CSO Development Effectiveness in the MENA region - regional workshop in Erbil, Iraq

Monday 26 November 2012,

On the 23th - 24th of November, some 20 senior CSO practitioners from Iraq and the MENA region gathered in Erbil, Iraq (Kurdistan) for a workshop on CSO Development Effectiveness.

Organized by Iraqi Al-Amal Association with the support of the Open Forum, Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND), International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) and the Kurdistan government, the event was a success in introducing the Open Forum outcomes and implementation strategies.

The Iraqi civil society is very active and has already achieved important progress on enabling environment in the country. Indeed, civil society advocacy played a key role in shaping the new Iraqi NGO Law of 2010, which presents important improvements over previous provisions - including on administrative procedures and government intervention. More recently, Iraqi NGOs took part in agreeing the implementation guidelines for this new law as equal participants with the Iraqi Government and the Parliament.

Bringing a wealth of civil society experience and insights on the Arab Spring, the workshop also included participants with from Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain, Lebanon, Sudan and Morocco.

Based on the Open Forum Practitioner’s Activity Guide, participants engaged in strategic discussion and interactive exercises on ways to apply the 8 Principles of CSO Development Effectiveness to their regional and national realities.

Among the key issues addressed were:

- Equitable partnership and solidarity between local and international NGOs (Istanbul Principle number 6)
- Initiatives on promoting social justice (Istanbul Principle number 1)
- Gender equality and equity (Istanbul Principle number 2)

Going forward, participants will be bringing back to their constituencies the implementation strategies on the Principles for CSO Development Effectiveness with the support of the Practitioners Activity Guide and the Implementation Toolkit. A feedback session on the workshop is already planned in Tunisia, and the possibility of a regional follow up event in March 2013 is being discussed.

Open Forum extends our warm gratitude to Iraqi Al- Amal association, the workshop faciliator Anas Elhasnaoui of Espace Associatif in Morocco, and all the participants for a great event!

Workshop documentation

- View the photos from the workshop

- Download the Workshop presentation in English and French

- Download the workshop agenda (Arabic/English)

The report from the workshop will be available shortly - please visit this page for more information

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