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Security and Justice

Is the UN ‘Ready for Review’? CSPPS showcasing work of partners at High-Level Political Forum

For the first time since the advent of the 2030 Agenda in 2015, progress towards SDG16 – along with several other SDGs – will have a detailed review at the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in July 2019.

CSPPS delegate Mouldjide Ngarnygam from Chad in the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (IDPS) side-event A Dialogue for Peace: Delivering SDG 16+ in conflict-affected situations. Image: Cordaid

SDG16 seeks to promote peaceful, just and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Voluntary National Review

Earlier this year, the Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS) embarked on Ready for Review, a project to support civil society engagement in fragile and conflict-affected settings and countries going for the 2019 Voluntary National Review (VNR).

The CSPPS is the global network of civil society actors from the South and the North who work together to support conflict prevention and peacebuilding in fragile situations.

Meaningful inclusion, participation and contribution

Ready for Review aimed to ensure the meaningful inclusion, participation and contribution of national and local civil society organizations during government-led SDG consultation and validation processes in seven selected countries: Ivory Coast, Central African Republic, Chad, Sierra Leone, East Timor, Rwanda and Nigeria.

CSPPS was able to implement the project in partnership with the Transparency, Accountability and Participation Network and local civil society partners and with the support of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and the European Union’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development.

International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding

Ready for Review is built around political dialogue processes taking place in the context of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding partnership (IDPS).

The group of target countries illustrates CSPPS’ willingness to make use of the existing partnership, while at the same time opening doors for new connections by providing support to non-g7+ countries in amplifying the voice of civil society in relevant policy processes around the VNR.

Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding
Matthew Wojcik (left), Marina Graciolli de Paiva (center) and Peter van Sluijs (right) from CSPPS and Cordaid at an event on SDG16+, holding the Rome Declaration for accelerated action on SDG16+. Image: Cordaid

The HPLF is an opportunity for member states to report on a voluntarily on the progress achieved to implement the SDGs at the national and sub-national levels, through a government-led and inclusive review. Regular reviews by the HPLF are to be voluntary, state-led, undertaken by both developed and developing countries, and involve multiple stakeholders, including civil society.

Lessons learned

VNRs aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, and to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the SDGs.

As part of the HLPF 2019 engagements, CSPPS contributed a chapter to the report Supporting Civil Society in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States going for a VNR in 2019. In this chapter, CSPPS covers its workshop methodology, the collaboration trajectories it has embarked upon with international and local stakeholders, and some preliminary lessons learned.

The 8 lessons learned are:

  1. VNR consultation activities can mark a starting point for improved dialogue and coordination.
  2. Know your added value and shine a light on it.
  3. Lack of VNR experience can be palliated by early preparation and organization.
  4. Context differs, which is why it matters.
  5. Yes, the quality of inclusion and participation matters, but so does communication.
  6. Next to securing financial support from donors, it is key to include their local delegations as fully-fledged stakeholders in the process.
  7. Civil society understands the opportunity provided by the VNR process and wants to do more.
  8. Whenever possible, open up the VNR workshop planning process to other local partners outside of usual partners, and vice versa.

Please find here the July 2019 Communication Update of the Ready for Review and the report Empowering Civil Society for Reporting and Action on SDG16.