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Civic Space Research

The CSI is supporting cutting-edge research and publications to develop progressive policy and standard setting for the protection of freedoms of association, assembly, and expression. This research reaches a broad civil society, government, and academic audience.

Key accomplishments

  • The CSI developed key policy materials and statements on protecting civic space in the digital age. One example is a brief on the liability of bloggers, which was submitted to the European Court of Human Rights.
  • The CSI produced research supporting online freedom initiatives in Bangladesh, Azerbaijan, Iraq, the Gambia, and Senegal.
  • The CSI trained over 440 CSOs on freedoms of association, assembly, and expression in the context of information and communication technology (ICT).
  • The CSI contributed to improved ICT/media laws across the globe, including in Tunisia, Brazil, and Bangladesh.
  • The CSI analyzed 29 ICT-related laws and draft laws including from Burma, Brazil, and Pakistan as well as the Council of Europe’s Guide on Human Rights for Internet users
  • The CSI published 5 new issues of Global Trends in NGO Law, a periodical report providing a unique global perspective of legal trends around the world affecting civil society.
  • The CSI gathered over 700 participants in our multi-stakeholder dialogues to increase civic space in government decision-making.
  • The CSI Positively influenced the outcome document of the Netmundial Global Meeting on internet governance, ensuring that freedom of expression and right to privacy were promoted.
  • The CSI led a coalition of 63 NGOs to call on the UN Human Rights Council to protect freedom of expression and privacy online.
  • Garnered reference to our innovative policy papers on freedom of expression, copyright, and right to blog in the report of the OAS Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression on the Internet.
  • The CSI supported the production of a report by Dr. Tomicah Tillemann entitled Ten Ideas for Governments Working to Safeguard Civic Space.  The report addresses the gap between the aspirations of governments that want to safeguard civic space and the actions required to realize that goal.


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.