Encuentro regional de Rendir Cuentas en Medellín, Colombia.

By MarianoDe-Donatis

Our partners organisations from the Latin American regional initiative, Rendir Cuentas, are organising a two-day workshop in Colombia, Medellin on the 6th and 7th of December 2o12. The workshop will have a focus on reviewing various CSO self-regulation initiatives, with the goal of strengthening the credibility and legitimacy of civil society in Latin America.

Los socios y amigos de CIVICUS de la iniciativa regional Rendir Cuentas, estarán presentado la experiencia de su trabajo durante el encuentro regional de ONG y Conferencia Internacional: Transparencia, legalidad y fortalecimiento como retos ante las nuevas realidades sociales. Continue reading

An online and offline revolution: new media and civil society (6 June, 2012)

Social media and mobile technology have served as catalysts for offline activism and vehicles for new forms of online activism. However, many CSOs have failed to capitalise on the potential of new media to reach out to newly mobilised “netizens” and as the parameters of journalism shifts, thesenetizens have increasingly come under attack by governments. This webinar explores the vital role of new media in social change.

Finding common ground – faith-based organisations and a global alliance

CIVICUS research shows faith structures usually have the highest trust of any non-governmental formation. Faith-based CSOs may have particular routes to some sections of the public and the ability to reach and channel large pockets of support. At CIVICUS, we are seeking to build partnerships with FBOs in order to achieve greater impact in areas of common interest.

Attaining expertise and disseminating information between CVICUS members and the United Nations Division of Sustainable Development at the Rio+20 Conference

In May 2012 CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation Outreach Director Henri Valot conducted a formal interview with the for the Division of Sustainable Development at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the Head of the Rio +20 Secretariat, Mr. Nikhil Seth. The purpose of the interview was to attain valuable knowledge from the organization about the upcoming Rio +20 Conference that is to take place between the 20- 22 June this year in Brazil. Mr. Seth responded to a myriad of questions concerning his aspirations for the conference with regards to the current challenges being face at the UN, the relationship between the SDGs and MDGs in the post 2015 agenda, and finally his opinion on the significance of civil society organizations at the Rio +20 conference this year. Mr. Seth’s responses were viewed with optimism, which serves as an interesting point of departure to the fast approaching negotiations ahead.

Civil Society in crisis: Civil Society funding and the way forward (23 May)

Many CSOs report declining funding, volatility and changing donor priorities, and in response are giving more attention to fundraising and diversification of funding sources. Financing for development and reforming the existing architecture of international aid are key issues on the global agenda for CSOs. Organised in conjunction with CIVICUS’ donors, this webinar hopes to explore techniques to weather these turbulent times.

The SEED Initiative: Africa’s green economy, climate change and the role of grassroots entrepreneurs

The SEED Initiative was a high-level symposium held 29 March 2012 as part of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) International Convention in Pretoria, South Africa. The event offered an opportunity to meet some of South Africa’s key actors in the drive towards a ‘green economy’, a key area of discussion at the upcoming Rio+20 sustainable development conference, to be held June 2012.

Amongst the day’s keynote speakers were such noteworthy names such as Nomcebo Manzini, Regional Programme Director for UN Women, and Richard Young, Head of Development Cooperation of the EU Delegation to South Africa. Founding partners included the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The discussion saw views shared by people from government, CSOs and businesses. Continue reading

Meet CIVICUS World Assembly 2011 Bloggers

Bloggers, passionate about CIVICUS’ goal of a just world, spend time sharing thoughts, analysis and opinions on issues around this theme in the CIVICUS World Assembly blog: http://citizenshift.org/blogs/civicus; in this podcast invites all to the World Assembly in Monytreal next month

Failing to respond to the mounting threats

A recurrent theme at the Interaction Forum in Washington DC has been the growing constraints on civil society space across activities and countries. Humanitarian agencies working in the Horn of Africa and in conflict zones around the world are experiencing unprecedented barriers to their work from non-state actors and governments alike.

In Washington DC I met Lun Borithy of the Cooperation Committee for Cambodia  who reiterated the urgent need for international intervention to stay the imminent NGO regulatory legislation being proposed in Cambodia. CIVICUS and others have tried to little avail to press the Cambodian government to include civil society input to the draft legislation which, if passed, would hamper even the simplest forms of citizen association and permit the government near unlimited powers to harass, intimidate and muzzle groups who are in any way critical of it. Other participants at the Interaction Forum, from North and South, were no less insistent that urgent, concerted action is necessary. Continue reading

Building bridges: Between informal online activists and civil society organisations (webinar)

On Wednesday 20 July, 2011, CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation, hosted a webinar, geared towards developing policy recommendations for civil society organisations (CSOs), public and private sector donors and governments to enable them to bridge the gap between traditional CSOs and online activists. This is sequel to a discussion note produced by CIVICUS intended to spur debate on the role of information communication technology as Continue reading