lfrmsShifting the Power

Fostering Equitable North-South Civil Society Partnerships: Voices from the South


In July 2020, Rights Co Lab launched the 'Re-imagining International Non-Governmental Organisation (RINGO) project (www.rightscolab.org/ringo). Its aim is to facilitate a transformational change in the global civil society sector. RINGO is a systems change initiative set up to respond to the challenges of INGOs and the criticism of their relationships with global south civil society organisations. This has led to initiatives like decentralising, safeguarding, localisation and funding frames; as well as global movements and conversations like the Shift the Power movement and Local Funding Mechanisms by actors such as CIVICUS, West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI), the Global
Fund for Community Foundations (GFCF) and the Network for Empowered Aid Response (NEAR).
This report is based on a survey conducted in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South America and Oceania from August to November 2020 to capture views from Global South NGOs to identify, understand, and inform what is needed to better respond to the challenges of engaging with INGOs.
The report presents the views and voices of Global South CSOs and provides records of ideas, suggestions and recommendations on how NGO north-south relationships and power dynamic should evolve. It captures the concerns of Global South civil society actors and their relationship
with INGOs in four key areas: partnerships, collaborations, decision making, structures and practices.

The co-publisher, WACSI, is a member of the Change the Game Academy Alliance.

Review by Wilde Ganzen

In this survey 609 civil society organisations participated, 86% of which are based in Sub-Saharan Africa. The report is very interesting, showing the many concerns of CSOs in their relationship with INGOs, from which the funding of their work depends. It contains several very relevant ‘wishes’ of CSOs for a better relationship.
What is missing is the response of INGOs to the problems mentioned in the survey. This would of course require another survey. In such a survey among INGOs, they should be asked about the reasons for the (according to the CSOs: inadequate) ways they implement projects and programmes. An result could well be that the INGOs themselves are constrained by the expectations of the public and governments they depend on for their funding.


Civil society organisations

Author: N.a.

Publisher/source/organization: Rights Co Lab (www.rightscolab.org/ringo) and WACSI

Place and year of issue: New York NY 2021

Type: Research report

Country/region: Worldwide

More information

The research report >>

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