Helping Member States help themselves

OpinionIt's time to fly!
It’s time to fly!

A unique feature of the CSME Information Flows project is that Right Angle Imaging Inc. (RAI) is providing short term technical assistance to the six (6) project countries in order to assist these Member States to help themselves. However, in order to assist Member States to help themselves, national ownership is a must, because the project will come to an end on 31 March 2015, but CSME information will still have to reach relevant stakeholders long after this date. Active involvement of the CSME Focal Point and other national experts in the various project activities is thus absolutely necessary.

A perfect example is the organization of ten (10) worksite meetings, which RAI is assisting Member States to get off the ground in order to discuss pertinent CSME matters. The worksites, which will be visited, the topics and the national experts are therefore decided upon in close collaboration with the CSME Focal Point and National CTCP Coordinator. The topics will thus be different in the project countries, because CSME priorities differ from country to country. Furthermore, Member States are at various stages with respect to CSME implementation.

These worksite meetings can be a very effective and sustainable information channel, because relevant stakeholders receive the information directly from the national experts, so they can immediately request clarification if necessary. Too often the preferred mode of providing information is through reports or directives, but these information channels don’t offer the opportunity for immediate feedback. This is why worksite meetings are so effective. They are also a sustainable information channel, because they basically only require an investment in time of 2 hours or less of all involved parties.

The implementation of the CSME has often been described as the Achilles heel of the regional integration process and one reason, which has been cited often is that decisions are not trickling down to officials, who must implement them. The same applies to various stakeholders, who over the years, have claimed that they lack information on the CSME. Here is where worksite meetings can make a huge difference now and in the future, because the officials, who must implement the CSME arrangements or the stakeholders, who must benefit from the process, will receive the information directly from national experts. National ownership is thus as indicated above an absolute must, because it is needed in order to sustain this highly effective information channel.

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