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This session aimed to generate political buy-in and agree on steps for multi-stakeholder actions at country and global levels to strengthen a CSO enabling environment and development partnerships with CSOs – advancing the momentum for CSO development effectiveness. 

Key Messages from the Session 

  • All panelists shared the desire to improve the enabling environment for civil society by increasing trust among stakeholders through reinforced dialogue at partner country level, and recognized the important role of an autonomous, independent and accountable civil society for the achievement of the SDGs and to protect democracy globally. Trust remains a key ingredient for enabling civil society and promoting CSO effectiveness, and is needed within country level structures, especially those presiding over legal and regulatory systems.
  • Key agreements like the DAC Recommendation on Enabling Civil Society in Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Assistance and the GPEDC’s own commitments on reversing the trend of shrinking civic space were highlighted as critical instruments to help all actors in the process of moving forward on the commitments made on enabling civil society.
  • There was recognition that certain venues or arrangements can foster more open and inclusive dialogue when they are undisturbed by or detached from national dynamics. In line with this there were calls to establish a multi-stakeholder initiative under the auspices of the GPEDC to further unpack the issue of building trust and to articulate a set of practices and guidelines to spur action for an enabling environment at country level.

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Key Terms: Trust, civil society, country level, partnership