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Studies, Reviews and Research

New Challenges for Civil Society – The impact of the Paris agenda and new emerging donors on child rights civil society

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Save the Children Sweden

This study was commissioned by Save the Children Sweden to increase our understanding and knowledge on how we could better support and strengthen the capacity of child rights civil society organisations in a changing development aid environment. The most substantial development aid partners for almost all developing countries remain the traditional Western donors who are prominent members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and are signed up to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action. However, the development aid environment is changing and, in addition to the new aid architecture created by the Paris agenda, there is an increasing influence of ‘emerging donors´ which affect civil society at different levels. Emerging donors are donors such as China and India and non-state donors such as foundations. The study recognises that the changing environment for civil society organisations working for child rights both presents challenges and opportunities. However, case studies included in the study highlight that civil society are not always seizing these opportunities for a number of reasons. The conclusion of the study is that the rise of the emerging donors will affect the relevance of the Paris Agenda and will have an increasing impact on the role and space of civil society. The challenge for civil society is to engage with the international aid agenda in order to promote children’s rights at the same time as negotiating its way through the shifting priorities and landscape brought about by the Paris Agenda and the increasing role of the emerging and non-state donors.

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