Defra Civil Society Partnership Network

Defra’s strategic partnership with civil society.

Role of the group

The Civil Society Partnership Network (CSPN) is an advisory body with a three year life span from 1 August 2014 to 30 July 2017.

The CSPN’s aim is to maximise the benefits of civil society input to Defra’s policy-making. It replaces Defra’s Civil Society Advisory Board (CSAB).

The Civil Society Partnership Network’s mission is to:

  • foster the highest standard of partnership working between Defra and civil society
  • maximise the benefits of civil society input to Defra’s policy-making
  • promote the adoption of new, co-designed policy delivery models
  • establish Defra as an exemplar for how central government should work with civil society


The responsibilities of the Civil Society Partnership Network are to:

  • to guide Defra’s strategic approach to working with the full range of civil society
  • ensure availability of rapid, authoritative advice and support to Defra Ministers and officials on issues of relevance to civil society – at strategic level and on specific policy questions
  • provide independent horizon-scanning capacity in relation to Defra’s areas of responsibility


The network comprises a core group of 9 CSPN members (PDF, 83.3KB, 9 pages) appointed by Defra who provide leadership and coordination for the network. The wider network will be recruited shortly and they will be managed by the core group.

The CSPN’s core group had its first meeting on 15 September 2014. Core group members will be working during the autumn with policy directors to develop a draft programme of work.

Terms of reference

Contact details