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Belangenbehartiging & Beleidsbeïnvloeding Blog

Reflection on consultations on the new policy framework ‘Strengthening Civil Society’

On February 8, Partos organised consultations on four themes widely supported by civil society and Southern partners: Agenda setting, Risk management, Accountability, Feminist PMEL. The focus was to further specify recommendations already developed under the ‘policy paper’, and for which ideas have been sourced through the ‘Bright Ideas Contest’.

14 februari 2024

What have we done already?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ current policy framework for strengthening civil society is set to conclude in 2025. Over the past years, Partos, in collaboration with its members and international experts, has collected insights and developed recommendations to make the new policy framework for 2026 and beyond more inclusive, flexible, and, above all, effective. These insights include:

  1. General consultation by Partos among its members on the policy framework (2023).
  2. Policy paper with concrete recommendations from the Partos Shift the Power Lab to make the policy framework more inclusive and flexible (2022/2023).
  3. Voices on Power – interviews with recommendations from the Partos Shift the Power Lab by Southern leaders (2023).
  4. Dreampaper from the Partos Shift the Power Lab highlighting key issues from the ‘Power of Voices’ policy framework (2021/2022)

Planning ’24 new policy framework

The current policy framework for strengthening civil society ends in 2025. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that preparations for developing the new policy framework have begun.

  • Early January: internet consultation (open to everyone) – DELAYED
  • Mid-February: synthesis of the midterm evaluations ready
  • March/April: Policy letter to parliament
  • September: Publication of the new policy framework

This was our last opportunity to feed into the process before the Ministry will send a policy letter to parliament.

Our goal: refining the recommendations

The consultations held on the 8th marked the culmination of an extensive consultation process. We delved into four themes that have garnered significant support from civil society and partners in the Global South: Agenda Setting, Risk Management, Accountability, and Feminist PMEL.

We aimed to refine the recommendations from the “Bright Ideas Contest”. We received numerous valuable ideas from civil society actors, both within the Netherlands and internationally. A panel of diverse international experts evaluated these submissions, selecting two ideas per theme for further discussion on 8th February.

More than 250 development experts from all over the world convened on the 8th to thoroughly examine the chosen ideas across four sessions and themes. We engaged in meaningful discussions to enhance the clarity, effectiveness, and feasibility of these ideas. While consensus was challenging to achieve for some suggestions, others received unanimous support from the group.

Looking ahead, Partos will identify which recommendations received significant support from the participants. These will be incorporated into the final product, a policy paper, which will be presented to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.