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Orientation Framework

Civil Society Cooperation

This document serves as an orientation for cooperation with civil society organisations(CSOs), for Welthungerhilfe’s staff, expert committees and partner organisations in programme countries.

Since the 1990s, multilateral and bilateral development players have sharpened theirview of the growing importance of civil society organisations and actors. Not only didWelthungerhilfe’sStrategy (2012 – 2016) further consider these trends, it included civil society cooperation as one of its main strategic pillars. Indeed, ever since it was foundedmore than 50 years ago, Welthungerhilfe has believed that only development actorsthemselvescan bring about social change and sustainable development – through theprincipleof ‘self-help’. Therefore, Welthungerhilfe actively supports, facilitates and learnsfrom local civil society actors.

The impacts of globalisation and rapidly changing global conditions pose significantchallengesfor civil societies of the North, as well as the global South. These challengesinclude: (1.) the growing number of humanitarian projects implemented in fragile states,where civil society plays an important role but capacities are often weak, (2.) the Accra Agenda for Action and the high level forum in Busan, which call for additional attention tocivil society and (3.) the ongoing international (and particularly European) debate about therole of northern non-governmental organisations in development processes of the South.

This Orientation Framework has been drafted in a consultative process by Welthungerhilfestaff based in programme countries, local partner organisations, as well as members ofWelthungerhilfe’s Programme Advisory Committee. It raises questions, describes risks and challenges related to civil society cooperation. Part I of the Orientation Framework outlinesthe background, definitions and challenges of civil society cooperation, while part II provides methods, instruments and examples of best practices, for operationalising manageableandsuccessful interventions.

Orientation Framework
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