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Global Initiatives for Civic Space

The CSI is influencing discussions on post-2015 agenda, aid effectiveness, and other global, multilateral discussions, so that civic space freedoms can be recognized as critical to development, and resources for the next fifteen years can be channeled accordingly. 

Key accomplishments

  • The CSI engages with the Community of Democracies Working Group on Enabling and Protecting Civil Society.
  • The CSI monitors the implementation of civil society related commitments arising from the 2011 Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation through the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) and the Global Partnership for Effective Cooperation (GPEDC).
  • The CSI developed the Enabling Environment Index (EEI), a new tool to assess key external dimensions affecting CSOs around the world. The EEI identifies enabling and constraining factors, highlights global trends and their implications, and foresees likely scenarios that will impact the effectiveness of CSOs.
  • The CSI developed an Enabling Environment National Assessment to enable local actors to evaluate and improve laws and policies for CSOs. So far, the CSI has implemented national assessments of enabling environment in 16 countries.
  • CSI partners were the only group advocating for the inclusion of an enabling legal environment for civil society in a submission to the High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The panel’s report included the freedoms of assembly and association as potential sub-goals, declared the importance of an enabling environment, and recognized that CSOs are vital partners in development.
  • The CSI contributed to Post Rio +20 Declaration commitments on access to information and public participation by producing reports on "Public Institutions and an Enabling Environment for a Free and Independent Media" and "Violence, Citizen Security and the Post-2015 Development Agenda: The Importance of the Free Flow of Information."
  • The CSI launched the Free Flow Principles: Freedom of Expression and Rights to Water and Sanitation, which was endorsed by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to water and sanitation.
  • The CSI increased support for civic space issues in development: at least 585 additional CSOs are reaching out to their constituencies, and at least 86 more non-CSO stakeholders are now engaged in supporting reform initiatives in these areas.
  • The CSI supported the Global Forum on Shaping Civic Space, which convened 230 participants from 80 countries, all of whom are dedicated to improving protection for civic space.  The Forum provided the opportunity to facilitate cross-border and cross-sectoral learning, to galvanize concrete initiatives, and to inspire future efforts. 


This webpage is prepared by the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law through the Civic Space Initiative, implemented in partnership with ARTICLE 19, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, and the World Movement for Democracy.