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Rated as Excellent by 75% of participants.

Re-live the excitement of the 2015 Global Forum:

Watch welcome video from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon:

Watch welcome video from President Barack Obama:


Explore the STORY as seen through the eyes of participants on Storify.

See pictures from the Global Forum on our Facebook page


“The many interactive sessions were excellent… You managed to let the participants work, which is a fantastic accomplishment!”


Miklos Marschall
Deputy Managing Director
Transparency International, Berlin

“The direct interaction with colleagues from all over, the shared passion and efforts for a stronger civil society is a wonderful experience that provides new tools and ideas for our efforts here.”


Sustenta Ciudadanía
Miguel de la Vega
NGO Consultant

“Thank you for an interesting, incredibly well organized and inspiring Global Forum!”


Charlotta Norrby
Swedish International Development
Cooperation Agency
Head of Civil Society Unit, Division of
Partnerships and Innovation

“I can’t recall another gathering that was more substantive, productive, and action-oriented.”


Dr. Tomicah Tillemann
New America Foundation
Senior Fellow and Director, Bretton Woods II Initiative

“It was a great time for me to learn and meet people from different parts of the world and especially to
seek their support on our advocacy efforts.”


Saroeun Soeung, Executive
Cooperation Committee for Cambodia
Asia Regional Coordinator for Beyond 2015


ICNL invited Global Forum participants to submit photos to our contest, “Shaping Civic Space: Images for Advocacy.”
Below are the top 3 prize winners.


El Hulk del Táchira / The Hulk of Táchira

Rafael Uzcátegui-San Cristóbal, Venezuela:

During the protests in San Cristobal, Tachira between February and June 2014, one protester held a performance as the “Hulk” character, making creative use of the right to demonstration, rejecting abuse by the police and military, and denying that all demonstrations in the city were violent in character.


Fighting for Freedom

Horacio Javier Siciliano-Caracas, Venezuela:

Photographers in Venezuela struggled against the constant abuse by the authorities to report on what was happening in Venezuela in April 2014.


Democracia #19M / Democracy #19

Juan Auz-Quito, Ecuador

On March 19, 2015, tens of thousands of people with different ideologies and backgrounds marched together in Quito against the economic and political agenda of the Ecuadorian President, Rafael Correa. This peaceful protest, initially organized by unions and indigenous organizations, was also supported by groups of citizens not affiliated with any political organizations. All of the protesters gathered at “Plaza de San Francisco,” a historical location for civic demonstrations.

See all finalists and honorable mentions here.


At the end of the Global Forum, we asked participants to break into groups and come up with “Ideas for Action” for future efforts to strengthen and shape civic space. The groups developed over 30 ideas that were framed overall by the three key themes of connection, engagement and regional impact. Some of these ideas are highlighted below.


  • Connect civil society actors in the Community of Democracies, the Open Government Partnership and the Civic Space Initiative in order to improve joint action in defense of civic space.
  • Share advocacy strategies to promote reform globally.
  • Create an international platform for those working to shape civic space to share experiences and maintain connections.


  • Engage representatives from progressive governments in the Global South in order to benefit from their input on shaping civic space.
  • Educate government representatives on civil society and establish a CSO liaison person or unit within the government.
  • Conduct a study on the “Business Case for Civil Society” and examine factors such as civil society’s contribution to GDP, employment, and good governance.


  • Hold workshops in Eurasia on CSO sustainability and best practices.
  • Create a task team in South Asia to provide organizational support to civil society.
  • Conduct a study in the MENA region to document the impact and feasibility of CSOs.



Below are a number of interesting and innovative examples of activities undertaken by the Participants as a direct result of their involvement in the Global Forum.

  • Doaa Far, Jordan: Designing an online webinar open to CSOs and activists.
  • Taulant Hoxha, Kosovo: Working on an assessment for implementation of the Law on Freedom of Association. Supporting the Parliamentary Committee on Administration, Local Governance and Media in developing methodology for monitoring implementation of the law.
  • Uttam Uprety, Nepal: Gave two presentations on ‘Open Government Partnership’ to the Governance Facility initiative and to graduate and doctoral students at Kathmandu University’s School of Education.
  • Dana Sofi, Iraq: Trained 20 NGOs from minority groups on how to participate in decision-making processes, on partnerships between CSOs and public authorities, and on opportunities to impact the legislation process.
  • Nwezin Win, Myanmar: Conducted multiple workshops on the freedom of association and the newly enacted Association Registration Law in Myanmar. Helped plan and conduct a meeting with Myanmar parliamentarians and CSOs on the implementing rules for the Association Registration Law. This meeting was instrumental in leading to certain positive changes to the implementing rules.
  • Jiangang Zhu, China: Finished an assessment report of the influence of the Foreign NGO Management Law in China and presented this report at a conference in Hong Kong.