Opening new spaces for domestic policy dialogue is one of the most important potential gains of democratic governance. Democratic space creates public policy arena in which government can be engaged legitimately by private sector and civil society on what it is doing or not doing. Not surprisingly therefore, the return to democratic rule in 1999 has witnessed an upsurge of private sector and civil society engagements with governments on economic policy and development issues. However, the upsurge of civic advocacy on economic and development issues has not been matched with commensurate improvements in the quality and effectiveness of policy debates. In spite of the numerous consultative events, stakeholder forum, policy dialogues between governments and non-government actors, distrust and cynicism still persist and mechanisms of communication and engagement remain weak and disjointed.
Enugu Forum is a critical response by civil society to this yearning need to improve public policy debates, and make them more objective, regular and evidence-based. The Forum works to take policy debates away from parochial and mundane levels to highly intellectual heights for the purpose of informing, instructing and guiding policy directions and strategies.
The Enugu Forum is a civic platform for the intellectual conversation and debate of policy issues affecting the growth and development of the country. It was founded in 2001 to promote informed and credible contribution to policy advocacy. It seeks to improve the policy process though high quality debate and non-partisan discussion and examination of alternative solutions to contemporary development questions.
The mission of Enugu Forum is to promote evidence-based and informed policy advocacy in the country. The Forum deploys both intellectual and empirical insight to nurture a shared understanding and objective scrutiny of policy issues on social, economic and political development of the country.
Enugu Forum’s activities are intellectual in orientation. Activities take the forms below:
The activities bring together diverse stakeholders including government officials, private sector operators, independent think-pots and civil society to exchange and constructively critique perspectives and experiences on critical policy imperatives. Attendance is by formal invitation.
The outputs of the Forum’s activities take the form of communiqué outlining key outcomes of discussions, conclusions and recommendations. The presentations and proceedings are further developed into Occasional Papers, Working Papers or Policy Briefs widely circulated to inform, sensitise and enlighten stakeholders .
STRUCTURE AND ORGANISATION
Enugu Forum is structured into a Steering Committee, a Coordinating Committee and the General Members. The Steering Committee governs the Forum though guides and policies agreed in consultation with the General Members. The Coordinating Committee executes the activities and reports to the Steering Committee.
There are two classes of membership: individual and corporate. The Forum activities are open and can be attended by all interested persons but formal invitations are issued to only members and designated guests. To be a member, one needs to register in the appropriate category. Registration can be done during Forum or at the Host Organization of the Forum, African Heritage Institution, Enugu.
BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP
Membership enables individuals and organizations to participate in the activities of the Forum. Members have primary access to the Forum publications in the form of Working Papers, Occasional Papers or Policy Briefs. Membership enables active participation in proposing issues for debates and nominating speakers and resource persons to lead discussions. Enugu Forum provide members opportunity to scrutinize own ideas and canvass positions and perspectives on public policy.
Ownership of the Forum resides in the members. It is run on the goodwill contributions from corporate bodies and individuals. Sponsorship includes provision of venue, refreshments, logistics, and guest speakers.