Task Team Civil Society Organization

CSO task team logo

The Secretariat of the Task Team on Civil Society Organization (CSO) Development Effectiveness and Enabling Environment is hosted at ISS.

The Task Team is an informal, multi-stakeholder network of representatives from the official donor, partner country and CSO communities. It is co-chaired by representatives from the Government of Mali, the Government of the Netherlands, and the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE).

What does the Task Team do?

The Task Team’s work is concerned with advancing the roles of civil society in development, focusing in particular on international commitments agreed at the Busan High Level Forum (2011) and the Mexico High Level Meeting (2014).

Amongst others, these commitments call for recognition of civil society as an important and independent development actor, with diverse and varied contributions to make to development.
The commitments also call on all development actors – including governments and donors/providers of development cooperation – to create an environment that is conducive to the engagement of civil society in development. This includes for example appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks, donor policies that support CSOs, as well as space for multi-stakeholder dialogue. Finally, CSOs are called upon to enhance their own effectiveness, transparency and accountability.

Policies that influence the space for civil society roles in development are continually being developed at various levels, from global to national. The Task Team seeks to influence policy and decision-making by raising awareness on global commitments in relation to CSOs in development and by reviewing policies and practice toward their implementation. In addition the Task Team provides recommendations for ways forward that respect these global commitments.

The Task Team furthermore organizes events to convene different actors (policy makers from governments and intergovernmental organizations, civil society representatives, academics, media, etc.) in dialogue and knowledge-sharing.

The Task Team predominantly works in two policy domains, that of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (which replace the Millennium Development Goals).

Overview of the activities and scope of the work of the Task Team.

Examples of work carried out by the Task Team

The Task Team organizes events, carries out monitoring and produces guidelines and studies.

Sessions at (high-level) events – The Task Team organized a side event at the Second High Level Meeting of the Global Partnership in Nairobi in November-December 2016. The session was entitled “Enabling Environments for CSO Engaged in Development: Lessons from GPEDC 2015/16 monitoring for Agenda 2030 Implementation”. The Keynote speaker was Isabella Lövin, Swedish Minister of Development Cooperation and Climate/Deputy Prime Minister. A video summary is available online. The Task Team also organized an amphitheatre session on “Enabling Environment for Partnerships” and also participated in the core group of the plenary session on Multi-stakeholder Partnerships.

Contribute to Monitoring Progress – The Global Partnership has a global monitoring framework that includes ten indicators to track progress on the effective development cooperation commitments. Indicator Two of this framework is concerned with the enabling environment for civil society. The Task Team helped the Global Partnership refine this indicator by developing a conceptual framework for Indicator Two and setting up a questionnaire and multi-stakeholder monitoring approach for the 2015/2016 monitoring round. The Task Team was subsequently invited to engage in further refinements of this indicator ahead of the 2018 monitoring round.

Guidance for Indicator Two – To supplement its four-part framework for Indicator Two, the Task Team is working on developing a Guidance for Indicator Two. It is doing so as part of Global Partnership Initiative 2 (GPI-2), which is one of 28 initiatives that seeks to advance aid and development cooperation under the auspices of the Global Partnership. GPI-2 is referenced in the Nairobi Outcome Document, which came out of the Global Partnership’s Second High Level Meeting in 2016.

Studies – The Task Team sees value in studies that could guide its work. It commissioned a study on what contributes to good performance of multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) operating at country level. Under leadership of Dr. Kees Biekart and Professor Alan Fowler from ISS’ Civic Innovation Research Initiative, researchers - including ISS alumni - conducted country level studies in Costa Rica, Indonesia, Kenya and Kyrgyzstan. The Task Team is currently in the process of setting up a second round of studies

Task Team on Civil Society Organization Development Effectiveness and Enabling Environment


The Secretariat is comprised of Hans de Voogd (Secretariat Manager), Jacqueline Wood (Senior Strategy and Policy Specialist), Adinda Ceelen (Senior Policy & Communications Officer), Sanne Huesken (Project Officer) and Nelja Tilma (Event Coordinator). .

The Task Team Secretariat and Task Team meetings and events are funded by the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (SIDA).

Contact the CSO Task Team secretariat

Email address

Kortenaerkade 12
The Hague