Dutch government publishes guidelines in English for next round of CSO funding

The Dutch government published the guidelines in English pertaining to the next funding round (2021- 2025) of four of their seven instruments to fund civil society worldwide, which fall under the 'Strengthening Civil Society' policy framework. The documents relate to the following four funding mechanisms: 

  1. Power of voices;
  2. Power of women;
  3. Women, peace, and security; and
  4. SRHR partnership fund.

The government also published the English version of the eligible countries as well as the theory of change that guides all seven instruments under their policy framework. 

Press release - Government of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

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Dutch ambassador for gender equality speaks on World AIDS Day

On December 1, 2019, to celebrate World AIDS day, Ms. Mette Gonggrijp, Dutch ambassador for women's rights and gender equality, spoke in an interview about the efforts undertaken by the Dutch Ministry of foreign affairs towards the international response to HIV/AIDS. 

In the interview, Ms. Gonggrijp highlighted the importance of tackling stigma and discrimination and addressed linkages with the provision of other SRHR services to maximize coverage. She also spoke about her role as gender ambassador in the fight against HIV/AIDS, given that women are twice as likely to be infected with HIV, and given that there are multiple gender barriers to treatment and prevention specific to girls and women. 

Twitter - Mette Gonggrijp

Netherlands Global health

Dutch parliament publishes questions submitted to Minister Kaag during 2020 budget debate

The Dutch government published the full list of factual questions submitted by parliament to Minister Sigrid Kaag, during the negotiations for the 2020 foreign trade and development budget. The document also contains the written replies from Minister Kaag to parliament. 

The 301 questions submitted touch on a diverse array of themes, ranging from inquiries about the subsidies provided to Dutch NGOs to details on the top ten recipient countries of Dutch official development assistance (ODA).

All the motions and amendments to the 2020 budget submitted by the different members of parliament can also be found online.  

Website - Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

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Dutch parliament debates 2020 development budget

On the week of November 25, 2019, the development committee of the Dutch parliament is debating the 2020 development budget. The agenda includes discussions on the report of the Wise Persons Group on the European Union's financing structures and mechanisms for development cooperation, the economic and democratic transitions in Ethiopia and Sudan, as well as funding for gender and education in Africa.

The timing of the debates on the budget pertaining to development cooperation can be found here, and their live streams (in Dutch) can be accessed here

Press release - Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)


Dutch NGOs campaign for return to 0.7% GNI to ODA ahead of 2020 budget negotiations

On November 25, 2019, ahead of the Dutch parliament 2020 budget negotiations, Cordaid and Oxfam Novib, two NGOs from the Netherlands, launched a campaign in support of the internationally agreed-upon target of allocating 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) to official development assistance (ODA).

The initiative combines publications of ads in major newspapers and on social media, and shares the results of a recent study that affirms that two-thirds of the Dutch population is in favor of ODA spending. 

Their campaign brings attention to the motion that passed with majority votes in parliament in September, which called on the government to develop a roadmap to return to the 0.7% before 2030. The motion also requested that Minister Kaag inform parliament of the activities the government has put in place to that end. Minister Kaag responded in a letter to Parliament on November 18, 2019, explaining that the ODA had already been increased at the beginning of the current legislature and that additional increases in 2020 would be contingent upon the outbreak of humanitarian emergencies. 

Twitter - Oxfam (in Dutch)

Press release - Cordaid (in Dutch)

Press release - Government of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

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Netherlands launches 'Orange the World' campaign fighting violence against women

On November 25, 2019, marking the International Day against Violence against Women, the Dutch government and other stakeholders launched the global campaign Orange the World, in the Netherlands.  The campaign comprises of 16 days of action in which ministries, municipalities, provinces, civil society organizations, and the UN organize activities to raise awareness about all sorts of violence against women and girls. Mette Gonggrijp, Dutch ambassador for women’s rights and gender equality, launched the national campaign in Utrecht. 

Official website - Orange the World Campaign (in Dutch)

Twitter - Mette Gonggrijp 


Minister Kaag debates 0.7% ODA target with Dutch parliament

During the weeks of November 25 and December 2, 2019, the negotiations for the 2020 foreign trade and development cooperation budget took place in the Dutch parliament. A new motion was presented to return to the internationally agreed target of 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) to official development assistance (ODA) by 2025. The motion was co-signed by the Party for the Animals (PvdD), the Labor Party (PvdA), GroenLinks, DENK and Socialist Party (SP). The ministry welcomed the motion and published a tweet with the intervention of Minister Kaag in response to the parliament. 

Dutch CSOs Cordaid and Oxfam have been running strong advocacy and an online campaign to advocate for the reversal of one of the structural ODA cuts that took place at the onset of the financial crisis. The so-called ESA correction, if reversed, would give back €264 million ( US$292 million) per year to the development budget. The voting on all amendments and motions submitted will take place in parliament this week.  

Twitter - Ministry of foreign affairs and development cooperation (in Dutch)

News article - Oxfam Novib (in Dutch)


The Netherlands assesses SRHR successes and challenges at ICPD+25

Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, Sigrid Kaag gave a speech at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) summit in Nairobi, on November 12, 2019. In her keynote intervention, Ms Kaag highlighted the vast progress achieved since the adoption of the landmark ICPD Programme of Action by the 179 countries in 1994, and stressed the need for three core principles moving forward: universality, policy, and synergy. 

To celebrate the ICDP+25 anniversary, the government of the Netherlands also created a video, which was presented by Justine van de Beek, the dutch youth ambassador for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). The video assessed progress and main challenges associated with SRHR worldwide and shared reflections by prominent Dutch actors and stakeholders, on the contributions of their country to this agenda since the original ICPD summit. 

News item - Government of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

Netherlands Global health

Partos gives recommendations following new Dutch policy framework for CSOs

Partos, the umbrella organization of Dutch civil society organizations (CSOs), published a letter reacting to the government's new framework to guide CSO cooperation in the Netherlands and abroad from 2021 onwards. 

The letter called on the House of Representatives to adjust the policy framework in keeping with Partos' recommendations to: 

  • Increase funding and training for embassy staff on civic space to maintain a strong civil society, increase space for civilian actors, and promote good governance; 
  • Increase flexibility for countries of engagement; and
  • Focus on five main areas of SDG compliance, human rights, gender equality, inclusiveness, and civic space.

Open letter - Partos website (in Dutch)  

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Dutch government publishes policy framework to strengthen civil society

On November 4, 2019, minister for foreign trade and development cooperation of the Netherlands, Sigrid Kaag, sent a letter to parliament outlining the content of the new dutch policy framework with civil society organizations (CSOs) to guide cooperation and funding with partners from 2021 onwards. 

The letter, which further elaborated on the content of the first draft of the policy released in June earlier this year, also included the critiques and recommendations of the recent evaluation report of the work in crisis settings, called "Less pretention, more realism”. 

The policy puts special attention on the role of CSOs to be independent advocates and influencers around the world, and on the promotion of women's rights, gender equality, and inclusion. 

Further, the government will receive applications for grants on 7 specific themes: 

  • Climate mitigation and adaptation;
  • Increasing sustainability of value chains;
  • Food security, sustainable water management, and WASH;
  • Women's rights and gender equality;
  • Freedom of expression and freedom of religion and belief;
  • Equal rights for LGBTI population; and
  • Security and the rule of law.

Due to the delay in the publication of the policy, the submission date for the grant applications from CSOs has been moved to 12 March 2020.

Press release - Government of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

Global Netherlands