On the road to Busan, civil society organizations (CSOs) from 11 countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) gathered together in Istanbul to draft a common vision on development effectiveness and an action plan to raise their voices at the HLF4.

The regional workshop, organized by Reality of Aid, with support from BetterAid and in coordination with UNDP, was to facilitate the participation of CSOs in EECA in the aid effectiveness process, wherein the capacity of CSOs is crucial in promoting the culture of transparency and accountability desperately lacking in the region and could provide the dynamism necessary for a deeper involvement among donors, government and CSOs who are relatively lagging behind in the aid effectiveness and development effectiveness agenda.

Workshop participants were introduced to the concepts of aid and development effectiveness and were updated on the process towards Busan. It also became a venue to highlight the perspectives, experiences and challenges in aid and development, specific to a region confronted with poverty, gender inequality, conflict and post-conflict reconstruction.

By the end of the workshop, the participants were able to provide their comments on the  3rd draft of the Busan Outcome Document which were forwarded to the BetterAid secretariat. The participants also came up with common priorities and challenges in the region and agreed on specific steps on how to move forward.

A key highlight from the workshop was the recognition that CSOs in the region would need to coordinate themselves and ensure that their perspectives and voices are heard. Specifically, the participants will start to dialogue with their respective government delegation to Busan on the CSO Asks and have agreed to continue communication on how they can work together not only in Busan but beyond on aid and development issues. The full report from the workshop will be available on the www.realityofaid.org website soon.

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