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19 Feb

Donors, Government, Civil Society Discuss Development Priorities for Jordan

The West Asia-North Africa (WANA) Institute presented its policy paper on development priorities for Jordan to government officials and donor agencies on 19 February. The meeting aimed to find common ground between civil society organisations (CSOs), ministries, and donor agencies.

The policy paper describes Jordan’s development priorities from the perspective of CSOs, based on a discussion held in December 2017 with Jordanian think tanks and policy NGOs. The goal of the paper is to bring the voices and ideas of civil society to the government and donors.

By bridging the gap between various stakeholders, the WANA Institute aims to improve CSOs’ project implementation and guarantee that projects are designed to meet the real needs of the local communities. A fact sheet published by the Institute last year indicated that the funds and agendas of international donors are not always responding those needs.

The policy paper was produced as part of the project “Strengthening of Think Tanks, Youth Initiatives and Civil Society Organisations,” funded by the European Union (EU) and carried out in cooperation with the National Center for Human Rights. The project aims to build the capacity of non-governmental stakeholders to deliver results-based development assistance by equipping them with skills, tools and evidence.

“One of the most important challenges facing many civil society associations is weak institutional capacity, starting from the lack of awareness of the law governing their work to understanding the regulations and Law on Societies,” said Khitam Shnikat from the Ministry of Social Development. “Some associations lack the ability to seek funding, whether domestic or foreign, to finance their goals and objectives, and even when they do, the challenge remains how these projects will be sustained.”

Rahma al-Maeeni from UNRWA encouraged participants to focus on the commonalities between civil society, governments and INGOs to “reach a real contribution to local organisations, especially in the Arab region where security challenges have contributed to marginalisation and loss of basic rights.”

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