CSO Database for Food Sovereignty
Essential to any collaborative network is appropriate and accessible information about its members’ capabilities and assets, indicating the potential for partnerships. This is no less true for the collaboration between UN specialized organizations and CSOs, or between and among CSOs.
In 2019, HIC-HLRN contributed to developing the relationship between CSOs and FAO as part of a multi-project program of cooperation with FAO. The principle HIC-HLRN innovation was a collaboration with other CSOs to create the needed infrastructure for information and activity sharing in the form of a specialized database to manage the essential information needed to realize partnership.
The CSO Database for the Near East/North Africa is the first such experiment within the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty to capture basic information about civil society actors, their experience and potential partnership with each other and with FAO in the field of food and agriculture.
Completed in December 2019, the CSO Database now contains entries by concerned organizations about their type of operation, fields of expertise and scope of activities. Leading partner organizations in a technical workshop at Tunis in June 2019, HIC-HLRN’s Systems Manager Yasser Abdelkader explained how the Database was designed for added value in supporting the process of strategic consultation and cooperation with FAO or with other civil society organizations. He further noted that “an integrated platform for storing organization information and for communication to any and all participants also ensures the utmost democracy and inclusion in activities related to the field.”
The database has two main sections: The first section includes the administration and maintenance of the database, and the other section includes steps and stages of registration in the database by the user.
The trilingual CSO Database (with Arabic, English and French interfaces) is accessible to registered users who adhere to the principles of food sovereignty, as provided in the Nyéléni Declaration for Food Sovereignty . However, it also will serve as an asset for FAO officers to locate and identify prospective CSO partners with needed expertise and capacities.
Managing the Database’s content and regular communication with users will be a subject of the NENA Facilitating Committee and Follow-up Committee. These managers will share this tool for regular communication with colleagues, as well as planning specific events such as the preparatory conference in advance of the biennial FAO Regional Conference.
For qualified organizations in the Near East and North Africa to register in the database and participate in CSO food-and-agriculture processes, enter here.