- Focus areas of our work
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- The organisation
Support for civil society and partnerships
ActionAid Denmark supports the development of a strong and critical civil society. MS supports partner organisations working for political empowerment of the world’s poor and marginalised.
Both in our own part of the world and in developing countries, there is a need for a dynamic civil society to act as a critical counterpart and counterbalance to the authorities, and if necessary propose alternatives, mobilise the population and put pressure on politicians.
MS’s development work supports civil society wherever we operate. Civil society varies from one place to another, encompassing, for instance, farmers’ movements, women’s groups, religious societies and human-rights organisations. There are interest groups, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), which help particular parts of the population, and there are community-based organisations (CBOs), in which people at the local level have joined forces.
MS supports civil society organisations that work to improve the lot of the world’s poor and operate within MS’s focus areas to address building local democracy, land rights, anti-corruption, conflict management and trade justice – with particular emphasis on gender equality and youth for development.
We assist civil society organisations in enhancing their participation in the development process for the benefit of the poorest. We support civil society organisations' efforts to raise awareness and mobilise poor and marginalised people, to get people to believe in their own strength and demand political influence. This requires the organisations to be democratic and transparent themselves, and to have the capacity and vigour to support poor people in getting their voice heard.
We cooperate with different civil society organisations – small and large – and organisations working locally, nationally or internationally. We also support civil society organisations in creating networks and strategic alliances amongst each other, so that local grassroots groups can link up to larger, nationwide organisations with the chance of making their mark on the global agenda. In this manner, poor people in remote areas can gain a voice in international forums to speak out about aspects that affect their lives.
In the development work on the ground, MS always cooperates with local partner organisations, and they are the ones who implement the activities. It is necessary that these local organisations and groups of poor people have a direct ownership of the various development initiatives themselves. This methodology and partnership approach is effective, because it starts from local needs and offers opportunities to share knowledge, ideas and experiences.
Accordingly, MS began long ago to develop partnerships with local organisations and began involving these partners as direct participants in programmes and later as advisors in the political management of the programmes – thus transferring power to people in the recipient countries. These partnerships have evolved along with MS's own development, and today encompass organisations capable of creating meaningful improvements for poor people within MS’s specialist niche, focusing on building local democracy, anti-corruption, conflict management, land rights and trade justice.
Most recently in relation to its vision, MS has joined the alliance ActionAid International, which is in full swing building independent national organisations in individual countries – thus putting into effect a further transfer of power to the South. Consequently, our future development programmes and support for local organisations will not be channelled through MS field offices, but be conducted in cooperation with autonomous national ActionAid organisations.
See database of all our partner organisations
Learn morePartnership Against Poverty (pdf)