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CENVISNET Conducts CSO Networking, Advocacy, and Constructive Engagement Workshop

Creating social awareness and influencing government policies and priorities have always been part of social development work. For the past years, civil society organizations (CSOs) have been supporting different causes and relevant issues to change “what is” into “what should be”. It is evident that advocacy work can be strenuous at times and will always be a challenge for many CSOs. Hence, it is deemed necessary for CSOs to be equipped with the skills to effectively advocate and mobilize, and to constructively engage with government and other stakeholders.

Last July 12 – 13, 2017, through the Strengthening Decentralized Governance (S-DG) project, Central Visayas Network of NGOs (CENVISNET) conducted a CSO Networking, Advocacy, and Constructive Engagement Workshop to its 3 Provincial Networks (PNs) and their member based Organizations (MBOs) and some youth representatives in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. The workshop is one of the key outputs of the first objective of the S-DG Project which is CSO Network Strengthening and Alliance Building.

Ms. Catherine Ruiz, the Provincial Coordinator of Kaabag sa Sugbo Foundation, Inc., was the first day resource person for the Constructive Engagement and Advocacy discussion and workshop. While Ms. Deanie Lyn Ocampo, Project Manager of CODE-NGO, discussed and facilitated the second day of workshop on CSO Participation in the Local Planning and Budgeting Processes. Furthermore, a session on Effective CSO Networking and Partnership Building was facilitated by Mr. Marlon Perilla, Project Officer of CENVISNET.

At the end of the 2-day workshop, the participants were expected to:

  • Appreciate the framework and principles for strengthening CSO networks, and be able to apply its methods, skills and approaches
  • Know and understand the basic principles, goals and strategies of advocacy and constructive engagement, and recognize the challenges and opportunities for the CSOs in constructive engagement on participatory governance
  • Identify venues for citizen participation in local development planning and apply good practices of CSOs in engaging local governments in development planning

Overall, the 2-day workshop was a success. The participants were able to reflect and share their experiences particularly on the gaps and challenges encountered in their respective advocacy work. They were also able to revisit the local planning and budgeting cycle and realize the importance of strengthening their CSO networks. Consequently, the workshop had helped them re-assess their previous engagements with the government and identify strategies on how they could further improve lobbying for their advocacies while ensuring a participatory and constructive engagement with the government.

Mikee Pepito is the Project Assistant of CENVISNET.