Civil Society participation in sector level policy processes is currently highly constrained. Through platforms for engagement at sector level have been created in most of the countries reviewed, the quality of participation has typically been poor. This is due to the nature of spaces available to civil society, to government attitudes towards civil society participation, and to weak capacity amongst those civil society actors who do engage.

Despite the fact that Civil Society is included in formal dialogue, in the case of Ghana and Mozambique these processes are seen primarily as a means by which the Aid Effectiveness agenda is legitimized. While platforms are being created for Civil Society input, many of its views are not being captured due to poor quality of dialogue and citizen participation. As a result, Civil society is routinely being left out of determining national and local level priorities. Findings from the Nicaraguan case suggest that government officials do little to facilitate opportunities for Civil Society participation. A further constraining factor relates to donors’ policy conditions which limit the scope for national decision making and therefore the value of engaging in dialogue.



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