This short paper explores the experiences of CSOs attempting to inform and influence policy processes in developing countries. The paper uses examples from a series of short case studied commissioned by the ODI during 2005 as part of a Call for Case Studies launched by the Civil Society Partnerships Programme (CSPP). Throughout the consultation workshops organised by ODI and its partners in 15 developing countries, participants expressed their frustration at attempting to influence complex policy processes. For many CSOs, policy influence constitutes a part of their work that remains prohibitive to their capacities and resources stocks.
It is our opinion, however, that although many contexts are in fact extremely complex and unfriendly and that CSOs are crippled by resource and capacity constraints, there are many things that they can do to be successful in informing and inspiring those policy processes. This paper addresses some of these good news case studies. Its objective is to highlight what can be done and what is possible; even in troubled contexts.