Lobbying for Civic-Driven Change

Since 2007 a group of activists, academics and practitioners have been exploring civic agency as an entry point for both better understanding and acting on socio-political processes. Civic Driven Change (CDC) rests on a novel, coherent connection between theories associated with citizenship, civil society, power, empowerment and collective action. These perspectives sharpen and deepen analysis of why, when and how socio-political change occurs.

Since documenting ACORD's own change process from 1976 to 2010 ACORD has been engaging with this thinking, applying features of CDC to its current operations to provide an illustration of its potential to better understand socio-political processes that work against justice and perpetuate failed states on the African continent as well as explore whether CDC can move into the post-2015 discourse.

In July 2012 ACORD presented the CDC model at an academic conference held in Italy building a foundation for wider engagement on the subject with like-minded development practitioners. ACORD also presented during a session on ‘The Role of Sustainable Development Goals in the Post-2015 Framework' during the Rio+20 Conference in Brazil.

During the conference, development planners converged to provide strategic leadership beyond 2015 when the Millennium Development Goals are expected to culminate. It also aimed to create space for civil society voices to engage in post-2015 processes and acquire the lessons learnt by civil society organisations during preparatory processes in order to build a strong multi-stakeholder consultative process.

Voices of Local Citizens and Communities

Mr. Ousainou Ngum

CDC is being promoted by ACORD as a viable alternative methodology that ensures the voices of local citizens are included in the critical process of developing a new framework for post 2015 including the national consultation processes. In his submission to the participants, ACORD's Executive Director Mr. Ousainou Ngum explained that Citizen Driven Change is rights-based and provides room for citizen perspectives. It also acts as an open and scalable platform that addresses domains as opposed to sectors.

"Recent events that have captured the imagination of billions of people such as the Arab Spring, the emergence of powerful criminal syndicates and the use of technology platforms for social networking like Facebook and twitter, point towards the increasingly important role that citizen-driven processes will play in the future", noted Mr. Ngum.

"In these circumstances, the centers of power and decision-making become completely incapacitated and ineffective. In effect, a complete takeover of power ensues"

The Rio+20 meeting contributes to the ongoing global efforts towards accelerating the attainment of the MDGs and designing of a road map for the future in the context of a Post-2015 development framework. In partnership with the United Nation Millennium Campaign Africa, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), UNICEF, Beyond 2015 Campaign, Oxfam, FEMNET, Action Aid International, Plan International, YMCA, just to mention a few, ACORD is part of a Pan African "Think Tank" group that meets monthly in Nairobi to consult and to discuss issues that will define a post 2015 framework for a ‘future we want for Africa'.

Also read:
Effective Engagement Towards 2015
African Delegation Meets Liberian President
Rio+20: Citizens are Drivers of Meaningful Transformation

  • government policies
  • African voices

    "The consultative process ensures that the voices of the excluded and marginalised groups are captured into the final framework that will be presented to the United Nations General Assembly in September 2013", Uka Kumba Thompson - Women of Liberia Peace Network.

    "Africa still grapples with serious governance and socio-economic issues, and a people-centred approach in bringing about change should therefore be encouraged in the process of setting up new targets and goals beyond 2015.
    Hon. James Musomi, Rwandan Minister for Local Government.

    "It is incumbent upon us who have been there before to try to hand over the baton in a manner in which we can hit the ground running in 2015"
    Amina Mohamed, Special Adviser of the UN Secretary General on the Post 2015 development agenda

    "The vision that people want Africa, and indeed the global community to aspire to, is an Africa where citizens have the power to effect decisions that affect their lives; have access to equal opportunities; and enjoy an enabling environment to sustain their livelihoods.
    Namhla Mniki-Mangaliso, African Monitor