Lessons Learned in Executive Advocacy

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Quality Engagement: Towards better working terms between Government and Civil Society

While there have been instances where Government and civil society have worked together constructively, the relationship between the two sectors is more often characterized by mutual suspicion and antagonism. Government has validly criticized civil society for not being transparent, and for not always offering tangible solutions when it is critical of Government policy or practices. On its part civil society has often had to fight to be included in policy processes, and has on many instances been included in a superficial manner not intended to give it an opportunity for substantive input. Developing a binding agreement on the way in which these two sectors can engage with each other in a constructive manner can address these problems, and contribute to creating a healthy and beneficial working relationship between civil society in all its diversity and Government. In this note, we are guided by the Code of Good Practice on Policy Dialogue developed in Canada. The document is available at: http://www.vsi-isbc.ca/eng/policy/policy_code.cfm . Tanzania is about to undergo an African Peer Review Mechanism self-evaluation exercise on a national scale, and this could provide an excellent opportunity to address the possibility of an agreement between civil society and Government on quality engagement between the two sectors. Read More

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