This article is a response to Building local is central to shifting power by Jenny Hodgson.
The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs is excited to have entered into a strategic partnership with the Giving for Change Alliance for the coming five years.
As of 2021, the Ministry launched a new policy framework Strengthening Civil Society, focusing on strengthening civil society organisations to lobby and advocate. We are convinced that through lobbying and advocacy, civil society organisations can call on governments and the private sector to take responsibility to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in an inclusive way, to comply with international human rights principles and to strengthen the social contract between government and citizens.
Civil society organisations can address injustice and unequal power relations and hold political and economic institutions accountable for their policies. The Giving for Change Alliance continues their important work on community philanthropy with Dutch support: Against a global background of shrinking civic space, Giving for Change will encourage civil society organisations, including and especially human rights organisations, to value and adopt local resource mobilisation as a form of constituency building, and as a way to strengthen their position as legitimate champions and defenders of diverse causes, with strong roots in the communities they serve.
Besides, the Giving for Change Alliance will work on, and has previously worked on, addressing (unequal) power relations in the international development sector, including our own. It fits well within the trend and discussions to focus development support more and more on local communities. The programme is promising and innovative, and will build on the wealth of experiences and results from the last years… We keep you posted!
Alette van Kralingen is a Policy Officer at the Department of Social Development, Civil Society and Education, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of in the Netherlands.