Task Team on Civil Society Organization

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 National Bureau for NGOs of Uganda, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 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. More specifically it seeks to promote international commitments on civil society and development as agreed at the Busan High Level Forum (2011) and recently reaffirmed at the Nairobi High Level Meeting (2016).

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 (Global Partnership) and the Sustainable Development Goals (successor of 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

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.



The Task Team’s Secretariat comprises David Wubs-Mrozewicz (Executive Manager), Adinda Ceelen (Senior Policy and Communications Officer) and Sanne Huesken (Project and Event Coordinator). In addition, Jacqueline Wood – who is based in Ottawa - provides strategy and policy advice.

The role of the Secretariat is to support the Task Team by providing strategic planning support. Amongst other tasks, the Secretariat reviews key policy papers, provides tailored policy advice, facilitates communication and information sharing, and engages in the organization of meetings and events.

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



For more information, please contact Adinda Ceelen via ceelen@remove-this.iss.nl or drop by. The Task Team Secretariat is housed in room 2.36 of the ISS building on Kortenaerkade 12 in The Hague.

You can also have look on the Task Team’s website.