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Stakeholders’ workshop on capacity-building of CSOs wraps up

Dec 10, 2013, 9:52 AM | Article By: Abdou Rahman Sallah

A capacity-building workshop for CSOs/NGOs/CBOs ended at the weekend after a four-day intensive training.

Held at Baobab Resort Hotel in Kololi, the workshop was organised by West Africa Community Development Training Centre and funded by the UNDP/GEF SGP.

Speaking at the national forum, Salmina Jobesaid the objectives of the training included engaging CSOs/CBOs /NGOs in consultative processes, applying knowledge management to ensure adequate information flows, implementing Convention guidelines on roles of CSOs to complement government action, and monitoring and evaluating environmental impacts and trends on especially community projects at local level and broadly at the national level, in collaboration with national NGOs, academic institutions and government.

Participants are putting knowledge gained from learning into action either in the form of good proposals submitted to SGP or being actively involved in the consultative processes and other works of national environment convention committees and other environment and sustainable development bodies.

Jobe said: “Knowledge gained is transformed into good project proposals or effective action to support the implementation of environmental convention guidelines as well as other environment and sustainable development agreements, strategies, and plans.”

Network of supporters on technical and/or institutional matters was established and a network of participants for continued sharing of experience and lessons learned initiated, he said

This would be followed by workshop evaluation conducted with post-workshop mechanism to evaluate progress or development, as well as post-workshop mechanisms to provide follow-up support and corrective action put in place.

In a PowerPoint presentation, Kebba Bojang, UNDP-GEF/ Small Grants Programme, said the

GEF/SGP supported the WACDTC to conduct a capacity gaps assessment of NGOs and CBOs to specifically identify their training needs.

Mr Bojang pointed out that food security is the largest intervention area with 54% of the overall regional total followed by forestry 13%; other areas combined 29% and land management 3%.

The mean total per region on food security is 11, forestry 3 and others 6. In land management only 2 regions are intervening in this area and renewable energy is one region.

Mr Bojang added that the major intervention areas for NGOs are on food security with 73% and others 27%.

On the levels of awareness of international conventions of Community Based Organizations (CBOs), Bojang pointed out that it has been relatively low in contrast to that of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs, with CBOs ranking 49.1% while NGOs are 83 %.)

“Any attempt to improve the level of awareness should include all regions. Upper River Region, West Coast Region and Central River Region South have greater proportions of CBOs than the other four regions. Therefore awareness building should be even more intensified in these regions,” he said.

Mr Bojang stated that in Lower River Region and North Bank Region 100% of the CBOs knew UN conventions on Desertification, adding that the proportion comprises the bulk of awareness in this regard.

On UN convention on desertification, both CBOs and NGOs registered 56% and 52% of the overall total respectively, which highlights constraints in the knowledge of other UN conventions, disclosed Mr Bojang.

He said: “CBOs are conducting activities on environmental protection. However individual regions such as KMC and URR which consist of the largest proportion of CBOs registered 47% each, which falls short of the NGOs in those regions.

“As a result, support should be rendered to all regions with particular attention directed to Kanifing Municipal Council and URR.”

According to him, the collaboration with other institutions is low at both CBOs and NGOs, 45.1% and 49.9% respectively.

However significant inter-regional variations exist as West Coast Region shows 71%, CRR north 71% and CRR south 70%, while other regions remain below 50%, he added.