Ploumen supports innovative partnerships with development organisations

Strong civil society organisations make it easier to hear citizens’ voices. This is why development minister Lilianne Ploumen has selected 25 proposals for the new Dialogue and Dissent programme, which aim to strengthen civil society in low- and middle-income countries. The programme will be carried out by means of strategic partnerships between the organisations selected and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The proposals involve activities to improve conditions of employment, environmental conditions, food security, women’s rights, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. The programme will kick off in 2016. ‘Through these partnerships, we seek to contribute to the development of a pluralist and lively civil society – an essential condition for development and growth that benefits everyone, and for a resilient democratic society,’ Ms Ploumen explained. ‘There are many places where this kind of strong civil society is not a given.’

Among the organisations that submitted proposals – independently or as part of a consortium – were the LGBT rights group COC, OxfamNovib, the Central American Women’s Fund (FCAM) and Free Press Unlimited. In the months ahead the ministry will sit down with them and their partners to work out the details of the strategic partnerships.

Policy innovation

The Dialogue and Dissent programme is part of Ms Ploumen’s innovation agenda, as set out in the policy document ‘A World to Gain’. She aims to use it to create an environment in which civil society organisations can play their intended role effectively. ‘Both government and market need countervailing forces and constructive criticism. It’s what makes policy inclusive and effective, in developing countries as elsewhere,’ the minister said. ‘So by working to strengthen civil society organisations in these societies, we’ll help NGOs increase their influence on policy and give the broader population there a chance at a better life.’

A total of 65 proposals were submitted by Dutch and international NGOs. The 25 best proposals were selected after a comprehensive assessment by experts from within and outside the ministry, who evaluated the proposed change strategies and organisations’ track records.

The Dialogue and Dissent programme will run for five years and has a maximum budget of €185 million per year.

‘Dialogue and Dissent’ partnership proposals

Proposals selected, in alphabetical order:

Applicant organisation, followed by names of consortium partners if applicable
1. AIDS Fonds
International HIV/AIDS Alliance
2. AMREF Flying Doctors
African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST), Health Action International (HAI), Wemos
3. Both ENDS
ActionAid, Clean Clothes Campaign, Friends of the Earth Netherlands, SOMO, Transnational Institute
4. Care Netherlands
5. COC Netherlands
6. Cordaid
7. Fair Wear Foundation
FNV Mondiaal, CNV Internationaal
8. Central American Women’s Fund (FCAM)
Mama Cash, Both ENDS
9. Free Press Unlimited
European Journalism Centre
10. Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPAC)
World Federalist Movement – Institute for Global Policy (WF-IGP)
11. Hivos
Article 19, International Institute for Environment and Development
12. ICCO
coPrisma, Edukans, Kerk in Actie, Wild Geese Foundation, CNV Internationaal
Akvo, Simavi, Wetlands International
14. International Union for the Conservation of Nature – Netherlands (IUCN)
Worldwide Fund for Nature Netherlands
15. Mama Cash
Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), CREA, Just Associates (JASS) Urgent Action Fund – Africa
16. Friends of the Earth Netherlands
IUCN, Tropenbos International
17. Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD)
Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA)
18. OxfamNovib
19. PAX
Amnesty International Netherlands
20. Plan Netherlands
Defence for Children-ECPAT, Terre des Hommes
21. Red Cross Netherlands
CARE Netherlands, Cordaid, Red Cross Climate Centre, Wetlands International
22. Rutgers WPF
ARROW, CHOICE for Youth & Sexuality, Dance4Life, Hivos, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network (LACWHN)
23. SNV Netherlands Development Organisation
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
24. Solidaridad
25. UTZ Certified