Expanding Civic Space in DAC Partner Countries

Deploying the OECD DAC Recommendation to Empower Civil Society


Civil society is well-equipped to play a leading role in humanitarian and development assistance efforts, including promoting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Unfortunately, in many countries, civil society is subject to heavy constraints and hampered from contributing to these initiatives.

However, a groundbreaking recent policy instrument can help change this situation. In July 2021, the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) – a group of the world’s major donor countries – adopted the OECD DAC Recommendation on Enabling Civil Society in Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Assistance. The Recommendation sets out 28 key principles that donor governments and other stakeholders should follow to respect, protect, and promote civic space; support and engage with civil society; and incentivize CSO effectiveness, transparency, and accountability.

In this piece for the Global Center for CSO Accountability, ICNL Legal Advisor Nikhil Dutta explains how deploying the OECD DAC recommendation can expand civic space and empower civil society in partner countries and territories. Read the full piece here.

Learn more about the Recommendation and what donors can do to expand civic space here.