The civil society sector is growing in both size and influence. In many countries, it is now the largest provider of social services and the largest employer. This growth has been accompanied by an increase in the number of civil society organizations (CSOs) and a proliferation of programs and initiatives aimed at supporting and developing the sector.
The development of programs for civil society is an important part of the work of the International Civil Society Center. We work with partners around the world to support the development of strong and vibrant civil societies. Our programs aim to build the capacity of CSOs to effectively contribute to social, economic, and political development.
We offer a range of programs that support the development of civil society, including:
- Civil Society Leadership Programs: These programs provide support for CSO leaders to develop their skills and knowledge. They also create opportunities for networking and peer learning.
- Civil Society Organizational Development Programs: These programs provide support for CSOs to strengthen their organizational capacity. They help CSOs to develop effective management systems, governance structures, and financial management practices.
- Civil Society Advocacy and Engagement Programs: These programs support CSOs to effectively engage with government, the private sector, and other stakeholders. They also help CSOs to develop their advocacy and campaigning skills.
- Civil Society Capacity Building Programs: These programs provide support for CSOs to build their capacity to design, implement, and evaluate programs and projects. They also help CSOs to develop their financial management, human resources, and information and communication technology (ICT) skills.
The International Civil Society Center works with a range of partners to deliver our programs, including civil society organizations, donor agencies, governments, the private sector, and academia. Our programs are tailored to the needs of our partners and the countries in which they operate.
If you are interested in learning more about our programs for civil society, please contact us.
A civil society is a space between the family, the state, and the market where people can come together to pursue shared objectives and interests, form relationships, and make decisions. It is a social contract entered into by individuals who have the capacity to negotiate and agree on the terms of their interactions. In return for abiding by the rules and norms of civil society, individuals are afforded certain protections and rights, including the freedom to associate with others, to voice their opinions, and to hold the state accountable.
The development of programs for civil society is an important part of the work of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). UNDP works with partners to support the development of strong and vibrant civil societies that can play a key role in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
UNDP’s support for civil society is based on the belief that empowered citizens are essential for sustainable and inclusive development. An effective civil society can hold the state accountable, provide a check on abuses of power, and give voice to the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in society. A strong civil society can also contribute to a more effective and efficient service delivery, and helps to build social cohesion and inclusion.
UNDP’s work in this area includes:
- Providing support for the development of national and local civil society organizations (CSOs), including through capacity-building and financial assistance;
- Working with CSOs to promote participation in public decision-making, including through the development of advocacy and campaigning skills;
- Facilitating dialogue between CSOs and government on key development issues;
- Supporting CSOs in their role as watchdogs and service providers;
- Providing financial and technical support for the development of social accountability mechanisms;
- Working with CSOs to promote volunteerism and philanthropy.
UNDP also works to strengthen the enabling environment for civil society, including by supporting the reform of laws and regulations that constrain the work of CSOs. In addition, UNDP provides support for the development of national platforms for civil society, which can provide a space for dialogue and the sharing of best practices.
Looking ahead, UNDP will continue to work with partners to support the development of strong and vibrant civil societies that can play a key role in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.