Comoros - Coalesce Civil Society Coalition for Greater Coordination
27 March 2017
Photo Credit: CSPPS Secretariat
A CSPPS team composed of Peter van Sluijs (Coordinator of the CSPPS Secretariat) and Georges Tshionza Mata (Regional Coordinator of PREGESCO and CSPPS Focal Point in the D.R. Congo) conducted a scoping mission from 19 to 24 February 2017 to galvanize coordination mechanisms among Comorian civil society actors to ensure their active and dynamic contributions to the New Deal Implementation and relevant other policy processes in context of the Comoros.
The mission was incited by the Comorian Civil Society call to the CSPPS for a scoping mission that was to help build capacity and solidify the participation of Civil Society in New Deal processes both at country and international levels. Hence, the CSPPS mobilized its representatives for a scoping mission aimed at raising awareness of Comorian Civil Society on the relevance of strategic and structural engagement of Civil Society as key partner in the New Deal process. A broad consultation within Comorian Civil Society representatives was conducted for the constitution of a CSPPS Country Team and the selection of a Focal Point aimed to ensure districts continuous engagement in various New Deal processes. The mission provided the Country Team colleagues in Comoros with relevant updates on the status and discussions as held in context of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding; and the delegation presence in Comoros also facilitated outreach to key governmental stakeholders and development partners to catalyze a dialogue process that is to be further build on.
The delegation had the opportunity to visit two islands, including Ngazidja and Anjouan. The third island (Mohéli) was not accessible due to a disruption of air traffic. The visit to Anjouan included an audience with the Governor of Anjouan next to a meeting with Anjouan civil society. CSPPS representatives met with key stakeholders in the Comoros, including all key government actors involved in the New Deal, namely: Government Secretary General, the Minister of Interior, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, The General Commissioner in charge of Planning, the Governor of the Sovereign Island of Ngazidja and the Governor of the Sovereign Island of Anjouan and the Civil Society. A meeting was also held with UNDP, which will support the next update of Comoros Fragility Assessment. While meeting with all key stakeholders, main message conveyed by both Peter and Georges was the purpose of the mission and an indication of what were the expected outcomes. As for the objective of the mission, CSPPS representatives pointed out that the mission aimed at strengthening the capacities of Comorian civil society so that it can impact on the policies of the government and have their voice heard in international debate. The mission also reinforced dialogue between Comorian Civil Society and the Government. Mr. Georges, evoked that 6 years ago the CSPPS came into existence and it has been observed that Comorian voice was missing in the dialogue. The mission was an occasion to gather information from Comorian civil society so that the CSPPS can help them play their role among Government and partners. One of the key outcome expected was to establish a CSPPS country team and nominate a CSPPS Focal Point in a participatory and democratic process in the presence of more than forty (40) organizations, members of the Government and the media.
The mission and various meetings have been instrumental to advocate for the importance of meaningful civil society involvement in New Deal and related policy processes. The objective to galvanize coordination mechanisms among civil society actors has been reached with a CT coming in place. The results of the mission were as follow:
- The CSPPS established a Comoros Country Team, comprising fifty-five (55) member organizations in Ngazidja, thirty (30) member organizations in Anjouan and twenty (20) member organizations in Mohéli.
- The Country Team nominated a Focal Point Organization of the CSPPS, La Maison des Organisations de la Société Civile (MOSC), and subsequently appointed Ahmed Youssouf as CSPPS Focal Point in Comoros.
In a recent CSPPS Core Group meeting, Ahmed Youssouf, CSPPS Focal Point in Comoros reported that the mission has paved the way for dialogue between civil society and government including other main stakeholders. He added that for quite a while, the government has neglected the civil society and its role in Comoros development. He also saluted the obvious effort of the Secretary General of the Government, who made a strong appeal to all Comorian CSOs to map the future of CSOs and the country. The Government of Comoros is as of now interested in working with civil society and willing to share some of the key information such as the government plan for SDGs implementation in the Comoros. The CSPPS Country Team is planning a meeting with the government technical team to discuss collaboration on the implementation of the New Deal.
The mission concluded with a meeting between CSPPS representatives and newly elected members of the CSPPS Country Team in Comoros. The Country Team was given a presentation on ways in which the Platform could support Country Team's activities.