The basis and starting point of the strategy of the Center for the Promotion of Human Rights and Development in Africa (CPHDA) are its statutes, which define both the mandate and the goals of the organisation’s work. As a technical entity, we created this organisation to “increase our contribution to more justice in Sub-Saharan Africa”. It is our joint mission to “serve the fight against poverty, the realization of human rights and the conservation of natural resources as effectively as possible”. On the basis of this strategy, we are committed to the changes we deem important and we express how we intend to implement them. Theorganization’s fundamental goals remain unchanged. This strategy paper is not intended to underline or list individual issues. All topics of overriding interest will continue to find room within CPHDA.
Numerous global crises of recent years with all their negative consequences have marked both the failure and the end of an unsustainable world-order. However, they also provide an opportunity of identifying and shaping key elements for a viable and sustainable globalization. One of these key elements is the realisation that self-interest and self-regulating markets are not enough sufficient to organise national or global economies. This can only be achieved by a more rule-based system which takes social and environmental dimensions into consideration. Moreover, global warming, increasing violent conflicts and natural disasters considerably raise the risks of a number of further crises: an energy crisis, a food crisis, a security crisis and a crisis of social justice. One particularly urgent challenge is the need to convert the global economy to a low-carbon system which is no longer based on the consumption of fossil energy sources.
This multi-polarity, however, has not yet developed any ordered processes which could shape a framework for new global governance. A growing global economy with ever closer networks is among the biggest contributing factors to increasing injustice in individual countries. Hence, it is one of the causes for the struggle for survival of two billion people who are forced to exist on less than two US-Dollarsa day. The fact that so many people are excluded from participation in economic activities is not only an indication of the deficits of globalization, but also marks the biggest challenges faced by development policy in the coming years. Even though the international community has limited itself to the modest number of eight development goals, it has become evident that they will not be achieved and that poverty has become permanent in many countries. Without prospects for the poor and for all people who have no opportunity of becoming active economically, politically or socially, there can be no fair world order. Africa and the rest of the world must become far more active in the struggle for sustainableglobalization without poverty and this is what we are committed to, both in our daily work and within the organization.
Development policy and humanitarian aid – and thus our organisation – are facing numerous further challenges: The concept of development is in need of review, the general legitimacy of development cooperation is questioned and the contribution by civil society is scrutinized increasingly critically. Our issues hold only minor significance in the public’sperception. In this context, the debate about the quality of the work of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is gaining in importance. We are increasingly confronted with relevant external norms and criteria of effectiveness.
Africa and other donor countries have furthermore changed their parameters: “effectiveness” and a more result-based management have acquired higher priority. Additionally, donors are increasingly linking the allocation of resources for NGOs to certain conditions, at the same time neglecting the issue of their own responsibility for development funding. It has been established for years that the participation of women in the development process is a key factor in poverty reduction and the attainment of human rights. Still, interests and potential of women as motor for change are not sufficiently taken into consideration. Neither do the implementation of children’s rights and the inclusion of disabled persons receive adequate attention.
The strategy paper at hand is our organisation’s reaction to the challenges outlined above.
III. The organisation’s tasks
During the past 10 years, CPHDA has established itself as an active and assertive development-NGO.
By addressing the following tasks, it will continue to assume this role in the future.
1. Political work and representation of interests
CPHDA’s m will address concerns of development policy in Africa as well as internationally. The organisation represents common interest’s vis-à-vis the government, parliament and other national and international actors. This representation of interests includes all issues of development policy and humanitarian aid as well as legal and other parameters for the work of CPHDA.
2. Qualification and transfer of knowledge
The organisation contributes to the further qualification of our work and to a mutual transfer of knowledge. The organisationenables reciprocal learning through the exchange of knowledge, ideas and experience and offers options for advanced education.
CPHDA offers an opportunity for effective networking within the organisation and facilitates the forming of coalitions of interests. When necessary, the organisation will cooperate with other national and international actors.
4. Setting standards
The organisation develops its own standards. This contributes to increased quality and transparency of our work. We are guided by the principle that as part of civil society, we have to adopt an independent role with specific responsibilities in the area of development cooperation.
In order to achieve CPHDA’s goals, we communicate our positions in the media and in the public discourse. This also serves to define our profile as a national organisation. We are committed to rendering civil society’s perspective on development policy more prevalent in the public’s perception.
IV. Strategic goals for 2011 to 2016
CPHDA will adopt the role of opinion-leader and coordinator in working out a sustainable understanding of development in Africa
• As a technical organisation, we will organise public discourse on development issues which will also serve to find a distinct determination of what development signifies.
• We will align our activities along the guiding aims of all international policy: poverty reduction, implementing human rights, safeguarding natural resources and social justice.
• We regard humanitarian aid as an expression of international solidarity and thus as an important element of development.
• We campaign for policies on trade, international relations and economy to follow the dictate of coherence and to avoid counter-acting goals of development policy.
• We underline the importance of this process’ grounding in society, of variety of positions and extensive competence of non-government organisations.
CPHDA is committed to the abolition of structural disadvantages and discrimination
• The organisation is particularly committed to the equal treatment and participation of women as well as to the implementation of human rights concerning children, people with disabilities and other vulnerable and/or disadvantaged groups. We are integrating human rights and gender-perspectives into an increasing number of advocacy initiatives.
• Within the organisation, we will strengthen skills to include these perspectives into our own work.
• In its external communications, CPHDA will highlight the key role of women within the development process as well as the need for inclusiveness in this process.
CPHDA will adopt a leading and innovative role in the discourse on the quality of the work of development and humanitarian NGOs as well as in the development and implementation of quality standards in this area.
Within the organisation, we aim to promote the further development and implementation of our own standards, which correspond both to civil society’s self-image and our various fields of activity (projects, lobbying and education).
• In order to implement these quality standards, we will improve the transfer of knowledge among our self as well as the options for advanced education and consultancy offered by the organisation. The organization, we will actively introduce our perspective and our experience into the public discourse on quality and effectiveness of development cooperation.
• In negotiations on standards of NGO-work outside the organization. We will concentrate the organisation’s capacities and interests. We will establish the organisation as a central partner for determining and processing quality criteria and standards of transparency.
CPHDA will strengthen its institutional and financial sustainability.
• We will try out new methods of internal networking.
We will expand our internal processes and structures of communication and develop innovative ways of networking.
• We are exploring the option of securing the organization’s funding by expanding and extending our sources of income (e.g. by developing new services, whose activities show large areas of overlap with our work).
• The organisationwill ensure that is work is increasingly geared towards standards of sustainable development.
CPHDA will increase its networking activities with external actors in order to raise the status of development policy within society and to strengthen its political feasibility.
• The organisation will seek strategic alliances with actors outside the field of development politics if this serves to achieve our objectives .
• We will expand the organization’s activities in committees outside the field of development cooperation, such as the increased acquisition of mandates for external committees
• Events will be realized as cooperation projects wherever possible. We will seek to cooperate with partners who have so far not been in CPHDA’s focus. CPHDA will only take part in projects where the organisation can take an active part in the design.