Civil Society

Developing resilient values-based civil societies which demonstrate greater competency, legitimacy, accountability and sustainability

Effective and efficient civil society organisations have been a hallmark of successful societies, whether it is in the form of farmer’s federations, arts clubs or other non-governmental organisations.

However, in many societies, they are seen as a threat. Over the span of two years, 64 laws, regulations and other initiatives that put restrictions on civil society were adopted and put into force.

The Aga Khan Foundation therefore seeks to encourage positive developments in civil society. It sees a robust, efficient civil society – increasingly funded by indigenous sources – as a key driver of the overall quality of life, both in developing and developed countries.

“I believe that civil society is one of the most powerful forces in our time, one that will become an increasingly universal influence, engulfing more countries, influencing, reshaping and sometimes even replacing ineffective regimes. And I also believe that civil society around the world should be vigorously encouraged and wisely nurtured by those who have made it work most successfully.”

His Highness the Aga Khan

Our Civil Society programmes work towards these UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Our goals


Enhanced capacities for collective action

Partnering with a variety of groups and strengthening capacity through training


Strengthened values-based societies

That work together for the common good


Enhanced transparency and accountability

Giving increased public confidence and trust in civil society groups


Improved services, resources and economic assets

That can sustain themselves beyond the life of development programme funding

Our impact

people reached through AKF-supported civil society organisations
mobilised for Kenyan philanthropy causes through the AKF-supported Yetu Initiative
AKF-supported civil society organisations worldwide
of AKF fostering the growth of transparent, democratically elected village organisations in Central and South Asia

Programme spotlight

Alongside La Caixa Foundation and a variety of partners, AKF has worked through Juntos! to enable civil society organisations to access, create and deliver cost-effective and engaging training courses to help them address gaps in knowledge and build their skills.


Juntos! A Civil Society Platform in Mozambique (2014–)

Tackling some of the biggest challenges facing Mozambique today, Juntos! has helped equip over 18,000 Mozambicans with new skills and resources, and a foundation of ongoing support. To date, it has indirectly reached of over 5 million people.

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