Frequently Asked Questions

What does the abbreviation ‘CIDSE’ stand for?

The abbreviation CIDSE stands for the organization’s historical name, originally in French: “Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité” which can be translated as International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity.

Does CIDSE fund projects in the global South?

As a network, CIDSE is not an organization that grants financial or technical support for development. The responsibility for project funding lies within the competencies of its member organizations. With regards to partner engagement in the South CIDSE’s responsibilities include measuring impact, improving the coordination of CIDSE’s programme work and engaging in a mutual strengthening of advocacy work.

How does CIDSE get funded and what does it use its budget for?

CIDSE is funded by membership fees and additional resources. In 2023, 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 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 core expenditures (2022) € 1.695.004,86 

  • Advocacy: € 1.063.309,48
  • Communication and networking events: € 387.254,15
  • Administration and secretariat: € 244.441,23

CIDSE’s finances are revised annually by an external auditor.

When was CIDSE founded?

CIDSE was officially registered as a non-profit organisation under Belgian law in 1967. However, Catholic charities had already been meeting since 1964 with the intention of creating an ‘international working group for socio-economic development’. CIDSE was founded to coordinate tasks identified by the Second Vatican Council as important tasks for the Catholic Church, namely, to care for the poor and the oppressed and to work for more justice on a global level.

Who are CIDSE’s members?

You can view our members by clicking here
Broederlijk Delen, Belgium (www.broederlijkdelen.be)
CAFOD, England and Wales (www.cafod.org.uk)
CCFD-Terre Solidaire, France (www.ccfd-terresolidaire.org)
Cordaid, Netherlands (www.cordaid.nl)
Development and Peace, Canada (www.devp.org)
Entraide et Fraternité, Belgium (www.entraide.be)
eRko, Slovakia (www.erko.sk
Fastenaktion, Switzerland (www.fastenaktion.ch)
Partage Lu, Luxembourg (www.partage.lu/fr/)
FOCSIV, Italy (www.focsiv.it)
Fundação Fé e Cooperação, Portugal (www.fecongd.net
Koordinierungsstelle, Austria (www.koo.at)
Manos Unidas, Spain (www.manosunidas.org)
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns (www.maryknollogc.org/ )
Misereor, Germany (www.misereor.de)
Partage.Lu, Luxembourg (www.partage.lu/fr/
SCIAF, Scotland (www.sciaf.org.uk)
Trócaire, Ireland (www.trocaire.org)
Vastenactie (www.vastenactie.nl/

In which countries does CIDSE have partners and/or projects?

CIDSE members work in over 120 countries and territories worldwide. Learn more

Which are the CIDSE decision-making structures?

Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is composed of the Directors of the 18 member organisations. The Board meets once a year and is responsible for the general running of CIDSE, in particular reviewing current activities and formulating policies for the future.
Executive Committee
The Executive Committee is the implementing and supervising arm of the Board of Directors. The Secretary General, Ecclesiastical Assistant and Treasurer are non-voting members.
President: Caoimhe de Barra (Trócaire)
Members: Axelle Fischer (Entraide et Fraternité), Bernd Nilles (Fastenaktion), Anja Appel (KOO), Ricardo Loy (Manos Unidas)
Spiritual Advisor: Mgr. A. Tesfaselassie Medhin (Eparchy of Adigrat/Ethiopia)
Treasurer: Thomas Vercruysse (Entraide et Fraternité)
Secretary General: Josianne Gauthier (CIDSE)
Working groups
CIDSE member agencies work together in working groups, platforms and fora on the issues defined in the strategic plan. The CIDSE Secretariat facilitates the working groups and ensures communication between the member agencies and the overall coherence of CIDSE’s work.
The Secretariat
The CIDSE Secretariat facilitates and coordinates the common efforts of the member organizations.

What is CIDSE’s relation with the official structures of the Catholic Church?

CIDSE is an independent network of Catholic lay social justice organisations and is not officially linked to the Catholic Church. CIDSE maintains regular contacts and relations of collaboration with the relevant Dicasteries and Bodies of the Holy See.
CIDSE agencies are acknowledged by their national bishops’ conferences, connected to a myriad of bishops’ conferences, dioceses, parishes and Catholic agencies.  CIDSE engages with the Catholic Church in several ways: it collaborates and supports its work and vision in areas of convergence, provides expertise and experience as well as challenges its constituency when necessary.

What is CIDSE’s relationship to other organisations and networks?

CIDSE engages with both, other faith-based as well as secular organisations and networks. On many issues we work closely together with our sister organisation Caritas. Beyond our Catholic alliances we seek ecumenical cooperation with strategic Protestant partners and enjoy the longstanding cooperation with our sister network Act-Alliance Europe. Secular allies in Brussels include for instance CAN-Europe, CONCORD. CIDSE is also a founding member of ELSIA – The European Laudato Si’ Alliance.

What distinguishes CIDSE from the Caritas network?

Caritas and CIDSE are key strategic partners for development and humanitarian issues. Having different areas of focus and expertise, we intend to build up on each other’s strengths. While Caritas is stronger on humanitarian aid questions, CIDSE’s emphasis lies on broader development concerns.

Is CIDSE a campaigning organisation?

Public campaigning continues to be a valuable advocacy tool for the network. However, it is mainly implemented at the national level. Furthermore, CIDSE joins other global campaigns run by broader alliances of like-minded organisations to maximise political impact.

In the last 5 years, CIDSE started experimented with international campaigning, building on the national campaigning strengths of our member organisations to connect their local organising groups and form an international movement. Our campaign ‘Change for the People – Care for the Planet’ which ended in 2022 encouraged people to adopt more sustainable lifestyles, and to join together to push for climate policy.

What is the official working language of CIDSE?

For practical reasons, most work at the CIDSE network level is carried out in English. However, many publications get translated into other languages. At the level of individual member organisations, the main working language remains their national language.

How can I work or intern for CIDSE?

Our vacancies are published on our web page ‘Work with us‘ as well as on Linkedin.

I would like to keep in touch with CIDSE, how can I do that?

Subscribe to our newsletter. Follow us on Twitter and on Linkedin, watch our videos on YouTube, view our pictures on Flickr,  and like us on Facebook.

Share this content on social media