THAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
Central to the project’s ongoing success is the move away from the traditional ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach applied to so many development projects. Regional and national stakeholders are at the heart of the project, from the initial Launching meeting to the final stages, giving advice and monitoring progress.
The same methodology is being broadly followed in each of the three regions, allowing for regional variation where necessary.
In each region, at the beginning of each sub-project, all stakeholders are officially invited to actively contribute at a multi-stakeholder Launching meeting. The first task is to update and endorse an initially proposed list of priorities. Regional knowledge and insight is then utilized to identify the appropriate structures and mechanisms for achieving stakeholders’ participation and ownership of the sub-project. These structures and mechanisms are tailored to regional specificities. The outcomes of these tasks feed into a work plan that is adopted by all stakeholders. After each region’s priorities are agreed, a step-by-step, coherent process is followed.
Assessment: this begins with an assessment of the current situation for each of the priorities in each of the beneficiary countries. The outcomes of previous initiatives undertaken by the EU, as well as other international and regional organizations, are incorporated. This avoids duplication, makes best use of regional resources and increases efficiency. Regional best practices and failures are then identified, allowing the regional organizations and the individual countries to measure their region’s success factors, as well as the issues that need specific attention. A comparison is then made with international best practices. These detailed assessments form the basis of discussions with all relevant regional and national stakeholders.
Regional Policy: in the case of HIPSSA and HIPCAR, the outcomes of these discussions are then used to develop draft regional model policy guidelines for each of the identified priority areas. The stakeholders discuss the pros and cons of each model before finalizing and adopting the model that best fits the region’s needs and culture.
Regional legislation: further to the policy being adopted, draft model legislation guidelines are developed by the stakeholders with the support of the project team. After the stakeholders have adopted these guidelines, the work enters its final stage. During the whole process, the regional organizations report at their ministerial and other ad hoc meetings on the progress made. This ensures the local political agenda is followed and the outcomes have strong roots in the realities of the region.
While the final decision regarding the drafting of the deliverables remains in the hands of the government, all stakeholders are invited to contribute at each stage of the process. The stakeholders participating in all discussions and preparation of the deliverables include representatives from government, regulators, civil society, academia and the private sector.
In-country technical assistance: Following validation and approval of this region-wide activity, in-country technical assistance was made available for transposing the regional guidelines into national legislative and regulatory frameworks that concur with national specificities. While the beneficiaries are being given in-country technical assistance, as with the regional activities, procedures are in place to ensure their ownership of and commitment to the process. Each country’s designated points of contact, along with any other relevant representatives, work in close collaboration with the project team comprising ITU staff and international and local consultants. Guidance is also provided by the region’s Steering committee.
This assistance is carried out in four stages agreed by all participating stakeholders:
1. Compare the validated regional guidelines with national policies and legislation.
2. Recommend amendments to the national policies and legislation.
3. Carry out stakeholder consultations and host adoption and validation workshops
with national stakeholders.
4. Provide capacity-building activities for national stakeholders.
* In the Pacific, stakeholders had suggested ICB4PAC’s focus should be on preparing the region for potential harmonization. Consequently, while the methodology is similar to that in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean, it is not supporting the process of full harmonization across the region. Rather, a regional assessment has been made to identify best practices and failures before comparing these with international best practices. The outcomes are compiled into knowledge-based reports for individual countries to consider when creating frameworks for harmonization. These reports are used afterwards for national capacity building which allows each country to benefit from the experience of peer countries and international best practices that fits their particularities.