Criteria For Civil Society Observers


RESOLVE developed the following criteria through broad consultation with civil society and collaboration with an advisory committee composed of civil society members in 2009. The criteria were revised following a consultation process (May-June, 2011) involving the 2009-2011 CSO observers to the CIF, with additional input from other civil society representatives.  They were reviewed and approved by the 2012-2014 CSO observers for the 2014 selection process.

General CSO Observer Criteria

  1. Civil Society Organization (CSO) observers to the CIF will be established, not-for-profit non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with verifiable knowledge and understanding of the purpose, functions, and operations of the CIF. Eligible NGOs include, but are not limited to, think tanks, advocacy groups, community-based organizations, and aid organizations.[1]
  2. Observer organizations must have membership in, or subscribe to information from, at least one networking organization (e.g., an alliance organization that provides services to similarly focused NGOs) that is engaged on issues relevant to the CIF at the local, national or international level.
  3. Candidate organizations will be asked to demonstrate their capacity to establish links with groups and networks, within and outside of their home country and within their CIF region,[2] including with grassroots-level and community-based organizations.[3]
  4. Observer organizations to the committees and sub-committees must have an understanding of environmentally sustainable development, social justice, and equity.
  5. Observer organizations also must be able to demonstrate knowledge of and/or expertise on issues that are central to the specific committee or sub-committee for which they are applying.
  6. In order to avoid conflicts of interest, observer organizations must disclose the scope of their organizations’ financial engagement with the multilateral development banks, export credit agencies, and governments in areas relevant to CIF activities and programming.
  7. Each observer organization will be expected to appoint one primary representative who will attend CIF meetings, and one alternate who can prepare for, travel to, and actively participate in CIF meetings in the event the primary representative is unable to attend.

Criteria for Individuals Representing Observer Organizations

  1. Individuals representing civil society observer organizations must have the capacity to communicate and negotiate effectively and be able to interact actively via the Internet and telephone.
  2. Individuals representing observer organizations must be committed to open and transparent communication.
  3. Individuals representing observer organizations must be willing and committed to representing the concerns and interests of their constituents – not only members of their own organizations, but also the larger community to whom they are accountable. They also must be able to report back to those constituents on relevant CIF activities and programming.
  4. The working language of the CIF is English. Individuals representing observer organizations must have a working knowledge of English. 

Criteria for Balance

  1. Special effort will be made to recruit and select observer organizations that are represented by women and/or that focus on women’s involvement in addressing the challenges of climate change.
  2. Special effort will be made to achieve a balance among different types of organizations (e.g., think tanks, advocacy organizations, community-based organizations, and aid organizations).
  3. Special effort will be made to achieve representation of organizations from CIF pilot countries.

Terms, Responsibilities, and CIF Meeting Dates

  • Observer organizations will serve a two-year term, beginning January 2015.
  •  Individuals representing observer organizations will be expected to attend two CIF committee meetings in 2015 and two  meetings in 2016. They will be expected to participate in an orientation session, approximately 12 teleconferences and ‘virtual’ meetings, and a Partnership Forum during the course of their term. They will also be expected to contribute productively to the work of the CIF by responding to requests for input on documents and, when their term is completed, by serving on the advisory committee that helps to select the next set of observers.
  • Developed country observer organizations must be able to cover the travel costs associated with CIF meetings. Upon request, the CIF Administrative Unit will cover travel costs for organizations from developing countries.


[1] Please note there are separate seats allocated to representatives who 1) primarily represent interests of business and the private sector and 2) indigenous peoples groups.  There are different selection processes for these seats.

[2] For the purposes of the CIF, the four regions are Africa/Middle East; Asia-Pacific; Latin America and the Caribbean; and developed countries.

[3]  Capacity to tap into such networks will be extremely important for monitoring implementation of CIF programs.

Updated: September 4, 2014


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