time and resources in this common endeavour.
(Message from AWID)*
As BetterAid comes to an end and we move into the ‘CPDE’, it is a indeed a good moment to pause and recognize all the efforts, work, resources, and dedication - institutionally and on the personal level - that went into the aid and development effectiveness process from us all, the voluntary members of the BACG and all the program and secretariat staff as Tony already importantly highlighted , as well as the BA platform more broadly.
We wish to specifically also thank Tony for his commitment as co-chair throughout the years of BetterAid. And of course want to thank also the other members of the FG, the past and more recent working group coordinators/facilitators,…and each single one of you part of the BACG and the organisations you are part of.
From AWID we have been dedicated to this process, as co-chairs and in several other functions, over all these years as we truly believe that we can make change happen together, that working together among diverse civil society organisations and with our movements will make our common demand for sustainable, inclusive and just development and development cooperation more powerful. We have always engaged in this, until recently OECD-led, agenda from a critical angle and with the understanding that it is indeed the UN under which the agenda should be sitting. We have been striving together with you all for a human rights based approach to development and development cooperation, for human rights, gender equality, decent work and environmental sustainability as overarching pillars next to many other key demands – like ending policy conditionalities, etc. We should indeed - at this distinct juncture - celebrate our achievements, concerning both the official agenda and how we were able to arrive at common positions, etc among ourselves as CSOs!
At the same time however, unfortunately, many of our common calls from the last years remain still valid today. From AWID we therefore remain committed to continue contributing and advocating for the structural changes required in order to achieve inclusive, sustainable development, gender justice and the fulfillment of human rights for all.
Anne and Mayra