Encouraging civil society participation in Moroccan policy-making

Published on Thursday, 23rd of October 2014

CMI works in Morocco to promote the possibilities of the country’s civil society to participate in public policy-making and monitoring. In late September, an inaugural workshop was held to discuss how to take stock of multi-stakeholder reflections on the recommendations stemming from the national dialogue.

On 26-27 September, a wide range of Moroccan civil society representatives, academia, policy-makers and international organisation staff gathered in Rabat to contemplate how to ensure that civil society have a say in public policy-making. The two-day forum, titled: “Public Participation in Policy-Making: Stocktaking of the Commission of National Dialogue on Civil Society”, was organised by CMI together with the Mohamed V University Souissi, and the Ministry in-charge of the Relations with civil society & Parliament.

The inaugural forum aimed to set a platform for dialogue on taking stock of the multi-stakeholder reflections on the national dialogue recommendations for developing an inclusive framework for civil society engagement in policy-making. A particular focus was given to the experiences of l’Instance Centrale de Prévention de la Corruption as well as Moroccan diaspora civil society organizations.

Learning from Nordic practices in public consultations

The breakout sessions of the event, which focused on public consultations, addressed the linkages between public consultations and socio-economic development, ways to concretize in law the engagement of civil society in public policy-making and monitoring, and how to advance the state – civil society relationship. Nordic good practices in the area of public consultations were the highlight of the second workshop day.

Overall, there was a general consensus among the participants that further dialogue on the national dialogue recommendations is integral to allow for the civil society to implement them. The participants agreed on several recommendations for the future, including continuing the dialogue with key national authorities in constructive dialogue spaces such as Universities to ensure that civil society views are heard, integrating diaspora civil society organisations further into policy-making processes and allowing them exercise their constitutional rights, and following up on the draft public consultation law to promote a participatory process for policy formulation.

The forum featured notable speakers including Minister El Habib Choubani, Ministry in-charge of the Relations with civil society & Parliament; Moulay Ismail Alaoui, President of the National Commission of Policy Dialogue on Civil Society and New Constitutional Roles, as well as other high-level Moroccan policy-makers and international personalities. CMI’s Leila Hanafi moderated the event.

The event also gained quite a lot of media interest: see report (in French)

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