In July this year, the UK’s International Development Secretary Justine Greening launched the Civil Society Partnership Review. The Review has been looking at how we should define our future objectives for working with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and associated approaches and instruments for our partnership model. The Review also takes into account that the world has, and continues to, change, and acknowledges the need for DFID and civil society to evolve.
Four months on, the Review is entering its final phase. A lot of progress has already been made. We've tried to ensure the Review has provided a great opportunity for CSOs of all shapes and sizes, from countries across the globe, to engage with DFID to help shape how we work together in the future. The engagement we’ve had in the Review has reinforced some of what we knew, suggested new ideas, and has been significant in helping to shape the Review’s outcomes.
Phase one of the Review focused on digital engagement, and achieved an average of two thousand blog views each post, 400 survey responses and 200 people from up to 26 countries participating in weekly twitter chats. We also carried out a portfolio analysis of DFID’s current funding to CSOs. Phase two, during which we held eight major face-to-face stakeholder events across England, Scotland and Wales, allowed us to gather views from the sector on key questions we were looking to answer – What can be done in the future to fully unlock and realise the potential of new types of partnerships? What needs to change in the way CSOs and DFID work together to deliver the new Global Goals? How can we create and manage a more strategic relationship and strengthened policy dialogue between DFID and CSOs? What should be the key characteristics of any new DFID funding instruments? These events were attended by representatives from across civil society, DFID Ministers and members of DFID’s senior management team, where they offered their views and had the chance to listen to the sector.
We're now entering the final phase of the Review. The Review Team are considering policy options and choices and the Secretary of State will make an announcement on the Review outcome in December, which is likely to focus on three strands: what our strategy is; how we can engage better together; and how we fund organisations. There will be opportunities for further engagement by the sector as the details of the proposed changes and future arrangements are designed and implemented.
This is an exciting time for civil society – an opportunity to maximise the potential of partnerships and ensure DFID’s engagement with CSOs allows us to deliver more for the world’s poorest. A huge thank you to all the people and organisations that took the time to give their feedback, opinions, evidence and ideas for what we can all do together to have the best possible impact in developing countries.