INGOs Can Push Back against Closing Civic Space if They Change their Approach

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Civil society is facing a sustained, multi-faceted, global onslaught. According to the CIVICUS Monitor, fundamental civic freedoms are being severely restricted in an unprecedented number of countries. The operating environment for CSOs is becoming more hostile across the world and the organised bits of civil society – including in the biggest INGOs – are looking for ways to respond. But, those who want to ‘save’ civic space need to tread carefully. For a start, we need to avoid seeing this issue through the standard North-South development lens. Civic freedoms are being attacked and restricted in countries all over the world, including in mature, Western democracies. And challenges to the legitimacy and role of NGOs are being levelled everywhere. Seeing this as a phenomenon that is limited to fragile, broken states in the Global South, that can be by fixed Western actors, misses this increasingly universal reality. Read more here.

Source: CIVICUS / OXFAM blogs

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