The Coordination Office is a specialized institution of the Austrian Bishop's Conference with 28 member organizations as well as mor than 50 missionary congregations. These members are promoting cooperation for development and pastoral work as well as relief and rehabilitation in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Some of the members are running fund raising campaigns or receiving funds through diocesan budgets in order to finance projects in the "Third World". Other members are sending experts to "Third World" countries, while others are supporting students from the "Third World" who come to Austria for study. These scholarships are funded by member organizations as well as by the Austrian State.
The Coordination Office is promoting and coordinating the commitment of the Austrian Catholic Church for development and missionary work as a universal church. It aims at awareness raising and solidarity action of people in Austria. The concerns and principles of the Catholic Church regarding development policy and universality of the Church are represented by the Coordination Office vis a vis the holders of economic and political power in Austria. The member organizations of the Coordination Office are working together in the field of basic guidelines, project policy, development education and public relations as well as advocacy. The activities realized by the Coordination Office and its members are founded upon the "Guidelines for the Cooperation of the Austrian Catholic Church with her partners in the 'Third World'".
The Coordination Office is a member of an international umbrella organization of Catholic agencies - CIDSE-International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity with headquarters in Brussels. In Austria the Coordination Office is also affiliated to AGEZ (Austrian NGO-platform) and the EU-platform.
Board of the Coordination Office
- The episcopal representative for Universal Church and Development is President of the Board of the Coordination Office: Bishop Dr. Werner Freistetter
- Vicepresident: Mag. Dietmar Schreiner (Welthaus Graz-Seckau). The Board consists of the President, the Director, the two Vice-Presidents and four more persons.
- Director of the Coordination Office: Heinz Hödl