ARCPD Reflections 2014

Background

 

As part of the regional review on the implementation of progress being made toward the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action, the African Regional Conference on Population and Development was held from 30th September to 4th October, 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This conference was themed “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend: The Future we want for Africa”.  The conference brought together representatives from African government, civil society and youth organisations, and agreed on priorities, challenges and emerging issues for the African region.

From the 24th-25th September, youths from across Africa came together during the Youth Pre-conference to identify their priorities. This was followed by the CSO Pre-conference to be held on 26th-27th September (also tasked with identification of priorities). These two events resulting in the youth and CSO statements were presented before the experts prior to the Ministerial meeting from 30th– 4th September, 2013.

The Ministerial meeting was represented by 53 African countries who adopted the Addis Ababa Declaration on Population and Development in Beyond 2014, which consists of 88 commitments that set out concrete actions and Africa’s priorities on population in the development agenda post 2015. All countries, except Chad, adopted the Declaration. Furthermore, 16 member states had reservations on three commitments (17, 18 and 35) of the Addis Ababa Declaration:

  1. Algeria
  2. Benin
  3. Burundi
  4. Central African Republic
  5. Congo
  6. Djibouti
  7. Democratic Republic of Congo
  8. Eritrea
  9. Ethiopia
  10. Gabon
  11. Mali
  12. Mauritania
  13. Niger
  14. Sierra Leone
  15. Sudan
  16. Tunisia

Given this outcome, AAI began the Reflection project in order to ensure to increase level of accountability and transparency that occurred around the African Regional Conference on Population and Development (ARCPD).

This report is a tool to record and debate the level of accountability and transparency that occurred around the African Regional Conference on Population and Development (ARCPD). It is meant to document the successes and failures of the variety of stakeholders in the process and reflect on processes and outcomes before and during the ARCPD. This is done only as a means to determine how civil society especially can better impact such proceedings in future, and most especially with regard to such processes affecting Africa and SRHR, such as the Post 2015 process. 

In some circumstances content has been deleted or altered as a means to avoid identifying individuals or organisations. No identifiers of individual’s opinions have been included. Although some respondents approved the use of their names, no names have been provided as a means to ensure full confidentiality is ensured, even by process of exclusion. The potential problems of including names has been carefully weighed against the potential gains. These decisions have been taken carefully and with consideration. Finally, transparency, accountability and a desire to improve future processes has been prioritised and a hope that through reflection these ICPD, MDG/SDG and Post 2015 processes will gain from the learning.

 

Methodology

 

Staff from the following institutions were interviewed for this report:

•    The African Union Commission
•    United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
•    AfriYAN/Ghana Government Delegation
•    World YMCA
•    UNAIDS Youth Programme
•    Women For A Change Cameroon 
•    Southern Africa AIDS Trust, Regional Office
•    African Population and Health Research Center 
•    NAYA Kenya

This report does not claim to be complete or to reflect the opinions of all stakeholders but is simply a “Reflection” of those who were so kind as to participate in the study.

 

Recommendations 

 

This section provides recommendations to all stakeholders including CSOs, National governments and UN agencies such as UNECA and UNFPA on based on key observations from the ARCPD. 

•    Greater accountability is needed from both government representatives and civil society so that they better represent their constituency and demand outcomes that improve the situation for women and youth with regard to sexual and reproductive health and rights.  
•    Create dedicated programs to develop civil society delegation members’ capacity to strengthen relationships with government representative country delegations is vital to ensure success both in prior advocacy activities as well as during the final negotiation meetings.
•    Develop mentoring and training programs for civil society members on how to work with country delegations is required for improved advocacy at international and regional forums such as the ARCPD. 
•    There is need for more in-country engagement required between CSOs and governments prior to regional conferences such as the ARCPD which would lead to better negotiated outcomes at regional level. 
•    There is also the need for adequate government/political mapping prior to regional conferences such as the ARCPD in order to adequately prepare for negotiations both at country and regional level.
•    There is need for development of functioning accountability frameworks and capacity building of CSOs in effective program design and implementation. 
•    There is need for UNFPA and its collaborating partners to develop qualitative as opposed to  just quantitative tools or a combination (triangulation) when conducting assessment of progress towards achieving MDGs.
•    There is also the need for adequate government/political mapping prior to regional conferences such as the ARCPD in order to adequately prepare for negotiations both at country and regional level.

 

Project Contacts

 

Bob Munyati, Researcher, Rating Centre South Africa, bob [at] aidsaccountability.org, Tel no +27 21 424 2057.

Phillipa Tucker, Executive Director, Rating Centre South Africa, phillipa [at ]aidsaccountability.org, Tel no +27 21 424 2057.

This project was made possible by the generous support of

Funder's Network AIDS Accountability International Bob Munyati Phillipa Tucker

 

Linkages

 

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS PROJECT HAS LINKAGES AND OVERLAPS WITH THE FOLLOWING PROJECTS:

Integration of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights into the Post 2015 Development Agenda

African Health Policy Review

ICPD and Beyond 2015

Monitoring the Maputo Plan of Action: An Assessment of SRHR in Africa

Monitoring the Maputo Plan of Action: A Strengthening of SRHR in Africa

The African Youth Task Force on Post 2015