You are here

African Development Bank – Civil Society Committee

The African Development Bank established a Bank-Civil Society Organisation Committee in 2000 following the adoption of the Cooperation Policy with Civil Society in 1999. In 2012, the Bank adopted the new Framework for Enhanced Engagement with Civil Society Organizations ( (CSO Engagement Framework) consistent with its Ten–Year Strategy  2013-2022. The Bank-CSO Committee was subsequently revitalized and Terms of Reference for the Committee was agreed in 2015.

  1. Committee Mandate and Role

The mandate of the Bank-CSO Committee is to advise the Bank on forging stronger relations and partnerships with the CSO community, and help hold the Bank accountable for the implementation of the refreshed Civil Society Engagement Framework and related Action Plan. The role of the Committee consists of the following:

  1. Provide strategic guidance for the implementation of the refreshed CSO Engagement Framework and Action Plan, including advise on priorities and steps to implement those priorities;
  2. Advise the Bank on the indicators and targets for a results framework for the refreshed CSO Engagement Framework and Action Plan;
  3. Monitor the performance of the Bank against the results framework;
  4. Serve as forum for dialogue on what is  working well, what is not working well and on appropriate modifications in approach;
  5. Serve as a vehicle for information and experience sharing;
  6. Serve as an interlocutor between the Bank and the broader CSO community, both through the Committee as a whole and through the outreach of committee members in their constituent regions;
  7. Foster stronger communication between the Bank and the CSO community;
  8. Help the Bank to convene the broader CSO community, including through the CSO Forum, and advise on the agenda for the CSO Forum and other meetings.


  1. Composition of the  Bank-CSO Committee

The committee will consist of a maximum of 20 members. Half of the Committee members shall represent civil society organizations, and the other half shall be from the Bank. 

The term of each committee will be for a period of 2 years.

As a reflection of the importance the  Bank attributes to its engagement with the CSO community, the Chair of the Committee shall be a Bank Vice-President, selected by the Bank Senior Management. The Director of the Gender, Women and Civil Society Department in the Bank, responsible for the Bank’s engagement with Civil Society shall be a member, and the Manager of the Civil Society and Community Engagement Division shall serve as the Secretariat and convener of the Committee. Other members of the Bank-CSO Committee from the Bank will include the Chief of Staff Office, the Office of the Secretary General, the Compliance Review and Mediation Unit, the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Department, the Communication and External Relations Department and a representative from each of the Hi5 complexes.

CSO members will be selected as representatives of their CSO. The CSO representatives will be invited to join the Committee by invitation of the Committee Chair, on the basis of the selection process administered by the Bank. The number of CSO Committee members per sub region will be based on the proportional number of Regional Members Countries per sub region– two CSO members should come from each of the three sub-regions of the continent—Southern Africa, West Africa, and East Africa; and one member each from North Africa and Central Africa. In addition, one CSO member will come from an international NGO/CSO active in Africa.

All CSO members in the Bank’s CSO Committee must have sectorial expertise in the priority areas of the Bank’s operational work, as elaborated in paragraph 2, and experience in fragile and conflict affected states. CSOs within a region are encouraged to consult among themselves in making nominations.

The Committee’s composition will reflect a gender balance with at least two members representing the youth constituency. 

CSO members will serve in the capacity of a representative of his/her CSO and of the CSO community within his/her geographical location and, as applicable, sectorial area. As such, members will be expected to consult their constituencies in advance of Committee meetings and provide feed-backs to their constituencies at the conclusion of Committee meetings. 

CSO members will elect a Committee Vice-Chair from among themselves. The Vice-Chair will coordinate CSO Committee members as needed. 

The Committee may invite outside experts to participate in meetings as deemed useful. 

  1. Criteria for Selecting CSO Members

In addition to the Committee composition discussed above, each member of the Committee must:

  1. Be the leader of, or hold a senior position in a CSO; 

  2. Come from a CSO, which is officially recognized and duly registered in at least one 
regional member country; 

  3. Come from a CSO, which is able to show evidence of structured good governance and 
accountability practices through audit reports; 

  4. Come from a CSO, which is already visible, and has the capability, experience and 
interest to serve as a representative of a broad CSO constituency; 

  5. Come from a CSO, which has a track record of gender equity in its operational work. 


  1. Work Plan and Deliverables

The Committee will meet at least twice a year and more often if agreed by all members. The Chair will convene the meetings at a time and place decided upon in consultation with the members. 

Agendas for Committee meetings will be elaborated (and distributed) in advance in consultation with the members. 

The secretariat will be responsible for the logistics of the meeting and for producing meeting minutes within two weeks after the meeting. These shall be circulated to the members for comments with final minutes to be issued within a month after the meeting. 

The Committee will issue an annual report at the conclusion of each calendar year. The annual report will be made available on the Bank’s external website. 

  1. Financial Implications

The CSO members of the Committee are appointed without financial compensation. Expenses (such as travel, lodging and per diem) for Committee meetings and other agreed activities (e.g. consultations with other CSOs) will be covered by the Bank, as agreed prior to the activities and in line with the Bank’s rules and budget.

Call for application

The African Development Bank is excited to announce a call for application for Civil Society Organizations to join the Committee. Kindly follow this link to a presentation explaining the selection process of the Bank’s Civil Society Committee, as well as the finalized Terms of Reference (TORs) for the Committee — based on the agreement reached during the five regional consultations with CSOs and internal consultations with Bank staff.

Kindly share your expression of interest by submitting a technical proposal by Tuesday, March 27th 2018. The Technical proposal should include: the CV of your nominated CSO representative, documentation, references for similar services with elaboration of leadership experience and approach to role in the Committee (based on the attached TORs) if selected.

Should you require any additional information, please contact the Civil Society Division (AHGC2) by e-mail: