[EN] Policy Framework Strengthening Civil Society


On 5 December, Partos members gathered to discuss the new policy Framework Strengthening Civil Society which was launched on 3 December. The aim of this meeting was to create a common understanding of the opportunities and requirements formulated in the documents of the new policy framework, share views and identify issues that need to be clarified. Around 100 participants came together in the Auditorium of Goede Doelen Loterijen to discuss the framework and in particular four subsidy instruments therein for the period 2021-2025.

Update: It was expected that the ministry would publish the answers to our questions the 18th of december. As that didn’t happen yet, we checked with the ministry. They indicated that they received a lot of questions and are working hard to answer them ASAP. Probably the 20th of december. 



Start with 2 presentations

The members meeting started with two interesting presentations of lessons learned with the functioning of the strategic partnerships within the current policy framework Dialogue & Dissent. One was by Ferko Bodnár of the Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB, Min. of Foreign Affairs) who presented main conclusions and recommendations from the IOB evaluation “Strategies for partners: balancing complementarity and autonomy”. The presentation can be found here


His presentation was followed by a presentation by Lena Gutheil on the basis of her PhD research for the Radboud University. She further focussed on lessons learned in relation to adaptive management. Her presentation can be found here





Subgroups  on Power of Voices & Power of Women

The framework and the instruments we discussed at the event can be found here.

  • Power of Voices Partnerships
  • SDG 5 Fund
    • Power of Women;
    • Women, Peace and Security; 
    • SRHR Partnership fund.

For the exchange on issues of concern and unclarity, the group split itself into sub-groups that worked on the basis of a world-café approach. Below you can find some of the main issues that came out of the exchange and that were communicated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


  • We are positive about the continued support for the strengthening of civil society and its work in giving voice to people on issues of their concern. We also welcome the fact that space is given to work in non-focus countries as global challenges that civil society wants to address do not limit themselves to the focus countries of the ministry. 

  • We also welcome that the Sustainable Development Goals form the overarching framework for these schemes. We strongly advocate that this overarching framework will be concretised through due regard for policy coherence and related cross-cutting issues. We hope that both the Director-General International Cooperation (DGIS) and the Social Development Department (DSO) play an active role in fostering and securing this coherence and integration of cross-cutting issues. 

  • We signal that de threshold criteria to be the lead-applicant of an alliance are high. This will make it difficult for organisations from low and middle-income countries to become the lead: we plea for a covering of threshold by the alliance as a whole where possible.
  • An concern is that the legal entity’s address of registration may not correspond with the local presence of an organisation, for reasons of security and/or limited civic space.  What does this mean for the eligibility of that organisation?

  • Another issue of concern is the required integrity policy as a threshold criterium, and how this affects organisations based in low and middle-income countries. Is it possible to provide organisations with some extra time to develop and implement a policy on Integrity during the partnership?


A detailed letter with these and other questions and concerns was after sent to the Ministery of Foreign Affairs before the deadline of December 11th. It included a request to provide additional opportunities for questions, for example about the online application form that is to be published as of 16 December 2019.


Contact person at Partos: Koos de Bruijn (koos@remove-this.partos.nl). If you have any questions or remarks on the process involving the framework, please seek contact with Koos de Bruijn. 


Further for your information:


Partos 9001 & The Organisational Risk and Integrity Assessment  (ORIA)

As stated in the policy framework documents, a Partos 9001 certificate (a quality norm based on the ISO 9001:2015 only available to Partos members), will be accepted as a replacement for the Ministry’s own ORIA.  It is important to note however that this relates to the 2018 version of the Partos 9001, i.e. the version that includes the integrity policy chapter. The earlier version (dd 2015), just like the older versions of the ORIA and the COCA, will be accepted only in combination with the  ORIA update form (annexe 2c to the framework documents).  


Partos regularly updates the information we have on our website about organisations with a Partos 9001 certificate. We, therefore, ask you to send us a.s.a.p. your new Partos 9001 certificate if you haven’t done so already.  For more information: Annemiek Mion at info@remove-this.partos.nl.