Suswatch Kenya is part of the East Africa Sustainable Watch Network (EA Network) which is made up of Regional Secretariat and National Chapters (the Chapters) comprising Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development (UCSD), Sustainable Environmental Development Watch (SusWatch Kenya) and Tanzania Coalition for Sustainable Development (TCSD) that have since 2005 been part of the Global Sustainability Watch (SusWatch) - A network of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in 17 countries in the global South (Africa, Asia and Latin America), working to promote government’s accountability on sustainable development through ongoing qualitative monitoring and constructive dialogue at the national and international levels. EA SusWatch Regional Secretariat is hosted by UCSD in Kampala, Uganda.
Suswatch Kenya network is composed of CSO’s engaged in varied thematic issues contributing towards Sustainable Development; they are spread all over the country with Membership drawn from various Institutions.
The Network has implemented a SIDA funded project on Sustainable Development in the Lake Victoria Basin since December 2006 (project ended November 2009). The overall objective of the project was “to build capacity of CSOs’ of the three networks in collective advocacy and lobbying activities aimed at supporting/enhancing sustainable development policies at local, national and regional levels.” The project was designed in response to the then inadequate local and sub-regional activities by Civil Society engaging key stakeholders and decision makers in Lake Victoria Basin (LVB).
This was attributed to lack of capacity and information about sustainable development among other factors. UCSD provides the implementing lead role for this project on behalf of the EA SusWatch.
The Network seeks to increase southern civil society networks‟ ability to engage more effectively in advocacy for pro-poor sustainable development.
While the Network recognizes the great achievement of the global community in forging international agreements to these issues, Suswatch Kenya strongly believe that the world will never truly make poverty history unless world governments implement these agreements within their respective borders.
The Network has henceforth agreed to work together to scale up‟ the Sustainability Watch concept in East Africa focusing on the Lake Victoria basin.
The Underlying Principle
The underlying principle behind the Network is the recognition that the issues and challenges of achieving sustainable development are broad in the region of East Africa that no single agency can be able to design interventions to adequately overcome them and realize it single-handedly.
The Aim of the Network
The overall aim of the Network is to build capacity of CSOs‟ of the Chapters in collective advocacy and lobbying activities aimed at supporting/enhancing sustainable development policies within the Lake
Victoria basin at local, national and regional levels.
The Network in phase 1 focused on the following areas:
- Mainstreaming citizen participation in policy development, implementation and monitoring of sustainable development objectives and poverty reduction outcomes;
- Strengthening the capacities of participating organizations to effectively undertake advocacy and lobbying on sustainable development issues in the Lake Victoria basin;
- Scaling up networking and information sharing on sustainable development in the Lake Victoria basin, in order to build synergies with other stakeholders.
- The Network advocates for more inclusive processes from the diverse and growing stakeholders of the East African integration particularly in the Lake Victoria basin so that they act in consonance – supporting the consultatively agreed regional vision for Lake Victoria.