APRM and the Quest for a Developmental State: the Role of CSOs in implementing the National Plan of Action

 The purpose of this parliamentary document is to review the state of implementation of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), in particular the National Programme of Action (NPoA), and the role that civil society can play in ensuring that the NPoA is comprehensively implemented. The document assesses this important concepts and processes in the context of the Developmental State, illustrating the potential of APRM to foster and propel States towards achieving this status through building and gainfully utilizing important partnerships with civil society. The paper examines the World Bank and IMG-sponsored Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) as a comparable approach to governance mechanisms, from which lessons can be drawn. It also underscores the unique architecture, concepts and principles in the APRM process that avoid some of the potential pitfalls that beset PRSP and other existing governance mechanisms in Africa.

The paper further looks at some of the strategies that civil society has employed in various APRM country processes and which strategies have worked well and can be improved. It then addresses challenges that civil society organizations (CSOs) have faced in the pursuit of good governance through the APRM process.  The prospects for future CSO participation and use of the NPoA as a tool for constructing as a Developmental State are also propounded in the paper, with a view of informing policymakers on areas that may need strengthening and re-orientation.