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WHAT WE DO
EMPOWERING CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS

Empowering Civil Society Organisations Worldwide

About CSOs' Empowerment

Civil society empowerment is a key objective of punto.sud mission. It is well known that civil society is increasingly being considered as one of the fundamental driver for sustainable change, recognized as crucial component of any democratic system and an asset in itself. Moreover, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are today recognised to play an increasingly important role in national development efforts, being able to address certain national and local issues more effectively than governments or foreign donors, contributing to more effective policies, equitable and sustainable development and inclusive growth.

Through the years the concept of civil society has become crucial in punto.sud internal debate about aid effectiveness, more precisely regarding the extent to which CSOs may succeed in producing sustainable development results for disadvantaged people.

Based on these assumptions, punto.sud has defined its role as an actor engaged and fully committed to ensure resources and to facilitate capitalisations in on-going CSOs initiatives, with the idea that CSOs empowerment should be seen as neither a mean nor an end, but as a process to widen people’s choices.

punto.sud identified three priorities on civil society empowerment:

  • To coordinate efforts to promote an enabling environment, as a set of interrelated conditions, to ensure recognition of civil society as a driver for sustainable change;
  • To increase national CSOs’ capacity to perform their roles as independent and accountable development actors more effectively;
  • To promote the “doing development differently” agenda, to emphasize the need of solutions based on local capacities and experimentation.

About punto.sud Engagement

Although the risk of “reinventing the wheel” is high, punto.sud is trying to propose different ways of looking at the CSOs, elaborating and promoting case by case strategies aimed at creating opportunities and space for debates for target and partners organisations.

The adopted working methods aim to support:

  • Organisations whose objective is to represent citizens (organisations which aggregate citizens’ voice) and
  • Organisations which provide support to other CSOs and/or citizens directly.

These methods result in:

  • Cooperation with those organisations interested in influencing policy change through advocacy and campaigning for a more accountable and effective project management system;
  • Support to increase the competences of CSOs’ key staff to foster locally-led development design and planning of actions and to ensure the legitimacy, effectiveness and value-for-money regarding the use of resources (e.g. skills for governance, financial planning, strategic leadership, fundraising, partnership and networking building, advocacy, or specific technical skills);
  • Enabling the interactions with resource partners (especially the EU) to raise awareness with the involved CSOs about the growing importance of key themes in the international agenda (such as the targeting of global public goods) and the need to develop skills, knowledge and capacities of local CSOs to make them more effective;
  • Facilitating networking and debate regarding key themes, such as evidence-based project planning and evaluation and securing sustainable change in unstable environments;
  • Ensuring funding and guidance to smaller CSOs and new emerging civil actors through specially designed, flexible funding to promote new opportunities, experimentations, organisational building and need-driven actions.

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