Civil society partnerships

CSOs supporting accountability in cash transfer programmes

Cash transfer programmes, like most social protection programmes, are vulnerable to fraud, errors, corruption and misuse of funds, which undermine their achievements.  Civil society organisations (CSOs) have supported, or provided, accountability mechanisms in countries around the world: working to improve transparency to help citizens hold authorities accountable; checking ...» more

Southern philanthropy, social justice and human rights

Fabiana Leibl and Ine Van Severen

This discussion paper addresses the question of how philanthropists in the global south could better support the activities of civil society organisations (CSOs) to promote human rights and social justice, including actions that focus on advocacy, accountability and mobilisation. The paper is informed by interviews conducted with 12 representatives of philanthropic foundations ...» more

Religion and development

Why would you want to mix religion with development? They appear to be completely different things – at best incompatible; at worst highly combustible. After all some strands of religion have an overtly political agenda, while other strands promote or condone violence, including terrorism. In some instances religions promote discrimination against women, children and other…» more

Getting good at disruption in an uncertain world

Lila Buckley and Halina Ward

What does ‘disruptive change’ mean to NGO leaders and highly experienced development practitioners in middle- and low- income countries? This working paper summarises insights into how NGOs in the global South are addressing disruption in their external and internal operating environments. Beyond natural disasters, emerging technologies, political shifts and climate change the ...» more

Evaluation of the strategy for support via Swedish civil society organisations 2010-2014

Jethro Pettit et al.

In what ways has Swedish support to civil society actors in developing countries enabled poor and discriminated people to improve their living conditions and quality of life?  This evaluation report shares a range of internal and external factors that have contributed to the effectiveness of Sida's civil society support strategy via Swedish CSOs 2010-2014 . It finds that ...» more

The closing space challenge: how are funders responding?

Thomas Carothers

How is the  international aid community responding to the perceived major threat to Western support for civil society development in many parts of the world? This paper looks at how Western funders are responding to closing civil society space measures, highlighting the need for more in-depth research, and increased collaboration between bilaterals, multilaterals and private ...» more

Towards a more effective early warning system in the horn of Africa


What are the lessons to be learnt and opportunities for improving CEWARN’s functionality as it implements and reviews its new strategy for 2012–2019?   This report recognises how far CEWARN has come since 2002 when there was no mechanism in place and now, where it operates differently in 6 countries across the region in response to the context. It also highlights the critical ...» more

Assessing the added value of strategic funding to civil society

This IELG-commissioned study looks at the strengths and challenges of strategic (unrestricted) funding across 37 organisations drawing on Independent Progress Reviews carried out for DFID’s PPA funding recipients after the first 18 months. It seeks to understand the added value of this funding for CSOs, their impact populations, funders and the wider development sector. The key ...» more

Monitoring and evaluating civil society partnerships

This report lists and describes tools used by NGOs to monitor the quality of their relationships with partner organisations. It begins with a brief analysis of the types of tools and their approaches, then describes each tool. This paper focuses on tools which monitor the partnership relationship itself, rather than the impact or outcomes of the partnership. While there is ...» more

Multi-donor Support to Civil Society and Engaging with ‘Non-traditional’ Civil Society

F Tembo, A Wells

Do multi-donor support mechanisms scale up and enhance the effectiveness of civil society engagement with the state? This paper from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) analyses multi-donor support models and partnerships with ‘non-traditional’ civil society. The decision to move from bilateral to multi-donor support of civil society organisations (CSOs) involves a ...» more

Agents for Change: Civil Society Roles in Preventing War & Building Peace

Catherine Barnes

What roles and functions can civil society play in preventing war and building peace? This paper provides an in-depth review of these roles and functions. It also provides an overview of the key challenges facing the wider field of civil society working for peace.This paper is based on the experiences and discussions undertaken through the first three years of the Global ...» more

Manufacturing Civil Society from the Outside: Donor Interventions

J Howell, J Pearce

How have donor concepts of civil society been operationalised? What dilemmas and contradictions do donors face in attempting to create and strengthen civil society from the outside? This chapter from the book ‘Civil Society and Development: A Critical Exploration’ traces the specific paths leading different donors to engage with the concept of civil society, and seeks to answer ...» more

Sourcebook on Building Partnerships with Civil Society Organisations

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) CSO Division

The growth of civil society organisations (CSOs) is witnessed in their increasing range and collective power on the international arena. This sourcebook, produced by the Civil Society Organisations Division of the United Nations Development Programme, advocates enhanced co-operation between UNDP and CSOs, leading to mutual benefits for both parties. CSOs can make a positive ...» more

Development, NGOs and Civil Society: the Debate and its Future

J Pearce

What is the relationship between development, NGOs and civil society? What were the key developments in the debate surrounding this relationship during the 1990s and what is their impact on the future for NGOs and development? These are questions addressed in this introductory chapter to a reader on development, NGOs and civil society.Development debates in the context of ...» more

Partnerships for Reform: Civil Society and the Administration of Justice

S Harahan, W Malik

The Partnerships for Reform booklet aims to provide a judicial context and criteria for new or evolving judicial-reform NGOs. It also examines points for the judiciary to consider when dealing with civil society. Universal experience shows that no single route or system exists in forming lasting and effective partnerships between the courts and the community, but that such ...» more