Man working on his rooftop garden, India by Sudip Maiti, Winner of the CIDSE 2022 photo competition (professional category). © CIDSE
2022 saw a convergence of global crises: the unequal impact of the global pandemic, rampant inflation, an increase in food and energy insecurity, a rapid succession of humanitarian crises and climate disasters, and the illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russia. The crises we are facing are not isolated but deeply interconnected: they are linked by structural systems of injustice and exploitation; the blind belief in infinite growth, and an increase in autocracy. This is devastating our planet and fuelling social injustice, with the most marginalised and vulnerable people finding their right to live in peace and dignity under constant attack.
CIDSE has identified the current system of power imbalances as a fundamental driver of poverty and injustice. We believe that the most affected and vulnerable people and communities should be at the centre of processes of change. Their voices should be amplified, in terms of promoting transformative alternatives and allowing systemic change to become a reality.
2022 was a “transition year” for CIDSE. We invested in a participatory process of designing a powerful strategy which will guide the network until 2028. Our members, along with allies and partners from different parts of the world, were invited to join the collective reflection. The learnings from our previous strategic framework were analysed and changes made to address new challenges. Questions around the ways in which we define and measure our success and impact and how we undertake monitoring and evaluation led to the adoption of a new approach to monitoring, evaluating, accountability and learning.
In addition to this important process of strategy development, we had some very notable achievements across our three areas of focus in 2022, I.e.:
- Connecting and mobilising: the African Climate Dialogues brought together Church and non-Church civil society actors from Africa and Europe in the run up to the COP27 climate conference in Egypt.
- Influencing: CIDSE supported a delegation of West African community representatives to visit the EU and to carry out advocacy in relation to the Belgian company SIAT. The company has been accused of appropriating the community’s land and of human rights abuses.
- Storytelling: CIDSE’s first podcast was launched: I.e. a mini-series of 3 episodes exploring feminist agroecology in collaboration with the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) from Coventry University.
I invite you to discover more of our achievements and challenges over the past year and hope you will enjoy reading this annual report.
Caoimhe de Barra
Chief Executive Officer, Trócaire (Ireland), President of CIDSE
We co-organise and participate in spaces for our members, allies and partners to exchange knowledge and experiences. These meetings and platforms of exchange facilitate the real relationships needed for practicing solidarity across movements, and accelerate impact by learning best practices. These spaces also provide a process for us to accompany social movements, as they connect with different actors and are introduced to opportunities to participate in policy processes.
Below are some highlights of CIDSE’s connecting work in 2022:
During the Africa-Europe week, CIDSE kept its engagement in the EU-AU Partnership negotiations thanks to its work via the “Our Land is Our Life” platform. A press-toolkit was developed and shared among journalists who could arrange personal interviews with CIDSE partners in a virtual media space organised at the closing of the African People Summit.
The CIDSE Access to Justice campaign was officially closed. As a continuation of the work on Corporate Due Diligence legislation, the secretariat joined forces with more than a hundred European civil society organisations and trade unions in the Justice is Everybody’s Business campaign. Together with our members and allies, CIDSE continues to strive for the voices of communities resisting corporate power to be heard and for a law that fulfils their expectations.
CIDSE coordinated the African Climate Dialogues, an initiative which brought together Church and civil society actors as well as allies including communities and religious leaders from across the African continent and European organisations, on the way to the UN climate change conference (COP27). Inspired by Pope Francis’s call for synodality these participatory dialogues reflected on climate realities through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching, as well as of climate science, distilling concrete policy outputs for COP27.
CIDSE actively supported a delegation of West African communities’ representatives accusing the Belgian company SIAT of appropriating their land during a lobby tour in Brussels. Their visit included a mobilisation in front of the company’s headquarters and a series of political meetings around the legislative debates on the duty of care for companies as well as meetings with media.
A youth sustainable camp gathered 30 young supporters from CIDSE member organisations. Hosted by Casa Velha (Portugal), they had the opportunity to discuss, share and learn about integral ecology and ecological conversion. The camp was a testimony to the maturity achieved by the “Change for the Planet – Care for the People” initiative, highlighting the potential of young supporters within the network.
We lobby high-level decision makers and participate in policy-making processes at crucial moments to push for just institutions. The policies we push for are informed by the knowledge and experience of our partners and members, and we in turn can provide them with our observations of the developments of international policy processes, so that together we can take advantage of opportunities for transformative policies.
Here are some highlights of CIDSE’s advocacy work in 2022:
Following the release of the European Commission’s proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) in February, over 220 civil society organisations, including CIDSE, called on the European Parliament and EU Member States to substantially improve the text, so as to get the European economy on track to true sustainability and set a global example. To this end, CIDSE and its members made practical suggestions in the policy brief “Raising the Stakes for People and the Planet”. In parallel, CIDSE closely monitored negotiations on the 3rd draft for a United Nations (UN) Legally Binding Instrument on Business and Human Rights and co-published a study on complementarity with the EU CSDDD proposal together with policy recommendations. A CIDSE delegation with partner organisations was present in Geneva in October to lobby official delegations and join initiatives by allies such as Franciscans International and the Treaty Alliance movement.
CIDSE published a policy briefing presenting the network’s position and demands on climate justice for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) climate change conference (COP27). The paper, focusing on loss and damage, mitigation, climate finance and food systems & agriculture, was based on the latest climate science and Catholic Social Teaching, CIDSE’s previous analysis on achieving 1.5°C and transitioning to renewable energy systems and agroecology as well as on the outcomes of the joint participatory process of the African Climate Dialogues. The network was also involved in a series of lobby activities in Sharm El Sheikh.
In line with CIDSE’s critical approach of the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) held in September 2021, the network decided not to engage directly in the official follow-up process. While not joining the Coalition for food system transformation through agroecology yet, the network continues to target institutions and collaborate with grassroots actors to create an enabling environment for an agroecological transition. CIDSE keeps working to set out rights-based strategies for the sustainable transformation of agriculture and food systems. These strategies are based on inclusive governance systems and denounce false solutions.
CIDSE supported the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) to ban trade with illegal settlements in occupied territories around the world, including Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and the Golan heights. CIDSE believes that commercial interests cannot be allowed to trump the fundamental rights of communities living under occupation. The ECI was connected to CIDSE and its OPTI partners’ involvement in the ongoing negotiations for a UN Legally Binding Instrument on Business and Human Rights.
Together with other European and African organisations, CIDSE supported the publication of a policy brief highlighting evidence of land grabbing in Ivory Coast by the subsidiary of the Belgian company SIAT. The paper is part of a land grabbing policy brief series launched in 2021 intended to put good land governance, land rights and the prevention of conflicts over resources on the agenda of European and African political leaders.
CIDSE has been experimenting with new forms of media over the years, to bring our perspectives and proposals to targeted audiences to challenge mentalities and open the way for fresh dialogue. With storytelling, we can envision new alternatives, we learn to articulate clearly our positions, and we express our connection to others and our common home.
Here are some highlights of CIDSE’s storytelling work in 2022:
On International Women’s day, CIDSE launched a podcast mini-series of three episodes exploring feminist agroecology, in cooperation with the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) from Coventry University. The first two episodes host activists, researchers and practitioners who dedicate their lives to feminism and agroecology, share how women (and others) are invisibly sustaining the food system.
CIDSE collected testimonies from people and communities impacted by the Repsol oil spill along the Peruvian coast in January 2022, asking for justice and environmental remediation. This ecological disaster, one of the worsts in the history of Peru, was another example of corporate activities’ negative impact faced by people and communities around the world. EU companies involved in global value chains of production and extraction bear significant responsibilities. This is why CIDSE is advocating for a strong European Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive that facilitates access to justice for those affected by corporate abuses.
April saw the launch of the international photo competition “We sow the future” which invited professional and non-professional young photographers to submit photos capturing sustainable actions they would like to see becoming the ‘new normal’ soon. An exhibition was organised in Brussels during the fall where the public could see the photos of the winners. This was the last public activity of the CIDSE “Change for the Planet – Care for the People” initiative which officially closed in October.
Along with 20 international civil society organisations, CIDSE supported the “The Illusion of abundance” documentary which tells the stories of resistance of three Latin American women environmental human rights defenders and held an interview with Erika González Ramirez, co-Director of the project. On 12 October, the film was screened for the first time at the European Parliament and a few weeks later at the UN in Geneva, starting a successful “European lobby tour”.
CIDSE continued to fulfill its commitment to amplify and disseminate women’s rights and gender equality across the spectrum of CIDSE’s activities and beyond through a plurality of voices via its gender blog. One of them was Burry Tunkara from Gambia who participated in the West African caravan for the Global Convergence for land, water and seed struggles (GCLTE-AO) and explained its importance for women farmers and their struggles for land rights.
Launch of CIDSE strategic framework 2023-2028
UNFCCC climate negotiations session, Bonn
Gender and land workshop, Uganda
EC Corporate Sustainable Due Diligence Directive trilogue
UN Binding Treaty Session, Geneva
Thematic Social Forum on Mining and the Extractivist Economy, Indonesia
UNFCCC COP28, Dubai
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is composed of the Directors of the CIDSE 18 member organisations. The Board meets once a year and is responsible for the general running of CIDSE, in particular for reviewing current activities and formulating policies for the future.
In 2022, CIDSE paid farewell to Peter van Hoof (Vastenactie/The Netherlands) and welcomed his successor, Marc Bollerman.
The Executive Committee is the implementing and supervising arm of the Board of Directors.
President: Caoimhe de Barra (Trócaire)
Members: Anja Appel (KOO), Axelle Fischer (Entraide et Fraternité), Bernd Nilles (Fastenaktion), Ricardo Loy (Manos Unidas)
Secretary General: Josianne Gauthier (CIDSE)
Ecclesiastical Assistant: Mgr. A. Tesfaselassie Medhin (Eparchy of Adigrat/Ethiopia)
Treasurer: Thomas Vercruysse (Entraide et Fraternité)
The Ecclesiastical Assistant, the Treasurer and the Secretary General are non-voting members.
CIDSE member organisations work together in working groups, platforms and fora on the issues defined in the strategic framework. The CIDSE Secretariat facilitates the working groups and ensures communication between the member agencies and the overall coherence of CIDSE’s work.
The CIDSE network is funded by membership fees and additional resources from its members for special projects.
In 2022, CIDSE received external funding from:
- The European Commission Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA) as part of the Framework Partnership Agreement: “Experience, Learning, Sharing through joint action and strategic planning to achieve global justice.” (2019-2023).
- The KR Foundation, for the “Change for the Planet – Care for the People” initiative (2020-2022).
- The Porticus Foundation, for the project “Transformative advocacy towards integral ecology – Development of a new Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) framework for CIDSE and its members” (2021-2023).
CIDSE is grateful to all its network members as well as to the European Commission, the KR and Porticus Foundations who have made it possible to carry the work presented in this report.
- Membership fees: € 1,111,350.00
- EC Framework Partnership Agreement: € 480,947.00
- KR Foundation: € 148,712.59
- Porticus Foundation: € 103,728.00
- Misc.: € 32,006.79
TOTAL INCOME: € 1.876,744.38
- Advocacy*: € 1.063.309,48
- Communication and networking events: € 387.254,15
- Administration and secretariat: € 244.441,23
* In 2022, CIDSE’s advocacy work covered the following thematic areas:
Systemic change, Communities regaining control over the commons, Facing climate change: Just and sustainable models for food and energy, sustainable lifestyles.
TOTAL EXPENSES: € 1.695.004,86
The CIDSE Secretariat also coordinated the following project in 2022:
- Israel-occupied Palestinian territory: € 79,922.67
CIDSE’s financial year begins on 1 January and ends on 31 December. The 2022 financial statements have been audited by an external auditor, Clybouw Achiel, Andre & Co bvba, Belgium, in accordance with the financial reporting framework applicable in Belgium. At the time of publishing this report, the auditor’s final report was still to be received.
CIDSE (Coopération internationale pour le développement et la solidarité) is an international family of Catholic social justice organisations. We work with global partners and allies to promote justice, harnessing the power of global solidarity to achieve transformational change for people and the planet. We challenge systemic injustice and its destructive impacts through connecting, mobilising, influencing and telling stories of change. We promote environmentally and socially just alternatives to allow everyone to thrive in our common home.
CIDSE’s work promotes food sovereignty and land justice, addresses impunity and corporate power and explores the relationship between energy and extractivism, all the while striving for a model of sufficiency. We take a systemic approach to our thematic work, with a focus on human rights, decolonisation, feminism, climate and biodiversity justice, as well as on challenging prevailing economic and political systems and exploring alternatives.
To make this happen we contribute to global movements and alliances of change, promote peoples’ solutions and alternatives and advocate at the international level.
Our international secretariat is based in Brussels.
CIDSE brings together 18 member organisations from Europe and North America.
Our network works closely with diverse local and international alliances and organisations such as Caritas Internationalis, Caritas Europa, COMECE (Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community), Franciscans International, JESC (Jesuit European Social Centre) and the Laudato Si’ Movement.
The CIDSE Secretariat facilitates and coordinates the common efforts of its members, represents CIDSE at the EU and international levels and undertakes advocacy activities and other initiatives in collaboration with its members to contribute towards systemic change and global justice.
The Secretariat is organised into teams which coordinate different working groups to achieve its objectives.
We thank Emma Lunte, Anne Helder, Ida Paraskeva, Abid Ur Rehman, Bernardo Kaiser, Giovanni Penna, Bea Lambrecht, Wim Hendrix, Benedetta Tuccillo, Fanny Schmit for their valuable contributions to CIDSE’s work and mission.
Amy Skinner, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Consultant.