Civil Society & NGOs


Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Member Countries (MCs) face numerous socio-economic challenges. Including poverty, fragility, violent conflict, pandemics, man-made and natural disasters. These challenges have generated humanitarian crises including both internal displacement and refugee populations. Despite significant economic growth, income inequality has increased in MCs. This was exacerbated sometimes by poor social and economic infrastructure and weak private sectors. Globally, unemployment becomes a major concern with about 192.7 million unemployed persons worldwide in 2017 (Statista). Addressing these challenges requires consolidated and coordinated efforts of all development actors including governments, civil society, donors and other stakeholders.

Importance and Role 

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are playing an important role in addressing the aforementioned challenges through delivery of humanitarian aid, recovery and sustainable development interventions. In 2018, above USD$ 20 billion of Official Development Assistance (ODA) was channeled through CSOs (OECD DAC 2020). Social infrastructure and services were the main sector of intervention for bilateral ODA channeled through CSOs. Humanitarian assistance – emergency response - is the second most important area of aid channeled through CSOs. The role of CSOs is also critically needed to support the hard-to-reach areas affected by fragility and violent conflict.

In 2015, Governments, international institutions, private sector and CSOs collectively adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aiming to foster economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. Building on the earlier Millennium Development Goals, SDGs were enhanced to include peace/governance, forced displacement and climate change, which call for the Development Institutions to work with CSOs. In line with the Global Agenda 2030, the IsDB remains at the forefront of addressing complex and diverse challenges faced by its MCs in all economic and social sectors. The 10-Year Strategy and the President 5-Year Program (P5P) call for increased participation of CSOs as elements of the network of developers in IsDB development interventions. This new P5P roadmap expands the Bank framework of collaboration with the CSOs aligned with the development efforts pursued by MCs.

Issues / Challenges and Opportunities

MCs development challenges are vast, multifaceted and even increasing. As such, these are beyond the scope of any individual institution. CSOs are on the ground and have a more intimate understanding on development challenges facing the most marginalized and hard-to-reach communities. Recognizing this importance, IsDB President is making CSOs engagement an organizational priority and will seek partner with them to a greater extent moving forward. This is in line with the newly adopted partnership model under the P5P and will bring on board non-traditional partners for the IsDB in its efforts to be more proactive, responsive and at the forefront of development.