HomeConferencesThe Nairobi Declaration for Development Effectiveness

We, fifty civil society leaders and representatives of all the different regions of the world – Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, and the Middle East and North Africa, and their sub-regions – from the faith-based, feminist, labour, rural sectors, and international civil society organizations, meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, from December 8-9, 2012, have launched the CSO Platform for Development Effectiveness.

The following represents our shared vision, mission, principles and goals going forward, as well as the key decisions we reached here. This document will guide our work and represents the foundations of the new CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) that is being launched today, December 9, 2012 in Nairobi Kenya.

A. The need for a new approach to development– the current context

1. Unchecked globalization and profit driven economic growth are failing people living in poverty and the planet. They have exacerbated inequalities at all levels – between and within regions, countries and communities, between men and women – and have sparked multiple crises of food, fuel, finance and climate that still remain unresolved. 1.4 billion people – 70 per cent of them women and girls – still live in extreme poverty. The inequality gap between the world’s richest and the world’s poorest people continues to grow wider – thirty (30) per cent of the world’s wealth and resources are in the hands of 0.5 per cent of its population. The ‘geography of poverty’ is also changing, with the majority of the world’s poorest people living in middle income countries.

2. The internationally agreed development goals (IADGs),1 which promised to address these disparities, will not be met through a continued focus on economic growth as the engine of development. There is now strong consensus that economic growth does not necessarily lead to improved human development and sustainability. What is needed is global and national political leadership and commitment to adopt and implement sustainable and alternative approaches to development. However, aid budgets are in decline. In many places, the voices of civil society are being silenced. Political declarations remain empty promises, free of concrete commitments or accountability to the rights and needs of the majority of the world’s population. Multilateralism is being redefined and regionalism is an emerging phenomenon.


3. Civil society organizations (CSOs), as independent development actors in their own right, have been engaged for many years in promoting these sustainable alternatives and a human rights-based approach to development. Since 2007, even before the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-3) and the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA), CSOs have demanded that human rights, women’s rights and gender equality, decent work, environmental sustainability and democratic ownership, be at the heart of the conclusions of any future High Level Forum. We came with this vision to HLF-4 in Busan, South Korea, where CSOs participated formally, including at the negotiation table.


4. We recognize that the HLF-4 and the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (BPd) ushered in a new era in the global effort to advance people’s development needs and rights. New actors, including key

emerging economies and the private sector, participated for the first time in this process. Likewise, discussions moved beyond traditional modalities of development cooperation. It has incorporated South-South and Triangular cooperation, the role of the private sector, parliamentarians and local government in development, the issue of climate financing and the endorsement of the Istanbul Principles for CSO Development Effectiveness (Istanbul Principles). The BPd signaled an inspiration to shift from a northern donor-driven arrangement to a new international framework that is more inclusive of the breadth of development actors and the depth of new issues on the global development cooperation agenda.


5. We also acknowledge the enhanced and formalized space that civil society secured at HLF-4 and in subsequent processes related to effective development co-operation. We recognize that changes to the scope and membership of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC) come with its opportunities.


6. But civil society is also critical of several aspects of the BPd. We are concerned that the GPEDC envisages the private sector and growth as the driver of development. The BPd makes only token reference to human rights as the basis of development, and its treatment of women’s rights, environmental sustainability and the decent work agenda is weak and instrumental. We also believe that the BPd does not adequately respond to the failure of donors to fully implement their commitments under the Paris Declaration (PD) and the AAA. We are also deeply concerned that the commitment on an enabling environment for civil society does not provide an accountability framework to counter the current government backlash against CSOs, democracy and our fundamental freedoms and rights. Finally, we remain concerned about the lack of southern partner country engagement in the partnership as the process has evolved.


B. The need for a new global and country-focused CSO structure


Who we are


7. The CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness2 (CPDE) is an open platform that unites CSOs from around the world on the issue of development effectiveness, in particular in the context of the BPd and GPEDC. The CPDE is open to the participation of any CSO that endorses its vision, goals, and the CSO Key Asks on the Road to Busan,3 that believes in its objectives, and that adheres to the Istanbul Principles. The CPDE is a platform open to the richness and the diversity of the world’s CSOs.


Our Vision


8. We envisage a world where respect for human rights, participatory democracy, social and environmental justice and sustainability, gender equality and equity, and decent work and sustainable change are achieved.


Our Mission


9. To promote development effectiveness in all areas of work, both our own and the work of others, including through active engagement with the GPEDC, we will be guided by a human rights based approach.

10. In order to develop a strong basis for CSO participation in the creation and realization of our vision, mission and goals for development, the CPDE will work with a strong focus to support country, sub-regional and

regional, and sectoral civil society, combining this with the coordinated regional and global work on development effectiveness.


11. To achieve this vision, we need to also address exclusion, oppression and removing structures of power that perpetuate injustice.


12. Therefore, we are committed to social justice approaches and mechanisms, to challenge unequal power structures, especially for women (such as by working towards a feminist approach), in order to achieve emancipation of excluded communities and people.


Our Values and Principles


13. To achieve this, in our work together we will adhere to the following values: mutual respect, equity and gender equality; accountability to our members and peers; and transparency in all our decision-making and actions.


14. We will adhere to the Istanbul Principles for CSO Development Effectiveness and our CSO Key Asks on the Road to Busan.


Our goals –what we hope to achieve and why


15. To realise our shared vision, we commit to work together in partnership on a global-scale in relation to development effectiveness and the GPEDC to realize the following goals:

 to pursue and advocate for a transformative agenda for development and development cooperation, informed by our guiding principles and a human rights-based approach to development that prioritizes gender equality, decent work, environmental sustainability as well as dignity, justice and improved livelihoods for all people living in poverty, including the most marginalized, victims of violence, and those with disabilities, and the full realisation of human rights for all;


 to protect and deepen policy gains made in Paris, Accra and Busan, and reverse any of the harmful provisions that continue to guide those three agendas;


 to continue to advocate for development effectiveness in development cooperation policy and practice, in particular as it relates to the accountability of governments to the broader development effectiveness agenda, the IADGs and to people;


 to continuously work to improve our own effectiveness and the realisation of an enabling environment for civil society as independent development actors in our own right.


16. These goals are informed by our CSO Key Asks on the Road to Busan, including those raised ahead of Busan by women’s organizations4 and the trade unions5, and faith-based organisations6, the Istanbul Principles and Siem Reap International Framework, and prior assessments of the Paris, Accra and Busan commitments.


17. Beyond agreeing on the above shared vision, mission, principles and goals, we met as the first Global Council, basing our inputs on a wide range of consultations in all regions and sectors, and agreed on structures and

ways of working that will guide us:


 We elected the four Co-Chairs of the Global Council: Emele Duituturaga (Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations), Mayra Moro-Coco (Association for Women’s Rights in Development), Richard Ssewakiryanga (Uganda NGO Forum), and Tony Tujan (IBON). The Global Council represents the ultimate decision-making body of the CSO Platform for Development Effectiveness;


 We agreed on those who would represent the various constituencies in the Coordination Committee. The Coordination Committee, in collaboration with the Global Council, oversees the work of the CPDE and is composed of members of the Global Council.


 We agreed that IBON should be the host agent of the secretariat.


 We agreed to mandate the Coordination Committee to finalize the Foundational Paper of the CPDE, which includes elements related to our outcome statements, the foundations of our approach and ways of working at the national, sub-regional, regional, sectoral and international level, and our By Laws. The latter addresses all elements related to our governance structure.


 We prioritized our plans of action in the following areas:

o CSO Development Effectiveness;

o Enabling environment for CSOs;

o Human rights based approach.


 We also discussed our strategies going forward in the following areas:

o The Development Assistance Committee;

o The United Nations Development Cooperation Forum;

o The Post-MDG and Sustainable Development Frameworks;

o The Building Blocks;

o The Private Sector;

o South-South Cooperation;

o Application of the feminist approach and social justice.


 We began to develop a strategy that brings coherence to these streams of work in terms of our engagement on development effectiveness and with the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.


 We acknowledged and appreciated the work of BetterAid and the Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness over the past four years, and agreed that the CPDE would act as their collective successors.


 We agreed to reach out to more organizations and sectors.


 Finally, we agreed to reconvene as the Global Council one year from now.


18. Through this partnership civil society from around the world commits to effective development for a more just and equal world.


The Global Council of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness

December 9, 2012 – Nairobi, Kenya

List of Global Council Member Organizations

These organizations were selected by and represent regional, sub-regional, and sectoral constituencies.



ActionAid Zambia

Collectif des ONG pour la Sécurité Alimentaire et le Développement Rural (COSADER)

Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG)

Réseau des Plates-formes nationals d’ONG d’Afrique de l’Ouestet du Centre (REPAOC)

Uganda National NGO Forum (UNNGOF)



IBON International

Indonesia Country Coordinating Committee

Korea Civil Society Forum on International Development Cooperation (KoFID)

NGO Jahon

Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (PIANGO)

Roots for Equity


Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND)

Espace Associative

Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO)



Civil Society Institute




Latin America and the Caribbean

Alianza ONG

Academia Nacional de Ciencias (ANC)

Associacion LatinoAmericana de Organizaciones de Promocion al Desarrollo A.C. (ALOP)

Red Encuentro


North America

Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC)


International Civil Society Organizations


World Vision


Labour Sector

International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)

East African Trade Union Confederation

International Trade Union Confederation MENA (ITUC MENA)

UniaoGeral dos Trablhadores (UGT Brasil)


Rural Sector


Eastern and Southern Africa Farmers Forum (ESAFF)

Forum for Indigenous People of Action

Peoples’ Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS)



African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET)

Articulacion Feminista

Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law, and Development (APWLD)

Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)

Coordinadora dela Mujer

Forum of Women’s NGOs of Kyrgyzstan


Women in Development Europe+ (WIDE+)


Faith-Based Organisations

ACT Alliance/Finn Church Aid

All Africa Conference of Churches

Caritas International

Lutheran World Federation