MANARA is a voluntary reunion of different Arab civil institutions working in the Child Rights’ field and having common interests. The Network’s references are mainly the International law of Human Rights, the International Convention on the rights of the Child and the Arab Charter on Child Rights. The Network always searches for the child’s best interests and aims to increase and share experience and knowledge, observe Child rights in the Arab World and the degree of adaptation of the Arab Child rights legislations and international criteria of Child rights in the Arab world; especially the UN convention on the rights of the child, advocating Child rights. This is in order to build an Arab society worthy of children.
Relations between members:
Although joining the Network is voluntary, the relations between members should be based on mutual trust and on a professional contract that adopts the Child Protection Policy (written policies attached to the Concept Paper). This is in order to empower the mutual accountability according to the Child’s best interest. The member organizations undertake to not do anything that harms the other organizations and to keep strong connections between each other in order to develop the Network’s work.
The Efficiency and maintenance of the Network:
In order to ensure efficiency, the Network should be willing to learn and improve. It should also have a proper funding raised by all the member organizations. But the funding should not be conditioned or for political reasons. The Network’s leadership should be wise and capable of uniting its members and well managing the resources and relations with the funders. It should also create a work friendly environment. Its structure should be diverse, dynamic and democratic in its decisions and executions. The Network should also create assessment tools in order to always review its goals and activities.
The members of the Network should commit to working with children according to the principles and morals of the Child rights: no discrimination, gender equity, respecting the child’s dignity and privacy and the child’s active participation in the Network and on different levels, according to his best interests.
A specialized committee should be part of the Network’s structure to help executing the Network’s strategy. Later on, this committee can become active on its own on regional and international levels, having, in the same time, an exhaustive understanding of the work and a decentralization strategy.
Concerning the Network as an organization, the added value of the specialized committees is in the active engagement in dealing with a big number of its members and benefiting of their experience and knowledge.
Relations between the funders:
Funding from funders who share the Network’s same goals and ambitions are necessary. But this does not mean the funders can be part of the Network. The relation between the funder and the Network should be flexible comparing to what is knows about the traditional relations between the funders and the NGOs. The golden rule for the Network’s success is to count on its own resources in order to maintain its independency and courage in speeches. The continuity of the Network is not a goal on its own. Acting as if the continuity is the goal influences the Network’s work and speeches; it can become driven by the funders.
The Benefits and Inconvenient of Joining the Network:
The benefits of the membership can be:
1- Obtaining experience, knowledge and information, and organizing them.
2- Obtaining more experiences and financial resources.
3- Increasing the competence and ability of the member organizations to communicate and influence, especially in the fields of pressure and advocacy.
4- Increasing the influence in writing policies and strategies on the national and regional levels.
5- Developing collective projects and increasing chances of starting new projects.
6- Increasing the legality of the member organizations, decreasing their isolation and the dangers they might face, thank to their solidarity.
7- Increasing the influence over the decision, policy and practice makers on local, national, regional and international levels.
But there are also inconvenient for being member in the Network: fear of losing a part of their sovereignty, confusion of responsibilities between the members, especially if there were no clear accountability structures, as well as fearing bad leadership and domination of the more active members.