This toolkit, produced by the Civil Society Organizations Division in the Bureau for Resources and Strategic Partnerships, is aimed at providing colleagues with practical guidance and essential information in forging partnerships with CSOs. It includes examples of innovative country-level mechanisms to build and strengthen collaboration with CSOs.
This toolkit seeks to equip UNDP country offices with the essential tools, instruments and information to build substantive partnerships with civil society organizations (CSOs). It also provides examples of successful and innovative initiatives of UNDP engagement with CSOs at the programme and policy levels. While CSOs have a tremendous amount to offer UNDP in pursuing its mandate in ways that complement and supplement its work with governments, country offices are often faced with a number of issues as they seek to establish partnerships with civil society actors. The CSO Division has developed this toolkit to respond to the most frequently asked questions from country offices and regional service centres. We are grateful for the valuable inputs from programme officers and civil society advisors from country offices, regional service centres and headquarters.
- Chapter One provides the UNDP definition of CSOs and a brief description of their various roles and functions, as set out in the policy of engagement with CSOs (2001). (Most references to CSOs in this toolkit are to national and local CSOs, not international institutions and networks.)
- Chapter Two presents a methodology for mapping CSOs, aimed at assessing the strengths and weaknesses of CSOs working in a particular sector and identifying previously unknown civil society actors.
- Chapter Three provides operational information on working with CSOs, outlining policies guiding implementation, contracts, grant making and partnership agreements. It includes guidelines for assessing CSO capacity and a list of suggested criteria that can be used to select CSO implementing partners.
- Chapter Four describes the role, mandate and structure of the CSO Advisory Committee to the Administrator, set up in 2000. It also provides the methodology used by some country offices to set up national civil society advisory committees, such as in Botswana and Brazil.
- Chapter Five describes an innovative mechanism for peer-to-peer community learning and includes a model agreement to establish an exchange between communities.
- Chapter Six contains a list of select CSO resources in areas such as NGO legislation, training, and assessments. The section also includes links to UNDP policies and procedures that guide engagement with CSOs.