civil society space

A successful project to wean southern civil society organizations off aid

Duncan Green - August 10, 2016

I’ve previously lamented the aid industry’s lack of interest in building up the domestic fundraising capacity of local organizations and suggested we need a ‘Fundraisers Without Borders’. Turns out something along those lines is already happening. A note in a recent edition of Development in Practice by Robert Wiggers of the Dutch Wild Geese Foundation (WGF) describes its Action for Children (AfC) programme in four …

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How does Change Happen in China?

Duncan Green - June 8, 2016

The honest answer is of course that I have no idea. Given China’s size, complexity, opacity and the language barrier created by being a non-mandarin speaker, a week of meetings and conversations can only leave a string of vague and often contradictory impressions. But here they are anyway: Is China’s development complex or complicated? The standard account of China’s extraordinary transformation is of a triumph …

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Community Philanthropy: it’s a thing, and you need to know about it

Duncan Green - June 2, 2016

  Guest post from Jenny Hodgson of the Global Fund for Community Foundations It’s almost always the same argument. Or excuse. Governments joining the accelerating global trend of restricting civil society at home like to claim that they are protecting their country against meddling “foreign powers”. No one has to like, or agree, with that point of view in order to take it seriously, and …

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A crunch point for Indian civil society – what are the options?

Duncan Green - April 29, 2016

Second installment on last week’s India visit. Vlog from Lucknow and a debate with Oxfam India’s Vanita Suneja   In the rolling, 16 hour-a-day seminar that is a field trip, one topic kept coming up in my conversations in India last week. Many civil society organizations feel beleaguered. As the Indian economy booms, the foreign aid agencies on which many CSOs have come to depend …

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Why ‘Raising Your Voice’ is crucial in development, and getting harder in many countries

Duncan Green - October 16, 2015

Today is Blog Action Day (as if you didn’t know) and this year’s theme is ‘raising your voice’. That resonates with me for both positive and negative reasons. On the negative side, in dozens of developing countries it’s getting a lot more dangerous to raise your voice, if what you say is not congenial to the government. States are busily swapping notes on how best …

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ICYMI: why civil society space is under assault around the world and other posts on NGOs

Duncan Green - October 13, 2015

Final installment in this series of re-posts of the most read summer blogs, for those who missed FP2P due to our email notification meltdown (or your holidays). In the 1980s and 90s civil society, and civil society organizations (CSOs) came to be seen as key players in development; aid donors  and INGOs like Oxfam increasingly sought them out as partners. So the current global crackdown …

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5 trends that explain why civil society space is under assault around the world

Duncan Green - August 25, 2015

In the 1980s and 90s civil society, and civil society organizations (CSOs) came to be seen as key players in development; aid donors  and INGOs like Oxfam increasingly sought them out as partners. So the current global crackdown on ‘civil society space’ is particularly worrying – a major pillar of development is under threat. Ross Clarke (left) and Araddhya Mehtta (right) from from Oxfam’s Knowledge …

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The Civil Society Flashpoint: Why the global crackdown? What can be done about it?

Duncan Green - March 6, 2014

This guest post comes from Thomas Carothers and Saskia Brechenmacher of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, drawing from their new report, Closing Space: Democracy and Human Rights Support Under Fire When the concept of civil society took the international aid community by storm in the 1990s, many aid providers reveled in the alluring idea of civil society as a post-ideological, even post-political arena, a …

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