In early June 2008, Coordination of Afghan Relief (CoAR), Organization for Sustainable Development and Research (OSDR), and Skills Training and Rehabilitation Society (STARS) took the initiative of establishing a working network. The move came to make the relationship between these organizations more systematic and formal after cooperating with each other in different areas proved to be more productive. Furthermore, the initiative is directly in line with the Afghanistan NGOs Law, Article 9 of which states that nongovernmental organizations can enter into partnerships and networks to improve, expand, or implement their activities and projects .Also, the current trends and the need for reconstruction of Afghanistan lend sufficient justification for the establishment of such a network.
In 2010, two NGO’s namely ECW and HF in 2013 AREA & APWO succeeded to join the CEN. In addition Gorbat Radio & TV, CAHPO, AUTEO, ASHNA and Sharq institute of higher education ( SIHE) joined the CEN ( Civil Society Empowerment Network) that the total number of CEN members is increasing gradually in fact the members of CEN do not intend to rapidly expand the network in order to maintain the quality and commitment in the CENs’ future perspective.
• The Civil society Empowerment Network (CEN) is a net where NGOs discusses issues of the country and region particularly on the situation of peace and development.
• The second issue for CEN is the empowerment of Civil society and contributing to the strengthening the capacity of CEN members in anticipate, analyze, prevent and respond to threats to the stability and human development posed by violent conflict and crisis in Afghanistan.
• As the CEN membership geographically and thematically helped the CEN organization to reach to all the remote areas and contribute to information dissemination in the country.
Long term (Jan. 2014 – Dec. 2018)
• To help bring specialization among the network organizations to ensure efficiency and effectiveness facilitated through existing capacities and work experience
Medium term (Jan. 2011 – Dec. 2013)
• To adopt a coordinated and cohesive approach to the implementation of projects implemented by the member NGOs in line with ANDS and strategies of the networked organizations
• To help build organizational capacity in fundraising for implementation of interventions in line with the strategies of the member organizations
• To assist in sustainability of ongoing interventions of the network and to extend support to civil society organizations at the national and regional levels
• To consolidate transparency and accountability among members
Short term (June 2008 – Dec. 2010)
• To provide and/or exchange technical assistance and share lessons learned among network members
• To help in basic management activities
• To ensure coordination among member organizations for multilateral support
Since its inception in 2008 CEN has tried to step forward towards its strategic objectives in a coordinated manner; the success of CEN is the indicator of strong commitment of its members.
As a young network CEN so far succeeded to achieve the following:
– Conducting the regular meeting on the relevant issues as per the CEN mandate,
– Conducting CEN orientation session to the member organizations staff,
– Dissemination of information to CEN members when needed,
– Establishing coordination and cooperation among the CEN members and with other actors in the provinces,
– Exchange of logistical and technical support among the members when needed,
– Review of the lessons learnt from the networking among the members,
– Coordinated approach of cooperation among the CEN members and local authorities,
– Joint Monitoring and Evaluation,
– Sending of CEN members for Capacity Building to regional countries,
– Establishing of new projects by CEN such as Gorbat RadioTv (GRTV), Sharq Institute for Higher Education (SIHE), Afghanistan Social and Humanitarian National Alliance (ASHNA), Civil Philanthropy Fund (CPF), these institutions now successfully functions as it was imaginary, in order to ensure the sustainability of the CEN and its members,
– The members were encouraged to follow policies and operational manuals for further accountability and transparency,
– CEN was able to occupy its place at the national and regional Networking and events, obtain the membership of CSAC (Civil Society Advisory Committee) for UNDP in and start partnership with OCHA, WFP in Afghanistan.
The promising thing which could be a good lesson learnt is that CEN is operating on volunteer base by the members, with no independent CEN cost.
We think that CEN shall try to be far from operational cost that may be a challenge in the future to raise fund for CEN, therefore, the operation is going on with members support when needed, initially CEN is designed in a way that does not require to have funding for its operation, for more information visit (www.cen.af)
CEN future plan is to follow its revised Strategic plan (2016-2021), with required revisions as per the context in the Afghanistan,