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Synthesis & Output

On the basis of studies on the three key dimensions discussed above, we learnt that understanding and supporting CSOs’ advocacy roles require looking closely to what CSOs do, embedded in relations and contexts, engaging with these dynamically. Their strategizing is in important ways grounded in their understandings of their possibilities within their contexts, and capacity to relate to these.  CSOs’ contextualized agency emerged as an important explanatory factor. 

Our findings resulted in a framework for reshaping the terms of engagement between Northern and Southern actors (donors and CSOs) that takes ‘Starting from the South’ as a leading principle. This involves linking up with existing civil society and what is ‘already going on’ in a specific Southern context, engaging diversity, assessment of different contributions CSOs can make, developing complementarity, and facilitating flexibility. Our main findings can be found in our report Civil Society Dynamics. Shaping Roles, Navigating Contexts, which you can find on our Website. 

Currently, members of the collective are busy producing papers and policy briefs that will be added as and when they are ready and published. 

Feel free to contact us for further information on our project and its results. You can send an email to project leader Margit van Wessel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact any of the individual researchers listed as members on our website. 

We are the Civil Society Research Collective (CSRC), a group of academic researchers from the USA, India and the Netherlands.