CSOs and Marginalized Groups

At present, CSOs working with marginalized groups comprise one of the largest groups of development actors among the CSO community. Their work is deeply connected to and with the vast number of people who are the main target of development policies and programs, making them a potent force in influencing policy reforms and the most credible CSOs in swaying public opinion.

Thus, the participation and input of marginalized groups in the International Framework for CSO Development Effectiveness and in advancing the promotion and advocacy on the Istanbul Principles is crucial. A Regional Consultation on Development Effectiveness of CSOs Working with the Marginalized Groups was therefore recommended to culminate into the OF’s second Global Assembly and in the run up to the HLF4 in Korea in late 2011. This thematic consultation is being coordinated by Open Forum GFG member organization People’s Coalition on Food Soverignty (PCFS).


Download the

Consolidated Report on CSOs Working with Marginalized Groups

THE SURVEY RESULTS ARE available here.

Objectives of this thematic consultation

- Share common experiences in utilizing the Istanbul Principles in development work of CSOs working with marginalized groups in various countries;
- Identify effective mechanisms, guidelines and indicators for marginalized groups in implementing the Istanbul Principles in national and regional levels;
- Elaborate recommendations for working with issues on the enabling environment confronting CSOs working with marginalized groups; and
- Recommend action plans for the run-up to the second Global Assembly and the HLF4.

Activities and Target Groups

In the Future Factory workshop on CSOs working with the marginalized groups during the first Open Forum Global Assembly in Istanbul, it was recommended that the thematic consultation be held around the schedule of existing regional events in order to make efficient use of resources and gather a wide range of participation of CSOs from different countries.

Thus, the consultation is proposed to be held back-to-back with the BetterAid-supported regional conferences in Asia and Africa in January and April, respectively. The theme of these conferences is about Aid and Development Effectiveness on issues in Food Security and Agriculture and targets representatives of national organizations of marginalized groups from different countries as participants. Many of these participants were also involved in the OF’s country and regional consultations along with its Global Assembly last September.

Holding the Open Forum thematic consultation back-to-back with the BA supported conferences can lead to reaching other marginalized movements who were not involved in past OF activities but are potential purveyors of the Istanbul Principles. This way, resources will be used efficiently as travel expenses of the participants will be covered and shared by BetterAid and Open Forum.

Specifically, the activities to be undertaken during this thematic consultation are the following:

Asia-wide consultation on CSOs working with marginalized groups:

The consultation was held on January 21, 2011 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The Green Movement of Sri Lanka was the co-organizer and hosted the event. It is the same organization that hosted the OF national consultation. The target was to have 35 participants from 16 Asian countries and about 30 local participants from different regions of Sri Lanka.

Africa-wide consultation on CSOs working with marginalized groups:

The consultation was held on the first week of April 2011 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The BA supported conference in Tanzania was organized in cooperation with CONCERN Worldwide, Agricultural Non State Actors Forum (ANSAF), and Eastern and Southern Africa Farmer’s Forum (ESAFF) – regional and sub-regional formations whose secretariats are based in Tanzania. The said organizations were also targeted to host the OF thematic consultation in Dar es Salaam for the same period. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs of the United Republic of Tanzania was also involved in hosting the events as a recipient member of the DAC WP-EFF.

In the BA supported event, about 32 participants from different sub-regions of Africa were expected to attend excluding the local participants from Tanzania. The same participants were targeted to attend the OF thematic consultation on CSOs working with marginalized groups.

Survey on CSOs working with marginalized groups:

Surveys were conducted to ensure optimum participation of delegates to the regional consultations and to reach out to other CSOs who will not be able to attend in the said events. The survey aimed to gather information on how the Istanbul Principles relate to the work of CSOs working with marginalized groups, and will draw in suggestions on practical guidelines, mechanism and indicators on its implementation. The survey also intended to cull ideas from CSOs on how it plans to develop the enabling environment for the implementation of the said principles.

Submission of filled-out survey forms was mandatory to all participants of the regional consultations prior to their attendance. The results of the survey were then summarized and presented during the consultation to facilitate the process of understanding and unity of the participants.

Download the Survey Results here.

CSO Consultations in Eastern Europe and Latin America:

Due to limited resources, the consultations for Eastern Europe and Latin America were proposed to be done strictly through surveys. Partner organizations were identified in each of these regions to ensure target CSOs participate in the survey, as well as data processing and analysis, formulating a synthesis and final reporting of the results.