The aim of this session is to explore ways donors and civil society organizations can work collaboratively and strategically to design effective responses to common civic space challenges. Donor and CSO participants will work together in small groups to analyze scenarios illustrating commonly occurring civic space challenges, and craft responses. Scenarios to be explored in this session can include adapting to volatile or restrictive environments, supporting civil society ahead of contentious elections, the introduction of restrictive legislation, an increase in third-party attacks on human rights defenders, or others nominated by participants during the session.
Within each scenario, participants will share and discuss donor and CSO approaches for responding to civic space challenges, such as adaptive donor grant-making practices, fostering work through coalitions and multi-sectoral groups, and making use of multi-stakeholder initiatives and multilateral fora to protect or widen civic space. Participants will learn from one another and from guest speakers, who will present participants with ideas and lessons learned through their own efforts to promote and protect open civic space.
Speakers and facilitators:
ICNL and Oxfam will facilitate. Pre-selected speakers from civil society and development agencies will engage in interactive discourse with participants to share experiences and strategies, and reflect on ideas that have been brought up during the session in a closing discussion.
The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL)
Key/search words for this session:
Donor strategies; program design; civic space; restrictive legislation; regulation; foreign funding; access to funding; third party attacks; programming in restrictive environment