DFID: working with non-governmental and other civil society organisations to promote development, eighteenth report of session 2006-07, report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence

The term 'civil society' covers aspects of society independent of the state and the private sector, and civil society organisations (CSOs) include large charities and NGOs, trade unions, faith groups and business associations. The Department for International Development (DFID) has increasingly worked with CSOs to help to reduce world poverty, and in 2004-05 channelled £328 million of its development aid expenditure through CSOs. These organisations play a variety of roles in development activities, including delivering services, giving a voice to the poor and helping hold governments accountable for poverty reduction. Following on from a National Audit Office report on this topic (HCP 1311, session 2005-06; ISBN 9780102939156) published in July 2006, the Committee's report examines how the DFID is engaging with CSOs, focusing on four themes: how and when to engage with CSOs; providing services targeted at the poorest people; measuring achievements; and improving value for money.

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