Creating new opportunities for voices of the poor to be heard in policy dialogue

Regional Poverty Observatory

The SADC Conference on Poverty and Development held in Mauritius in April 2008 decided on the establishment of a SADC Regional Poverty Observatory (RPO), as a consultative forum where all stakeholders working on poverty eradication at the regional and national levels meet to evaluate and monitor the implementation of poverty eradication programmes. The RPO is in many ways an aggregation of National Poverty Observatories which are the country nodes. The initiative also supports civil society readiness to participate in the poverty and development observatories at regional and national levels, through evidence-based research and creates learning opportunities for national poverty and development observatories, to share experiences across countries and knowledge about models for engagement. The RPO includes among others, the mapping of poverty trends.

Regional Poverty Mapping

Poverty Mapping is conducted to gather data that is used to produce a graphical representation of the various aspects of poverty at the local, national and regional level. The indicators used in such an exercise are multidimensional and include consumption and income, education, health, life opportunities and the degree to which the voice of the poor is heard. This will provide a graphical representation focusing on geographically disaggregated poverty information related to individual countries that, together, will provide a regional poverty map. The work is being undertaken within the SADC Regional Poverty Observatory framework which the Trust supports heavily.

Multi-stakeholder engagement mechanism with SADC

The initiative entrenches civil society participation and other non-state actors and opens policy spaces for the voice of the poor at national level, as well as in SADC policy development processes. This is done through enhancing SADC stakeholder engagement capacity and establishing a practice of stakeholder engagement at key policy development points in national and SADC calendars. By facilitating engagement with national and regional policy makers as well as SADC secretariat, the initiative supports diverse civil society organisations and social movements in their preparation for participation. Key platforms for engagement include national level development processes, regional consultations and summits.

Midrand Civil Society Support Facility

The Midrand Facility was established in 2008 as a mechanism to stimulate and facilitate effective, efficient and sustained engagement between civil society and Pan-African institutions based in Midrand, South Africa. These are the Pan African Parliament (PAP), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). Specifically, the Facility works to increase knowledge of both civil society and pan African institutions about each other, increase the capacity of CSOs to access and engage the institutions, empower African citizens to contribute to continental development processes and to monitor implementation of these processes.