Civil Society

Civil Society is made up of citizens and people from different regions around the world organized into constituencies, associations and groups to make their voices heard. FAO works to increase and strengthen its partnerships with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the fight against hunger and poverty.


FAO recognizes that CSOs play a critical role in the fight against hunger given their technical expertise, their proximity to and representation of the hungry and poor, and their increasing presence in the field. FAO appeals to their knowledge and capacity on a variety of issues related to food security.

FAO works to enhance the quality, number and impact of FAO’s relations with CSOs  at the global, regional and at the national level, and provides the regional and decentralized offices with guidance and advice they may need for successful collaboration with CSOs.

Benefits of partnering with FAO

By strengthening cooperation and partnerships with civil society, FAO works to:

  • Enhance the legitimacy, transparency and equity of policy- and decision-making, ensuring that it takes into consideration the interests of all sectors of society and has their support;
  • Give a voice to stakeholders, particularly the world's poor and ensure that their views and opinions are taken into account;
  • Increase the effectiveness of FAO field projects and programmes by building on civil society experience in participatory approaches, poverty alleviation and sustainable agriculture, as well as their capacity to act quickly and flexibly targeting the most vulnerable groups; and
  • Build public support and political will to attain food security objectives.

FAO can provide CSOs with:

  • Technical and institutional support In the scaling up of successful approaches which benefit the poor;
  • Access to information and Government and other decision making bodies; 
  • Greater influence on public policy, service delivery, finances and human resources development;
  • Improved mobilization of resources for food security 

FAO believes CSOs voices should be heard and their suggestions considered. This is why FAO is keen on establishing dialogue with CSOs and increasing partnerships.