Mission and Values – CIDSE

Mission and Values


Working together with others, we want to serve the poor, promote justice, harness the power of global solidarity and create transformational change to end poverty, inequalities and threats to the environment both global and local.


We are part of a worldwide community of learning and action that is open to working with all people and groups of good will. As CIDSE we think and act along the following values and principles:


All human beings possess an equal dignity made concrete in human rights. When human rights are violated, so is human dignity. This is why CIDSE works to help enable those who have been denied their rights and the dignity to define for themselves how they wish to live in the global community. We also take up our own responsibilities and strive to change behaviours and structures in our own countries impacting global human dignity, both as individuals and at the political level.


We are all linked to each other as human beings and as God’s creatures. We work together with people and communities who live in poverty, are excluded or oppressed, to help them transform their situation. Why are people poor and marginalised? What unjust structures underpin this? How is this related to culture, business, finance and politics in our own countries? This is why solidarity also changes us and our countries/societies.


CIDSE members together agree on how to translate our common mission into joint strategies and activities. Strategic debates and decisions are inclusive, allowing all members to participate actively and on an equal footing. By sharing the resources and experience of the entire network, we try not only to achieve our common goals but also to add to the individual achievements of our member organisations. As Catholic agencies we seek to practice what we preach.


We base our cooperation with partners in Africa, Asia, Oceania, Latin America and the Middle East on trust, shared values and common goals. While aware of underlying power issues in some relationships, we aim to establish and maintain equitable relations. Through joint dialogue, analysis, and advocacy, we share responsibility for the impact we can achieve together, and the recognition we gain for doing so.


We believe that listening to, understanding, learning from and communicating with each other are fundamental to all change processes. They are the foundation for mutual understanding, meaningful coexistence and cooperation, whether local or global. Developing a dialogue with partners on the other continents is essential to our way of working.


As we strive to fulfil the mission of our network and achieve its goals, we try to translate into practice the idea of subsidiarity and to give those responsible for the different areas of our work the support they need. Obviously, the principle of subsidiarity − working as closely as possible to the people who we strive to represent − not only applies to working structures within CIDSE, but also to the way CIDSE cooperates with its partners in the Global South.


We are the Earth’s stewards, not its owners. We are part of the environment and any harm done to the environment is harm done to humanity. When promoting human development we have to respect planetary boundaries. We need to preserve the resources on which present and future generations depend. We think the Global North and Global South have joint, but at the same time different, responsibilities in this regard.


We believe that simplicity is enriching. We do not find meaning in more and more material wealth. The ‘good life’ implies a more modest lifestyle for people in the Global North and in general for wealthy people worldwide. This means that we must set ourselves limits, in line with what is sustainable for the planet on which we live and in line with what is fair to our fellow human beings, especially in the Global South, with whom we share the earth.


We are committed to professional standards: we strive to be good stewards of all the resources entrusted to us: cost-effective in our work, openly accountable for our work, transparent in our decision-making. We are focused on results and try to demonstrate on a permanent basis how we have the most impact.

Share this content on social media