Civil Society and the HLM2: Looking Back

How prepared were we to participate in the GPEDC 2nd High Level Meeting (HLM2) in Nairobi? How was CPDE’s support to CSOs who participated in the HLM2? What were your individual achievements? What were CPDE’s achievements in the Nairobi events?

These are some of the questions we asked, looking back on what happened in Nairobi in November – December 2016. And you said…

1. On preparing constituencies to participate in the High Level Meeting 2


The Western Balkans region constituencies were looking into communicating their own message (or key asks as they were named), and prior to the meeting we have prepared a document. Also we made efforts to share timely news through the regional network website and social media (BCSDN).

youthforumHowever, we are still in a starting phase of building capacities and learning about development cooperation. As I could witness and participate, the level of preparation of the European region delegates was high, having very knowledgeable people always alert and experienced in involving others as well as working under pressure.

Our interventions during the meetings showed a burning desire to see progress in development cooperation. Emphasis on the imperative that donors must meet their previously agreed commitments, including use of country systems by development partners, is key. Representatives from the African CSOs were prepared for the event. We met prior to the event to finalise the key expectations towards HLM2. We had made comments to the draft outcome documents and provided inputs that we felt were important. I, personally, managed to participate both in the Youth Forum and in the CSO forums prior to attending the HLM2.

2. On CPDE support to CSO participation in the High Level Meeting 


We are grateful to the CPDE for the frequent communication to keep us updated before the attendance to the HLM2. The most useful was the logistics concerned to ensure my attendance. Thank you for the accommodation and arranging the travel. Perhaps it would be more useful in the future to ensure that all events take place in one venue, such as coordinating the CSO meetings and the HLM to happen in one place. Thank you for the lunches provided, the waters that were free that should not be taken for granted, the local bags produced, and the resource materials provided.



I was well supported in the logistical arrangements as is usual. I thought that more work could have been put into preparation of statements of the HLM2 in advance. It seemed a bit irrelevant to have the CPDE statement for the meeting come out during the meeting. It should have been released right after the CSO Forum on the same day. The analysis of the outcome document was excellent and very timely, allowing CSOs to very effectively affect the final version. Our representatives at the Steering Committee and the Secretariat that supported them served us very well.

3. On individual achievements at the High Level Meeting 2


I participated in the CSO Forum but unfortunately missed the youth and women’s forum.I participated at the HLM events and forwarded the CSO key asks to relevant people. I was on the national radio news together with the Minister, and back home our team did media work. We are now in the process of disseminating CSO comments on the outcome document to key decision makers, etc. It would be good to keep up the work as it is all about what happens next, in terms of implementation….




It was my first meeting. I learned a lot about development cooperation, inclusivity, and role of private sector to resource the implementation of SDGs. It was also a forum for networking. Great mobilisation, rich discussion and full participation…



My individual achievements included adding on the global CSO voices present at the meeting. Between the Mexico High Level meeting and the Nairobi my organisation had pushed strongly for increased inclusive partnerships between governments and non-state actors such as CSOs and private sector. This was well reflected in the results of the GPEDC 2nd Monitoring Survey with governments in Africa making efforts to provide platform for engagement.

hlm2delegates3However, even though the space has been provided there are signs by governments to shy from providing enabling environments for CSOs to participate. Besides the enabling environment, the HLM2 reaffirmed the need to honor commitments made in Rome (2003), Paris (2005), Accra (2008), Busan (2011) and the 1st GPEDC High-Level Meeting in Mexico City (2014), which was a welcome development. I managed to participate in most sessions as per my application like Session 1 (Progress with implementing the unfinished aid effectiveness agenda and the development effectiveness commitments; identifying and addressing challenges). Most of the policy recommendations from my work are reflected in the outcome document.



We had a successful self-organised workshop bringing together participants from 15 countries. It was a good opportunity for analysis on issues of social justice and marginalized groups left behind. However, the time allocated to the self organized sessions was too little and did not provide ample time for interactive sessions. Future convening should allocate more time for each workshop to enable better sharing of information and experiences.

4. On CPDE’s achievements in the Nairobi events


Several organisations present in the HLM2 were new and hearing this for the first time, but they were discovering for the first time the work of civil society. This global partnership really touched community based-organisations. We can work better if we can work together.



It’s good to have the migrants and diaspora sector to put forward and discuss issues on conflict, which makes people move from their homes, a subject that came up several times in the HLM2 discussions.

The HLM2 was an opportunity to turn our abstract discussions to concrete policy advocacy work. The Feminist Group participation was very productive, resulting to Feminist Key Asks and aWomen’s Forum. We have achieved a lot in this HLM2.



openquoteyouth-gcWe went to the HLM2 very well prepared. We worked hard for this. The negotiation team’s work is greatly appreciated. The debate within the Sida and CPDE side-events being back-to-back was rich.

We managed to hear the voices from the ground. We are happy to have met new Youth organisations. We managed to talk about the Youth indicator with the OECD. The young people were very much involved in this HLM2.


openquoteOur ABC for EDC was very useful. It helped us to focus on our advocacy points. At the Parliamentarians’ Forum, the issue of accountability was critical. What touched me was the attitude of Parliamentarians from Africa. They were not familiar with CSO work. They agreed to work on accountability.


openquoteWe have a lot to be proud of with our wins in the Nairobi Outcome Document. We achieved a commitment to develop and roadmap, we have good language on shrinking space and accountability. We just need to remember that there is still much work needed, such as on updating the monitoring framework.



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