The ICSO sector of the CPDE has steadily looked into the extent to which the sector has aligned itself with the effectiveness principles that CSO community agreed to more than ten years ago, the Istanbul Principles. This study takes place at a time when the donor community has positioned itself by adopting the DAC Recommendations on Enabling Civil Society and when there is a new wave of public discussions on key dimensions such as decolonization and localization of development cooperation. This report offers a very powerful instrument to connect all these dots and help navigate the on-going debate.
The CPDE reports of the past few years have explored these crucial areas for CSO effectiveness, by necessity, from a qualitative perspective, mostly relying on literature reviews and, more importantly, on the firsthand understanding of expert colleagues. One of the regular findings from these studies started in 2016 is that key expectations about fair and equitable partnerships between different CSO actors are well reflected in key strategic CSO documents.
The full implementation of these expectations is quite often stalled by a difficultCSO operational environment. Amongst many other critical factors, multiple accountability lines coexist, including those to governments and official donors, who set the modalities for the reporting processes. The global Covid 19 pandemic and new geopolitical crises have possibly further slowed the pace of change as, for instance, the digital divide and mobility restrictions have further exacerbated existing imbalances.