CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is pleased to announce the selection of 8 convening partners to conduct local multi-stakeholder dialogues between January and June 2014, as part of its action-based research project, the New Social Contract.
Through the project, CIVICUS seeks to find new ways of partnership, engagement and commitment between different stakeholders to address collective challenges at the local level and together set up collective goals. CIVICUS proposes a methodology for these multi-stakeholder engagements and has been funding a series of local conversations about collaboration and systems that underpin the relationship between different forces in society, also known as social contracts.
The Call for Expressions of Interest to organise locally-initiated multi-stakeholders dialogues was officially launched on 20 September 2013, and was well received as 948 applications from 120 countries were submitted. Between October and December 2013, the proposals were moderated on account of the relevance of the proposed challenge, the candidates’ willingness to address it and their motivations to establish a local multi-stakeholder platform.
Eight projects were selected from around the world, and all are led by civil society organisations for local dialogues between civil society and other sectors usually not connected. They are from:
- Albania, the organisation Partnere per Femijet was selected to organise a dialogue on discriminations against Rom people in access to education.
- Bolivia, the foundation CONSTRUIR is to convene an intercultural dialogue including indigenous groups to discuss development planning in La Paz region.
- Canada, the Richmond Multicultural Community Services has decided to set up a series of dialogues and meetings between different religious communities in Vancouver for an interfaith conversation.
- Israel, the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies intends to mitigate wastewater management conflicts between Israel and Palestine through a local dialogue involving local decision makers, communities and NGOs.
- Madagascar, Mikajy Natiora will organise a follow up meeting with all stakeholders involved in an already constituted platform for the management of protected areas in the Sofia region.
- Sri Lanka, the Nation Builders Association aims at better engagement and a well-coordinated management of the watershed in Upper Mahaweli River Basin through a dialogue with local authorities, local communities and NGOs notably.
- Timor-Leste, the organisation Centru Feto Haburas Dezenvolivmentu is seeking to increase partnerships and understanding, and find solutions together with communities, service providers and governmental bodies to combat issues of sexual and gender based violence in Baucau District.
- Venezuela, Grupo Social CESAP is to convene multi-stakeholder roundtables for risks reduction and management in the Mérida region.
Selected partners will receive a financial contribution of 4000 USD.
For the purpose of the New Social Contract project, a multi-stakeholder dialogue is understood as bringing relevant actors who have a 'stake' in a given issue or decision together, in order to address a common challenge (social, economic, environmental, or any others) that couldn't be properly tackled without the other actors. A multi-stakeholder process assumes that all the involved stakeholders are somehow affected by the challenge and have relevant experience, knowledge and information that will positively contribute to the decision-making process as well as any actions that (may) result. For more details about the New Social Contract project, you can consult our webpage here.
The call for expressions of interest was part of the Civic Space Initiative, which aims to protect and expand civic space by fostering an enabling legal environment for civil society organisations around the world. The project is implemented in partnership with the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), Article 19, and the World Movement for Democracy, with support from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).