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Invitation to LogoLink Southern Africa roundtable, 9-10 September 2008

All civil society organisations in Southern Africa working in the field of local governance and citizen participation are invited to apply to attend an upcoming LogoLink Southern Africa Roundtable on 9 & 10th September on the theme: "Civil Society Perspectives on the State of Citizen Participation in Local Governance in Southern Africa."

The Foundation for Contemporary Research (FCR), a governance and development NGO based in Cape Town, South Africa, co-ordinates the Southern African chapter of the international LogoLink network. LogoLink is a global network of governance practitioners from civil society organisations, research institutions and governments working to deepen democracy through greater citizen participation in local governance. The network consists of regional networks in South Asia, South East Asia, Latin America, East Asia, the USA, East Africa and Southern Africa. The network is funded by the Ford Foundation and is currently co-ordinated by the Polis Institute in Brazil. More information on LogoLink and its activities is available from the website, www.logolink.org/index.htm

The overall goal of the LogoLink network in Southern Africa is to strengthen processes aimed at promoting citizen participation in local governance and more effective local government in the countries of the region, for the purposes of contributing towards poverty reduction and social justice outcomes.

The more specific objectives of the network are:
1. To provide a forum for practitioners from civil society organisations, research institutions and government agencies working on issues relating to citizen participation in local government in Southern African countries to reflect on and share their experiences and learn from each other.
2. To provide a mechanism for fostering solidarity and communication between organisations working in the field.
3. To provide a portal through which information can be disseminated to and between these organisations in Southern Africa.
4. To provide a means of capturing and disseminating lessons and good practices arising from the experience of organisations within Southern African countries.
5. To build the capacity of practitioners from organisations in Southern Africa in terms of research and advocacy skills.

FCR is planning a regional roundtable on the 9th and 10th September 2008. The theme of the roundtable is Civil society perspectives on the state of citizen participation in local governance in Southern Africa. The purpose of the meeting is to enable partners from various Southern African countries to share information and insights about citizen participation in local governance in their respective country contexts (e.g. legal and policy frameworks, institutional arrangements, key issues, challenges and lessons) as well as to introduce their organisations and to explain how they are responding to their respective contexts through good governance programmes. The meeting will also provide an opportunity to consolidate and grow the Southern African LogoLink network, and to plan the future activities of the network.

For further details about the event, please contact Terence Smith via email at terence@fcr.org.za , fax: +27 21 418 4176 or tel: +27 21 418 4176. The deadline for applications is 25th August.

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