Istanbul +5: The Current State of CSO Development Effectiveness

Over the last decade a wide variety of stakeholders, including governments, civil society organizations (CSOs), the private sector, municipalities, and emerging donors have convened at a series of High Level Forums to deliberate on how to make the delivery and impact of official development assistance (ODA) more effective. Since the Paris Declaration was considered a framework applicable to governments and donors, CSOs sought to establish their own set of principles and guidelines for CSO development effectiveness. They did so to distinguish themselves as distinct, but equal development actors.

In 2009 and 2010, the CSO development effectiveness principles were built from the ground up, with more than 80 consultations in countries around the world. In June 2010, more than 170 CSO representatives from 82 different countries assembled in Istanbul to share their diverse visions, mandates, approaches and meaningful impacts as independent development actors (Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness, 2011, p.2). Civil society actors unanimously adopted the Istanbul Principles, which were complemented by the development of the International Framework for CSO Development Effectiveness at the Second Global Assembly the following year in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Five years following the international commitment to the Istanbul Principles and the accompanying Busan framework, there is a need to evaluate the current state of CSO development effectiveness in distinct national contexts. This chapter reports on the progress made in Canada on the adoption of the Istanbul Principles and on the strengthening of CSO development effectiveness.