”We’re at a critical moment”

”We’re at a critical moment”

08 aug 2017 2133 Views
Joshua Haynes from Sida’s civil society unit (actually, he’s on loan from USAID) is a member of the working group behind the SCSD. I asked him a couple of questions about the conference, to get his perspective and expectations.

This is the second time Stockholm Civil Society Days is organized. Give us some background to the idea behind the conference.
It’s an attempt to bring different types of actors together focusing on various civil society issues and together take a fresh look on what is happening now, what happened in the past and what we can do going forward. It’s a great way for the Swedish organizations and Swedish entities like Sida and the foreign ministry to be able to stay on top of what’s happening in civil society as well as ensure that NGOs from around the world are aware of Sida’s strategies, policies and priorities.

Joshua Haynes

The main purpose is for a wide range of actors to come together, to exchange experiences and stories, of course to meet and network, but to really understand what other people are doing and to share the experiences and failures that they have.

So, trying to bring that to the forefront, we are designing the program to be very interactive, and to ensure that participants have the opportunities to exchange thoughts and experiences with each other.

How come shrinking space is the focus this year?
Shrinking space is, if not the largest, then one of the largest issues facing civil society today. And it’s not new, but I think we’re at a critical moment, in ensuring that the civil society still has the ability to represent the voice of the people and hold itself and others accountable.

What are you looking forward to the most during those days in September?
Fika, haha! No, I’m looking forward to experiencing and also observing those aha-moments when you find something in common with someone that you wouldn’t have normally and are able to delve into an issue or a problem or an opportunity and make that connection that will continue long after the workshop.

Thanks Joshua for taking the time!

/Christina Wassholm