There are three major and interlinked domains of change underlying the attainment of EACSOF’s 2016-2020 strategic plan. These are categorized under the following programming components: policy engagement, citizens’ empowerment and institutional development.The programming components shall mainstream gender equity and equality. These are further explained below:
a) Citizens empowerment
Overall, this domain of change will focus on strengthening the civic confidence and competency of citizens to know their rights and obligations to be able to organise in effective CSOs that eventually form national platforms through which they would be able to assert those rights. Citizen empowerment shall entail setting up Effective Dialogue Platforms at National and Regional level. With regards to EAC, dialogue platforms shall specifically target the following EAC Secretariat, Organs, Institutions and Partner States specifically Annual EA-CSO Forum, CSO-EAC Summit, EALA-CSO Forum, Annual EAC SG Forum, National Dialogue Platforms for the Annual EAC SG Forum the aforementioned platforms will also aid to feed EAC perspectives to continental and global level.
The underlying hypothesis of this domain of change states that:
“If citizens were empowered and they became more aware of their rights and responsibilities within the EAC integration process, they would be less powerless. They will thus become civically confident and confidence to organise in their various CSOs and would form strong national platforms that effectively engage in political social and economic aspects of the EAC integration and other development process. The national platforms would in particular be able to articulate their interests in the EA integration processes and engage their leaders at various levels to set relevant leadership performance standards; they would then demand that their leaders perform against those standards.;
b) Policy Engagement
This domain of change shall focus on policy engagement targeting the State, Private Sector and other Stakeholders following EACSOF thematic areas. It will also address policy implementation, policy research and analysis; alternative policy formulation, enhancing policy interrogation lobbying and advocacy by civil society organisations in the region. Policy Implementation shall entail providing leadership in demanding for the execution of the EAC Treaty and existing policies, protocols, strategic plans and programmes, focusing on EACSOF strategic themes. Policy Development shall focus on facilitating citizen participation in policy development through CSO position papers, policy proposals and legislative drafting following EACSOF thematic areas, in collaboration with EALA, sectoral committees and the SGs forum through the dialogue mechanism. Policy Monitoring and Evaluation on the other hand shall entail monitoring and evaluating implementation of EAC policies, strategic plans and programmes, in order to provide feedback to the EAC Secretariat and Partner States on successes, progress, obstacles, challenges and proposed solutions to the integration process. The overall objective of this domain of change shall be to “To Ensure Citizen Centered Policy Development and Implementation at National and Regional Levels
The thrust for this domain of change recognizes that to achieve well accepted integration will require negotiation and seeking consensus. The underlying hypothesis for this domain is that “if EACSOF lobbies and influences the EAC policy processes and if it continues to articulate the priorities of the member states in the various sectors, then al EAC l policy outcomes will be well received and fully supported at the member state level and by the citizens.
c) Institutional Development
The major thrust of this domain of change is to strengthen EASOF’s capacity at both national and regional levels. This change will be brought about by developing and strengthening EACSOF’s policies and governance systems; strengthening capacity of the national Boards and the regional governance council to deliver on their mandate; set up a financial sustainability plan; initiate, engage and sustain membership in relevant networks and partnerships. The underlying hypothesis of this domain of change state that:
“If EACSOF’s institutional capacity is further strengthened and it becomes more efficient and effective in coordinating the efforts of its member national chapters and mandates; they will effectively engage in the various integration processes at national and regional levels and then this will result into an integrated EAC fully owned by its citizens”.