Opening remarks by ADB Vice-President Bambang Susantono at the Civil Society Program: Learning with Partners 3 - Promoting Inclusive and Accountable Public Services in Asia and the Pacific during the 50th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors on 5 May 2017 in Yokohama, Japan.
- CSOs and NGOs have evolved into a major force in the development process in Asia and the Pacific.
- ADB will launch a TA that will help build the capacity of our developing member countries, and government agencies, to cooperate with CSOs.
- ADB recognizes the Royal Society for Protection of Nature's display of innovation and collaboration.
I am pleased to welcome all of you to this forum, ‘Promoting Inclusive and Accountable Public Services in Asia and the Pacific’. I wish to thank for Partnership for Transparency Fund and World Vision International, for organizing this knowledge event, on such an important topic. This forum is part of the “Learning with Partners” organized by ADB’s NGO and Civil Society Center as part of the Civil Society Program. The purpose of the series of sessions is to provide space for the exchange of knowledge and innovative solutions to addressing poverty in the region.
CSO Participation Results to More Inclusive Programs
Early last year, the ADB’s NGO and Civil Society Center reviewed the current state of CSO engagement in ADB policies and operations. The study1 concluded that deeper CSO participation will improve development outcomes and bring about more inclusive programs.This is especially true in projects that aim to increase access and responsiveness of health, education, and social protection services. CSO participation is also critical in improving governance, reducing corruption, and improved economic inclusivity through poverty targeted interventions.
CSOs as a Major Development Force
Across Asia and the Pacific region, civil society organizations and NGOs like yours, have evolved into a major force in the development process. Your organizational ties at the grassroots level, as well as participatory and innovative methods of work; have made you important partners in the search for solutions to poverty and other issues that impact on people’s lives.
This knowledge sharing is very important because you and many other civil society organizations and NGOs have contributed significantly in improving accountability and efficient delivery of public services in many of our member countries.
ADB’s Strategy 2030
ADB’s new Strategy 2030, which is under preparation, places emphasis on deepening inclusion in our mission of ending poverty in the region. Inclusive services delivery cannot be achieved by government actions alone. An effective partnership between governments, civil society, private sector, and donors is at the heart of Strategy 2030.
TA on Deepening Civil Society Engagement
I am pleased to announce that ADB will be launching a technical assistance titled, “Deepening Civil Society Engagement for Development Effectiveness”. The project will enhance ADB’s readiness to fulfil ADB’s future strategic directions, and SDG commitments for more inclusive development programs through collaboration with CSOs.
In particular, this TA will help build the capacity of our developing member countries, and government agencies, to cooperate with CSOs. The project also aims to engage CSOs more effectively in the planning, design, and implementation of ADB projects.
Civil Society Partnership Award
We at ADB feel that it is important to recognize projects and initiatives that demonstrate innovation and collaboration. We launched the Civil Society Partnership Award last year which we opened to CSOs and NGOs whose participation in an ADB-supported project has resulted to better and more inclusive development outcomes. We are on our second year of presenting the Civil Society Partnership Award.
And we are pleased to give this recognition to the Royal Society for Protection of Nature, from Bhutan. The organization has played an important role in ensuring that women and key stakeholders are able to participate meaningfully in the ADB-supported Gender-Inclusive Access to Clean and Renewable Energy in Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka project2.
The Royal Society for Protection of Nature is strengthening the participation of diverse social groups and stakeholders, in the areas of enterprise development and electrification. The electrification component has reduced the time spent on household work both for men and women. This type of partnership ensures that our projects are responsive to the needs of the poor and marginalized.
On behalf of ADB, I congratulate the Royal Society for Protection of Nature.
We have much to learn from you, and also, a lot to learn from those who are part of the panel in this knowledge forum this afternoon.
As we give the award to the Royal Society for Protection of Nature, let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a successful forum this afternoon.
1 “Proposed Strategic Directions for ADB-CSO Engagement, 2016–2030: A Discussion Note”, Prepared by Dr. Vinay Bhargava, Chief Technical Adviser, Partnership for Transparency Fund and Staff Consultant, SC 106166 REG: ADB Collaboration with Civil Society Organizations, March 2016
2 Improving Gender-Inclusive Access to Clean and Renewable Energy in Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka Project Number 44135-012. Source of funding: Grant 9158-REG: Improving Women's Access to Clean and Renewable Energy in South Asia,Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction US$ 3.00 million