Adapt or Perish: The New Normal for Civil Society

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CSOs all over the world are under significant pressure. Armed with smart phones and connected like never before, civil society actors have found new ways to organize, demand greater government accountability, and inject their voices into policy debates. As citizens’ voices have grown louder and more influential, many governments have responded by cracking down on civil society. As restrictions on foreign funding, barriers to registration, intervention in CSOs’ internal affairs, and other forms of harassment become the new normal, donors and civil society are going to have to adapt to survive. A key component of building the resilience and sustainability of the sector must be to help CSOs build public support for their work. Evidence-based and data-driven strategic communications campaigns are not a silver bullet and will not, alone, turn the tide of closing space. However, investing in such efforts can help improve the efficacy and overall image of civil society, making it harder for governments to crack down on CSOs without provoking a public backlash. Read more here.
Source: Open Democracy

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