VOX – Reinforcing the Mobilisation of the Church for Advocacy in Africa
Caritas Africa is one of the 7 Regions of the Caritas Internationalis Confederation, composed of 46 Member Organisations located in the Subsaharan region and islands of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. It is an International Non-Profit Charity Organisation whose function is to promote cooperation and harmonize the work of Caritas members of the Region, in conformity with the priorities determined by the General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis.
The Caritas Africa advocacy strategies are focused on 3 pillars as follows
- Food security and nutrition,
- Democratic governance and Leadership responsive to people’s rights and needs, and
- Human mobility.
These pillars are anchored on the Catholic Social Teachings, Caritas Africa core values and commitments towards combating the dehumanizing poverty in the Region as described in its Strategic Framework 2019-2023.
The global objective of the VOX Project remains as it was stated in 2018 which means to “Contribute to build up the role of the Church in addressing critical issues in Africa through advocacy work”. It aims to support a number of initiatives to build the basis for a leading role of the Church in setting and influencing the policies in the region.
2. THE PREVIOUS STEPS
Three major workshops have been held in Addis Abeba in January and July 2019 and in Nairobi in June 2019.
During the previous phases and through the various workshops, some major steps have been achieved1:
- Creation of Caritas Africa’s Reference Group on Advocacy and designation of the Chairwoman
- Finalization of the Caritas Africa’s Regional Advocacy strategy.
3. STEPS AND ACTIVITIES TO BE TAKEN IN THIS PHASE
The outcomes expected for this new phase are:
Objective: Develop key strategic documents to support the advocacy work of the Church on key issues related to the Integral Human Development
Result 1: CA’s working team on advocacy is structured
- Activity 1: Recruitment of a human resource for the coordination of the Caritas Africa Advocacy & Policy
1 Details of all the implemented steps appear in the Phase 2 report
This recruitment will be divided into a CA’s full-time employee and a consultant to work together at:
- Developing a Caritas Africa Policy Statement
- Developing 3 comprehensive Project proposals for fundraising (from the pillars described above)
- Activity 2: Structuration of CA’s Reference Group on Advocacy:
- Creation of 3 sub-groups scoping the 3 major issues CA is involved in: Democratic Governance and Leadership / Food security and Nutrition / Human Mobility
- Creation of a Steering Committee comprising 2 members from each sub- group and staff from CA’s Regional Executive Secretariat
Result 2: CA’s commitment to engage in Advocacy is strengthened
- Activity 1: Mobilizing resources (African Union, African Development Bank, European Union, Southern Africa Development Community…) for the implementation of the 3 components of the Caritas Africa Advocacy Strategy
This resources mobilization will be part of the CA’s recruited employee tasks with the support of the Steering Committee.
As part of the activities to be achieved for the resource mobilization:
- Writing of a letter presenting CA’s activities to the different international organisations aforementioned and request for appointments/meetings
- Preparation of those meetings (African Union in Addis Abeba/Ethiopia, AfDB in Abidjan/ Côte d’Ivoire, SADC in Gaborone/Botswana…) and travels.
- Activity 2: Participation in international meetings/conferences:
- Travel to attend the strategic conferences in Africa,
- Participation in conference calls/webinars…
Result 3: CA’s commitment to engage in Advocacy is operational
- Activity 1: Implementing and Monitoring the implementation of the 3 components of the Caritas Africa Advocacy Strategy
The 3 projects scoping the 3 components are to be written by the person recruited and the consultant.
- A workshop in Abidjan with the steering committee will allow to prepare the meeting with the AfDB and to launch the 3 projects,
- The projects are to be monitored by the leading person in each sub-group of CA’s Advocacy Reference group
- The complete strategy is to be monitored by the Steering Committee
- Activity 2: Evaluation of the Caritas Africa Advocacy Strategy
Considering advocacy, sheer evaluation will not be enough to measure the impact of the different projects. Dedicated tools and indicators are to be drawn in consequence.
- Mainstreaming impact evaluation tools and indicators are to be defined within the writing of the projects
- The Steering Committee will oversee the impact evaluation.