Annex A. Methodological note

The main sources of information accessed for this study are:

  • a survey of DAC members and a survey of civil society organisation (CSO) networks

  • literature inclusive of member policy documents, reports and evaluations, CSO studies, and academic sources

  • OECD statistics on official development assistance (ODA)

  • inputs from in-person and online consultations with DAC members in the Community of Practice on Civil Society and with CSOs in the DAC-CSO Reference Group and beyond.

The survey, How DAC Members Work with Civil Society, was issued to the 30 DAC members over the period of November 2018 through March 2019, and 29 members responded. Greece, while a DAC member, did not participate in the survey because it has not accepted funding proposals from CSOs since approximately 2007.

As some survey questions were optional, not all of the responses reflect the experience of all surveyed DAC members. Response rates are indicated in endnotes to the chapters.

Many DAC members maintain several funding streams for civil society and channel support from both headquarters and at partner country level. In responding to the survey questionnaire, DAC members had to generalise from these different streams.

A separate but related survey was circulated to 15 CSO networks, umbrella bodies and platforms from select member countries, partner countries, and thematic or constituency-specific CSOs. Six survey responses were received from CSO networks based in six member countries, some representing tens and others representing hundreds of members. A detailed survey of CSOs and their networks in all member countries was beyond the remit of this study. Given the millions of CSOs worldwide receiving direct or indirect support from members, the survey data can thus not be assumed to represent the civil society experience globally. However, issues raised by CSO survey respondents were echoed by CSOs in consultations for this study and in the literature, which strongly suggests that the findings of this study reflect a representative CSO experience.

Survey responses included references to the DAC member policy documents and monitoring reports that also informed this study, as well as select literature by and about CSOs and civil society in development co-operation. Chapter 2 covers the bulk of the literature reviewed. It is acknowledged that Chapter 2 does not cover all of the available literature but culls from key literature on recurring topics.

Where information has been obtained from primary sources such as member policies or evaluations, the primary source is referenced using in-text citations. Where an in-text citation is not provided, the information has been extracted from survey responses or consultation inputs.

This study uses DAC member country names except where a specific policy or practice is authored by or specifically applies to a DAC member development co-operation institution or agency, in which case the institution or agency name is used.

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