The Business Case of Civic Space

How can people within civil society organisations (CSOs) and people within the private sector start a dialogue to increase civic space?

Anne-Marie Heemskerk
Anne-Marie Heemskerk
Coordinator
amh@partos.nl
Posted in: Civic Power
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About

The last meeting of this working group was March 23 2017, where participants further discussed the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the engagement of the private sector in civic space in two break-out sessions. The aim was to understand the issue from the perspective of ‘the other’ party: the private sector. Even though most left with a slightly more positive attitude, the next step to take is to move towards collective action with different parties, to understand and tackle the problem of the shrinking civic space.

How can people within civil society organisations (CSOs) and people within the private sector start a dialogue to increase civic space?

About this project

The shrinking space for citizens and CSOs to organise and hold power holders to account is a pressing trend reported for several years now. The Global Risks Report 2017 by the World Economic Forum mentions civic space at risk as one of the biggest social and political challenges to tackle. Not only governments can influence this. How can businesses play a significant role in respecting and even protecting the civic space in countries where they operate, especially for the most marginalized groups? What is the scope of their responsibility, and do they have to take responsibility if the state is not living up to its obligations?

And how can people within civil society organisations (CSOs) and people within the private sector start a dialogue to increase civic space? Stable communities with a vital civil society, are in the interest of CSOs, public sector and private sector alike, even if for differing reasons. We want to find out more about cases that worked and what made them work. What factors attributed to succes?

This is why Oxfam Novib and The Spindle started an innovation lab on this issue. The overall goal is to assess how we want to engage/approach the private sector and what our ‘new narrative’ can be?

Team members

Anne-Marie Heemskerk
Anne-Marie Heemskerk
Partos
Barbara Oosters
Oxfam Novib
Marianna Belalba
CIVICUS
Radboud Reijn
Justice & Peace
Shamla Tsargand
NHC
Sobhi Khatib
RNW
Sofia Skrypnyk
NHC
Tamara Mohr
Both Ends

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Trends Report on Civic Power

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Online debate on Civic Space

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