Women, Peace and Security in Libya
- getting to know each other and the project better
- discussing and contextualizing the theory of change
- devising an action plan for the first six-months to one-year of the programme
- developing joint criteria for selecting civil society partners in Libya to further expand our network
- discussing risk mitigation
- soliciting input for the inception report that was handed in in June 2017.
Social Mapping in Loosduinen
In collaboration with Justice & Peace and STEK, HSC has been carrying out a social mapping exercise in the Loosduinen area of The Hague, the report for which has been finalized this month (July 2017). 32 citizens of Loosduinen and 10 representatives of government and local organizations were interviewed for the report. Through these interviews, a picture of the current strengths of, as well as the challenges faced in Loosduinen has been established. The voices of the interviewees along with their vision of Loosduinen are presented in the report, which will soon be made available on our website.
In the coming months, HSC will, together with Justice & Peace and STEK, organize meetings where the main findings of the report will be discussed with citizens of Loosduinen, including the interviewees. During these meetings, ideas for the way forward, inlcuding on how to improve the livability in Loosduinen will be shared. At a later stage, these ideas will be transformed into action plans that will be followed through by a group of dedicated and passionate citizens from Loosduinen. Simultaneously, the three organizations will also share the findings of the report with representatives of local government and local organizations, and discuss their role in improving the livability of the area.
Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-related Work at the Regional Level
GIABA, the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (an FATF-Style Regional Body) organized a three-day regional workshop on Preventing Terrorist Abuse of Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) in Lome, Togo, between June 12 and 14, 2017. Fulco van Deventer of HSC represented the Global NPO Coalition on FATF at the meeting, and spoke about the ‘Consultation & Involvement of NPOs in the Mutual Evaluation Process (Pre-Onsite, During Onsite and Post-Onsite)’. Here is the final communique in the three ECOWAS working languages: English, French and Portugese. GIABA has committed to following up on its obligations and advocating for the political will on the implementation of the recommendations that came out of the workshop within its member States.
Is there any evidence linking the implementation of the FATF standards in Nigeria with the multiplication of oversight regimes for regulating non-profit organizations, resulting in the growing restrictions to their operations? Launching a systematic inquiry into Nigeria’s legal regimes for combating money laundering (ML) and the financing of terrorism (FT), Spaces for Change documents their findings in two parts: The first part, Beyond FATF: Trends, Risks and Restrictive Regulation of Non-Profit Organisations in Nigeria, examines the (in)adequacy of Nigeria’s countering ML and FT legal framework, and tries to determine whether there is any evidential link between the enforcement of FATF standards and the ever-broadening state endeavours closing down spaces for civil society in the country. The second part, Closing Spaces for Civic Engagement and Civil Society in Nigeria, generates a database of closing spaces in Nigeria, presenting the evidence related to excessive restrictions on citizens and civil society operations perpetrated under the guise of ‘national interest’, ‘national security’ and ‘other ML and FT’ considerations.
HSC carried out a desk study (‘Financial regulation drivers for current restrictions of civil society in Uganda’), commissioned by the Fund for Global Human Rights, on Uganda’s anti-money-laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) laws and regulations, especially in relation to its adherence to the FATF regime. The research aimed to arrive at a picture of the existing regulatory and institutional environment impacting the operational space of civil society in Uganda, and sought to point to the windows of opportunity available to non-profit organizations to engage in follow-up FATF processes.
Based on this piece of research, HSC, along with Defenders Protection Initiative (DPI), Uganda, Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) and the Uganda National NGO Forum organized a webinar on ‘Introducing the Financial Action Task Force’ in June 2017 for civil society partners in Uganda, discussing among other things what the FATF is, why it is important, why civil society needs to know about it and, more specifically, how it impacts Uganda and what the scope for engagement for civil society is in the various processes involved. There was lively engagement and debate, and a clear appetite to follow-up on the issues discussed. For a recording of the webinar, see here.
Workshops were conducted by HSC (with ECNL) on the impact of FATF Recommendations, especially Recommendation 8, on civil society and civic space.
These workshops took place under the aegis of Conectas in Sao Paulo, Brazil and UniDosc at ORT University Mexico City, Mexico.
Watch HSC’s Executive Director Lia van Broekhoven speak about FATF and Brazil in light of the anti-terrorism law that was passed in 2016 here.
There is ongoing and sustained involvement on the part of HSC related to FATF matters in Indonesia, with dialogue with multiple stakeholders including civil society, the Financial Intelligence Unit and the FATF regional body.
De-risking and Non-profits
De-risking and Non-profits: how do you solve a problem that no-one wants to take responsibility for?
In an article published in openDemocracy, Ben Hayes, Lia van Broekhoven, and Vanja Skoric discuss what de-risking is, why it is happening and how it impacts non-profits. They point out the elephants in the room, including ‘the democratic legitimacy of a global system for countering terrorist financing’, the ‘ultimate effectiveness’ of this system, and the lack of ‘critical reflection on the implications of effectively turning our banks into police stations and having them, or outsourced compliance services, stockpile data on individuals and organisations’. They write about how decisive action should be taken by the G20 to assess the whole system of international rules designed to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
Midterm Evaluation of Youth Resilience project
A midterm evaluation of the project ‘Building Youth Resilience in The Netherlands and Tunisia’ took place in April/May 2017. This was conducted collectively by the programme partners and the youth involved in the project, with help from Perspectivity. The objective of the midterm evaluation was to collectively learn about the effects and impact of activities conducted and help decide on the way forward. The evaluation involved two steps:
- Collecting and signifying stories
Project mentors interviewed each other as well as the mentees on the change they have experienced through the project. After sharing a story, the storyteller reflects on his or her own story by plotting it along a specially-designed ‘bipoles’ and ‘tripoles’ (see below). Such plotting helps identify patterns among the collected stories.
- Outcome harvesting
During the outcome-harvesting workshop, conducted in Delft in May 2017, mentors and staff members of the different organizations shared with each other what they felt were important outcomes of the project. Outcomes were identified both at individual as well as at group level, and both internally as well as outside of the direct project participants. Outcomes ranged from participants showing up and committing themselves to the project; mentors reaching out to mentees; trust-building; increased confidence and skills; increased responsibility, both in organizing activities with mentees as well as in the wider community; as well as speaking out, both in the project as well as to external stakeholders and decision makers (municipal/national/international). Participants in the outcome harvesting workshop agreed that learning was taking place at all levels, and everyone involved was learning from each other – across individual contexts and structures.
This method of methodology of monitoring and evaluation not only results in ‘identifying outcomes’ but also ensures learning from each others’ experiences. As the outcomes already point towards engagement with a wider range of stakeholders including parents, community members and decision makers, an interesting future step would be to involve some of them in the process.
* The purple dots represent Tunisian youth; the orange dots, Dutch youth.
The ‘Civil Society for a Human Security Strategy in Mali’ project, funded by the Austrian Development Agency and implemented between December 2013 and December 2016 by the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) and HSC is now at an end. The overall goal of the project was to contribute to human security and sustainable peacebuilding efforts in Mali by:
- Supporting a strong, vibrant Malian civil society network that mobilizes a critical mass around the issues of human security and peacebuilding;
- Enabling network members formulate and upscale a human security strategy for Mali that is gender-sensitive, feasible, and pays attention to the structural causes of the conflict;
- Strengthening good practices on countering violent extremism through human security approaches;
- Ensuring the international community, including regional bodies, engages with civil society for the development of security policies.
An external evaluation of the project has been carried out, the report of which will be made available soon. HSC continues to work in Mali on strengthening these objectives, currently through a project on ‘A Human Security Approach to Address the Root Causes of Conflict and Violence in Mali’ (in partnership with Norwegian Church Aid and ICCO), which runs until 2020.