Organization for Social Development (OSD) was found in September 2003 as Organization for Social Justice in Ethiopia (OSJE) officially registered by Ministry of justice under license number 1160. Its inception was rooted in the pursuit of public interest, respect for human rights, and promotion of social justice. Organization for Social Justice in Ethiopia (OSJE) was established based on the following perspective.
The salient feature of most development policies existing today is their exclusive focus on economic growth. Usually, the social, political, civic and cultural dimensions of development are either ignored or undervalued. But development is considerably broader than just economic growth. It’s about creating conditions for peoples to live in dignity as human beings. In fact there is an indissoluble link between development and respect for civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights- rights that are inherent in humanity.
In line with its mission statement in the past years OSJE was engaged in different activities which can be divided in four major categories: Capacity Enhancement and Development, Civic Empowerment, Legal Empowerment and, Creating Enabling Environment. Under these categories OSJE has implemented various projects partnering with a number of local governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as international networks and non-governmental organizations. To mention some of the activities undertaken by OSJE;
- OSJE has monitored and released report on the 2005 national election of Ethiopia by initiating formation of an election monitoring network of local civil society organizations which had 35 members.
- Conducted and published a research on the space given to the Ethiopian Civil Society organizations and their impact on policy dialogue as well as the degree of their performance. Undertaken a project on strengthening the capacity of judicial and law enforcement organs and prison administrators in Borena Zone of Oromiya Regional State.
- OSJE was involved in the year long national advocacy campaign in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and has undertaken different activities aimed at creating awareness on the Universal Declaration of human rights.
- By forming a coalition with other three local civil society organizations OSJE has prepared and submitted a Joint Universal Periodic Review (UPR) parallel report.
OSJE was engaged in giving free legal aid service to the poor and marginalized sectors of the society by establishing a legal aid Center. Moreover, OSJE has been at the forefront of initiating and working in various networks. These include
- Domestic Election Monitors Network
- National Flower Alliance
- Sheka Forest Alliance
- Legal Aid Provider Center’s Network
- CIVICUS, World Alliance for Citizen Participation
Following the enactment of a new proclamation by the Ethiopian government to regulate Charities and Societies in the country on February 13, 2009, OSJE has shifted its area of operation by assuming a new name, Organization for Social Development (OSD). In the process of aligning its operation to the new Charities and Societies Proclamation, OSD had conducted a preliminary survey to identify an area of operation which helps to achieve its purpose of establishment i.e. promotion of prevalence of social justice in the country and yet inline with the new proclamation. Through the survey OSD has identified that the private sector has a great potential to ensure social justice in the country, however, it has not been given due attention either by members of the civil society or other sectors. Therefore, OSD decided to work on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) adopting the guiding principle “the Private Sector has a significant role to ensure Social Justice”.
Potential areas of engagement
- Researching various CSR related issues and initiatives
- Education and promotion of CSR
- Engaging the private sector in CSR
- Advocacy on CSR laws and Practices