The Czech Republic, a relatively small donor country and only a recent member of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD DAC), accomplished a transformation of its Official Development Assistance system in 2012. Yet increased commitments on ODA quality and quantity have still to be met, and political support for ODA remains low. In addition, while official documents proclaim the eradication of poverty and inequality as an explicit priority of Czech ODA, the focus of ODA efforts is still influenced by economic interests.
With regard to civil society participation, the Czech NGO platform FoRS – Czech Forum for Development Cooperation has become a respected partner of Czech institutions and other development stakeholders since its foundation in 2002. FoRS members participate in shaping ODA and related policies through monitoring as well as through direct engagement in strategic consultations. However, they also face funding constraints, some legal barriers (e.g. with this year’s new Civil Code), and internal constrains related to insufficient capacities and resources. While they advocate for the fulfilment of development commitments by the Czech government, they too have adopted their own Code on Effectiveness.
FoRS members participate in both inter-sectoral partnerships (with entities from the public, nongovernmental and private sectors) and cross-sectoral cooperation (among development, environmental and educational CSOs), and consider these as key areas for effective development.
Key issues related to Czech ODA, an enabling environment for CSOs, and CSO development effectiveness, are reflected in this study.
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