Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité
Abbreviation CIDSE
Purpose International umbrella organization or Catholic development agencies
Headquarters Brussels,  Belgium
17 member organisations
Heinz Hoedl

CIDSE is an international family of Catholic social justice organisations working together with others to promote justice, harness the power of global solidarity and create transformational change to end poverty and inequalities.

CIDSE challenges systemic injustice and inequity as well as destruction of nature, promotes just and environmentally sustainable alternatives and believes in a world where every human being has a right to live in dignity.

CIDSE works for a society based on social, economic and gender equality and solidarity, where the economy is at the service of society and functions within planetary boundaries. CIDSE aims at a fairer share of and limits in the use of global resources, democratized governance where people regaining control over their choices, economies based on the commons.

CIDSE works for reforms with transformative potential: move away from fossil fuels and extractivism, limit global temperature rise below 1,5 degrees, promote the right to food and agroecology, regulate business to enforce human rights, secure sustainable finance and fair wealth distribution, support local communities to speak for themselves, confront gender inequalities, enabling sustainable ways of living.

To make this happen CIDSE contributes to global movements and alliances of change, promotes peoples solutions and alternatives and advocates at the international level.


The intention of setting up a lay-led coordination body for Catholic aid agencies was first expressed at the Eucharistic Congress in Munich in 1960 and was taken up again 1964 during the Vatican II Council. There reigned a sense of fraternity favorable to international co-operation and a spiritual concern for rediscovering the Lenten meaning of true sharing beyond mere alms-giving. On 18 November 1965 the foundation of CIDSE was agreed and in December 1965 this plan had been approved by the Holy See. In 1967 CIDSE got operational with its registration as an international non-profit organization under Belgium law and with the opening of an office in Brussels.

The seven CIDSE founding members (from Germany, Austria, Belgium, United States, France, The Netherlands, Switzerland) were organisations sponsored by their national bishops’ conferences which carried out Lenten campaigns and supported development initiatives in Southern countries. Originally the acronym CIDSE stood for "Coopération Internationale pour le Développement Socio-Economique" (International Cooperation for Socio-economic Development). It changed to "Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité" (International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity) in 1981. Throughout the decades, CIDSE’s membership increased. Today the network consists of 18 members from Europe and North America.

Overview of the growth of the CIDSE members: 1965- 7 members, 1969- 10 members, 1974- 12 members, 1987- 14 members, 2012- 16 members, 2013- 17 members, 2016- 18 members.

Over the past decades CIDSE, together with its members, has been in the frontline of many important struggles for justice, human rights, democracy, peace and the environment. The anti-apartheid movement, the Jubilee Debt Campaign, the Make Poverty History campaign, and the Beyond 2015 campaign are examples of CIDSE’s international engagement


CIDSE currently has 17 member organisations from Europe and North America.[1][2]

Broederlijk Delen – Belgium • CAFOD – England and Wales • CCFD - Terre Solidaire – France • Center of Concern – USA • Cordaid – the Netherlands • Development and Peace – Canada • Entraide et Fraternité – Belgium • eRko – Slovakia • Fastenopfer – Switzerland • FEC – Portugal • FOCSIV – Italy • Fondation Bridderlech Deelen – Luxembourg • KOO – Austria • Manos Unidas – Spain • MISEREOR – Germany • Progressio – UK • SCIAF – Scotland • Trócaire – Ireland


CIDSE has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) since 1972. In 2007, CIDSE was reclassified from Special to General Consultative Status.

CIDSE is a member of Concord − the European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs, the Climate Action Network, the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance EAA. .

Within the Catholic Church CIDSE collaborates in some of its areas of work with the Holy See, Continental Bishops conferences, Bishops as well as church networks such as Caritas. In 2015 CIDSE had been very active around the encyclical “Laudato Si – Our common home”. Further CIDSE mantains ecumenical cooperation with alliances like Act Alliance.


Working together with others, CIDSE wants 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.

Thematic areas

CIDSE’s thematic areas cover climate justice; just food; business and human rights; finance and development; global governance and gender equality. CIDSE also promotes sustainable ways of living and runs for this the campaign “Change for the Planet- Care for the People”.

Working structures

Board of Directors: the Board of Directors is composed of the directors of the 18 Member Organisations. The Board is the general management body of CIDSE and meets twice a year to review current activities and formulate strategies and policies for the future.

Executive Committee: the Executive Committee is the implementation and supervisory instrument of the Board of Directors.

Working Groups: CIDSE member organisations carry out joint advocacy work on issues that CIDSE has agreed to prioritise. Joint work is mainly carried out through teams composed of experts coming from our members. The CIDSE Secretariat coordinates this joint work and plays a supportive role by lobbying decision makers, networking with allies and communicating with the media.

International Secretariat: a multicultural and multi language team based at the CIDSE Secretariat in Brussels facilitates and coordinates the common efforts of the Member Organisations.


  1. Homepage of CIDSE: Our members
  2. "CIDSE" (PDF). European Commission.

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