Vitae Civilis - Institute for Development, Environment and Peace, is a not-for-profit non-governmental organization that, since its creation in 1989 in São Paulo, Brazil, has been working to contribute to the construction of sustainable societies – an expression that covers at least five basic pillars: social justice, environmental conservation and integrity, diversity (cultural, ethnic, religious, etc.), democracy and economic viability.
Vitae Civilis, in Latin, means “for the civil society”. This indicates the Institute’s choice to, in its activities, contribute to strengthening citizenship and civil society organizations.
Creating a “Civil Society actively engaged in the governance of social and environmental sustainability in the global, national and local spheres”.
"To promote sustainable development by means of the elaboration and participative implementation of integrated public policies; to strengthen income and job generation initiatives associated to environmental sustainability; the generation and dissemination of knowledge and practices in the areas of climate, energy, water, forest conservation and environmental services, ecotourism, and strengthen civil society organizations in these same areas"
- Promote inter-sectoral dialogue on policies, economy and individual or institutional practices that are relevant to achieve social and environmental sustainability.
- Perform studies, using participatory methodologies, to better support actions for sustainable development.
- Promote and engage in partnerships to define actions and specific initiatives for sustainable development through interaction, capacity-building and strengthening of networks and civil society organizations.
- Contribute to developing capacity, awareness, mobilization and strengthening of civil society actors involved with the governance of institutions and policies, public or private, in the areas included in the programs of Vitae Civilis.
In pursuit of greater efficiency and effectiveness in its activities, Vitae Civilis draws on a systemic approach considering complementary and integrated initiatives in knowledge dissemination, public policy and practices and actions of individuals and organizations. For this purpose, Vitae Civilis uses a conceptual framework comprising Policy (public), Research (research-action) and Practices (illustrative practices):
- To take action in public Policy, Vitae Civilis prioritizes acquiring knowledge through research-action and the promotion of illustrative practices.
- To develop illustrative Practices, Vitae Civilis integrates those practices in activities of public policy and knowledge generation.
- Research-action is performed to support and qualify CV’s actions and activities in public policy and in the development of illustrative practices.
In other words, the conceptual framework of Vitae Civilis corresponds to an effort of broaden and improve collective and individual Commitment, Capacity-Building (development of involved actors) and Knowledge.