This was one of the issues raised at a meeting held between various local CSO representatives and the Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Namibia, Ambassador Raul Milani, as well as EU Heads of Co-operation at the National Planning Commission (NPC) offices last week.
According to a media statement issued by the EU on Wednesday, the meeting was held to engage in a participatory discussion on current challenges, and how these can be addressed within the framework of EU programming.
“Another challenge raised by CSOs is the fact that they spend a lot of resources to adhere to donors’ requirements regarding financial accountability, and they requested a simplification of the procedures and technical support,” the release stated.
With the 10th European Development Fund (EDF)’s cycle ending this year, the EU delegation has started charting its future co-operation with Namibia under EDF 11, which begins in 2014.
The main concern raised by the representatives was Namibia’s rating as an upper-middle-income country.
They felt that it is not a true reflection of the socio-economic situation in Namibia, “as many are wallowing in poverty”.
They suggested that future support should target the layers of society which are not in the current upward economic stream, and that the education, skills and productivity of these target groups be given priority. The role of the private sector was also highlighted in this regard.
With Namibia struggling to effectively implement programmes and the scope to increase transparency and accountability regarding implementation, CSOs recommended that the EU should support the implementation of monitoring and evaluation programmes in Namibia.
The Union’s future development work globally will be guided by the Agenda for Change, which aims to increase the EU’s impact on poverty reduction.
Resources and policy thus ought to focus on democracy, human rights and other aspects of good governance, as well as inclusive and sustainable growth for human development.
In Namibia, the EU support will be based on and synchronised with the fourth National Development Plan (NDP4), which runs until 2017. It is foreseen that the support to be provided by the EU delegation and by EU member states will be jointly programmed.
The Delegation and EU member states are still having discussions regarding future programming in Namibia. Country allocations will be announced at a later stage.
Representatives of CSOs included, amongst others, the Association for Children with Language, Speech and Hearing Impairments of Namibia (Clash); the Namibia Non-Governmental Organisations’ Forum (Nangof) Trust; the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Namibia; Forum for the Future (FFF); the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR); the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC), and the Working Group of Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa (WIMSA).