Multi-Stakeholder Task Team

What is the Task Team on Civil Society Development Effectiveness?

The Task Team is a multi-stakeholder group launched in April 2009 within Cluster A (Ownership and Accountability) under the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness of the OECD-DAC, to promote implementation of civil society-related commitments in the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA) and the Advisory Group on Civil Society and Aid Effectiveness’ 2008 recommendations to the Working Party in their preparations for the Accra High Level Forum.

The key civil society-related commitments in the AAA call for efforts to:

- Include and build the capacity of civil society in policy dialogue to enhance broad-based democratic ownership (paragraphs 13a-b)
- Engage with civil society to enhance civil society organisation (CSO) effectiveness, including through the provision of an enabling environment and donor support models that maximise CSOs’ contribution to development as development actors in their own right.

Key Documentation

NEW! Task Team’s Review of the Evidence of Progress on Accra Agenda for Action

Task Team’s Key Messages for Busan

Task Team’s Comments on the 3rd Busan Outcome Document

Task Team’s Comments on the 1st draft Busan Outcome Document

Task Team’s Comments on the Progress since Paris Report

Who are its members?

The Task Team is co-chaired by Sweden (Sida), Mali (Office of the President), and the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC, representing the Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness). Membership of the Task Team today includes over a dozen donor governments, a few developing country governments , and a number of CSOs representing the two key global CSO-led processes to HLF-4: the Open Forum and BetterAid. Donor governments are represented by the CSO teams within their aid agencies or Ministries of Foreign Affairs.

Why is it important?

The inclusion of civil society in the Accra High Level Forum agenda was considered by many as the hallmark of HLF-3. Significant gains were made in recognising the importance of CSOs as independent development actors, and in the agreement to work together to address CSO effectiveness as a responsibility shared among CSOs, donors, and developing country governments.

Unlike the Paris Declaration, the AAA commitments do not have indicators of progress to be measured. However, the significance of CSOs as actors in social, economic and cultural development in both donor and aid recipient countries suggests that continued attention to the inclusion of CSOs and civil society issues at HLF-4 and beyond makes good development sense.

CSOs play a number of key roles in development including:

  • Delivering services
  • Mobilising and empowering individuals and communities
  • Monitoring government policy and programs and demanding government accountability
  • Engaging in research and policy dialogue to inform policy choices
  • Providing expertise and innovation
  • Educating the public about development issues

In addition to these roles:

  • CSOs are aid donors, raising between $20-25 B of their own resources for international development.
  • CSOs are recipients and channels of aid, receiving on average approximately 10% of ODA flows, with some countries channelling up to 40% of their ODA to and through CSOs.

Given this magnitude of roles and of aid flows, all stakeholders share an interest in engaging with CSOs to hear their voice and to help maximise their contribution to development.

The Task Team is gathering evidence and will be proposing themes for HLF-4, through Cluster A. Evidence suggests some progress in meeting the AAA’s civil society-related commitments. The attached Update provides a preliminary summary of select efforts in this regard. However, progress is uneven. For example, contrary to AAA commitments, there is growing evidence to suggest an increasingly restrictive, rather than enabling environment for civil society. Cases in over thirty countries show that CSOs are increasingly vulnerable in the face of more restrictive financial and regulatory regimes that limit CSO activities and in some instances, endanger their existence.
The Task Team will continue to monitor progress and gaps to provide evidence to the WP-EFF in advance of HLF-4.

Meetings, Minutes and Outputs

DatesLocationAssociated Documents and Outcomes
April 2 and 3, 2009Stockholm, SwedenAgenda; Report
June 22 to 23, 2009Prague, Czech RepublicAgenda; Report
October 21 to 22, 2009Stockholm, SwedenAgenda; Report
April 13, 2010Brussels, BelgiumAgenda; Report
October 1, 2010Istanbul, TurkeyAgenda; Report
March 16 and 17, 2011Harnosand, SwedenAgenda; Report and KEY MESSAGES FOR BUSAN
September 13 and 14, 2011 (TBC)Montreal, CanadaCOMING SOON
November 30, 2011Busan, Republic of KoreaMulti-Stakeholder Task Team Side-Event Report
NEW!April 18-19, 2012Amsterdam, the NetherlandsBackground and reflection document; Brief on the Busan Partnership for Development Cooperation; Meeting Report

For more information, please write info at cso-effectiveness.org

Photo of the members at the Multi-Stakeholder Task Team meeting in Harnosand, Sweden, March 2011