Swedish Civil Society Support

Karin Fällman, Sida/CIVSAM
1. What good CSO donorship implies
2. How Sida/SE supports CSOs and how
SE fares in relation to good CSO
3. Current efforts to improve SE’s CSO
support/practice good CSO
1) Having a Strategic Framework composed
 an evidence-based, overarching civil society
policy providing the theory of change for CSO
support, and
 complementary, context specific CSO funding
strategies based on up-to-date political
economy analyses and guidelines for
management of CSO support
Having a Strategic Framework including objectives to
1. Strengthen civil society in developing countries
(balance between agency and actor in its own right)
1. Promote and support public awareness-raising in
donor countries
2. Promote an enabling environment for CSOs
 In law and practice
 Through development effective donor support
(2) For delivering effective support/
implementing the strategic framework
 Respect independence while giving direction
 Donor transparency
 Local ownership of agenda
 Choose partners to meet objectives
 Match funding mechanisms with purpose
 Minimize transaction costs
 Alignment and harmonization
(3) For Learning and Accountability
 Having a shared understanding and commitment among
donors and CSOs re the theory of change and the ways of
measuring and communicating results over time
 Incl. an impact assessment framework appropriate to the
type of programs supported and the size and nature of the
 Systems and processes conducive to on-going learning and
 Which are transparent and allows for mutual
 With reporting and evaluations focused on results and
SE’s CSO support
 Considered international champions:
 Aid and development effectiveness: Task Team, CoD
WG on CSO, Informal Donor Group (CoP, Policy
Evaluation etc.)
 Post-2015: Dialogue and support
 Over-arching good practice policy (CSO as development
actors in their own right, pluralism, HRBA)
 CSO support in close to all Swedish Development
 But what does SE’s CSO support look like in practice?
First-Ever Review 2012-2013 of SE’s
total CSO Support – objectives:
 provide knowledge of how Sida supports and
engages civil society organisations
 trends (2007-2012) during the past five years
 lessons learnt regarding the modalities used
 fitness for purpose
 how Sida fares in relation to the civil society
policy and international commitments
 recommendations
Increasing support to CSOs
 Increased its share of the Sida aid
budget from 19% in 2007 to 32% in
2011 – and increasing…
 Figure of 35,8% in 2012 – at least
more than a third of Sida’s budget to
CSO (not counting support via
HUM, 16%
spec.demo, 1%
initiatives, 11%
initiatives, 11%
Conclusions from the Review 1(2)
 Strategies do not account for policy content
 CSOs are primarily used as means or consultants
to reach sector specific objectives in the Swedish
development strategies (and seldom supported as
development actors in their own right)
 Funding decisions are often not transparent and
they are often based on “reputation and trust”
 Limited part of support reaches grassroots
organisations, organising poor and marginalised
groups (CIVSAM excluded)
Conclusions from the Review 2(2)
 International expert organisations are preferred
partners, Swedish framework organisations even
more so
 Core support given only to the big and strong
 Limited learning and sharing of new modalities
 Bilateral, direct funding arrangement still most
common – but joint funding on the rise
 Emerging trend towards strategic approaches to
CSO support (eight countries and one global
strategy completed)
Draft Management Response: To
fully practice good CSO donorship
1. Sida should work more strategically with
CSO support, and get better at
 supporting CS in its own right
 strengthening local ownership of the
development agenda
 reaching grassroots organisations,
organising poor and marginalised groups
2. Sida therefore needs a strategic
framework which
 makes the objective of the CS policy
i.e. a pluralistic and rights-based civil
society part of the results strategies
 ensures the use of aid effective
support models throughout the
Strategic Framework suggested in the Draft MR
CS Policy/Political Platform
Sida Common Framework for
CSO support
Cooperation Strategy/Results
Strategy X
Context Specific CSO
To provide aid effective support, the draft MR
suggests that Sida
 Increases the use of aid effective support
modalities such as core/programme and
harmonized/joint funding (to strengthen
ownership and support CSOs in their own right)
 Manages for results by choosing partners to meet
objectives and by tailoring the support accordingly;
accommodate the need to balance strategic, long
term approaches with flexibility and risk taking (to
also reach CSO organizing the poorest of the poor)
 Increases T&A in CSO support: policy, strategy,
guidelines, dialogue
Draft MR: Division of Responsibilities 1(2)
It is suggested that CIVSAM provides the
methodological platform:
 Sida common CSO framework (how to practice good CSO
donorship) to inform strategies and implementation
 Further lessons learned and methodological support
 Toolkit of methodological documents:
 Code of Practice on Donor Harmonization
 ToR for organisational assessments, CSO capacity
development tools, formats for JFAs etc.
 Complementary direct advisory
 CSO focal points, CSO network/HR-Demo networks
 Studies/evaluations: policy evaluation, evaluation of the
CSO strategy, IDG joint funding modalities
Draft MR: Division of Responsibilities 1(2)
It is suggested that Embassies/HQ Units:
 Conduct regular context/political economy
analyses (incl. actors’ analyses)
 Develop and implement context specific CSO
support guidelines which
 Are based on the results strategy, the context
analyses and Sida’s CSO framework
 Function as transparent and clear guidelines for
cooperation with CSOs
 Set the frame for meaningful policy dialogue with
CSOs (to ensure learning, transparency and
 Share learning and experiences within Sida
Summary of priorities in the draft management
Get better at
(1) supporting CS in its own right
(2) strengthening local ownership of the development agenda
(3) reaching grassroots organisations, organising poor and
marginalised groups
(4) practicing aid effective support (which will contribute to 1-3)
and then especially;
 Increase the use of aid effective support modalities such as
core/programme and harmonized/joint funding
 Manage for results by choosing partners to meet objectives
and by tailoring support
 Increase T&A in CSO support: policy, strategy, guidelines,
Reality Check: Kenya, Nov 2013
1. Major strengths
 Framework organisation makes it easier to cooperate with
Sida: planning, knowing and understanding the demands
Learning from other partners
Flexibility in terms of funding, supports/aligns to the
strategic plan, long term support, core funding, easy to
report back, accountability
Sida accepts formats by the partner, flexible, decreases
transaction costs
Sida has provided leadership in important sectors in
Kenya, takes a whole of sector approach
2. Major weaknesses
 Responsiveness to policy work is not always there, e.g.
enabling environment for CS in Kenya, new Bill
 Capacity development of partners has not been there
in the country programme
 Selection of partners: Sida has been playing it safe,
missing out of new ones and the new dynamics in
 Balance of funding to Govt and CS
3. Most important changes to make
• Core funding could increase
• More alignment to partners budget cycles e.g. for
audits, too many audits
Logframe system is not suitable to HR work, however
accountability for results is key
M&E: all donors have different approaches
More focus on ICT as a tool for development
More dialogue also after the agreement has been
signed (dialogue improved when Embassy
Too many meetings (in expensive hotels)
Most important changes to make cont.
 Capacity development needs more attention to make
CS actors more professional, build champions and
leadership of new generation of CSOs.
 Learning between partners should be encouraged
 Fast action in policy matters/enabling environment
 Rights-based approach needs to be better
 HRBA, more focus on giving the voiceless space
 Focus more on local/county level
 Peace and conflict should be more visible, incl
interfaith collaboration, regional integration

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