News Get the android app

Vital for Open Government Partnership (OGP), Civil Society Needs Shrper Tools to Defend Civic Space

A few weeks ago on 28 August Mozambican journalist and publisher Paulo Machava was shot dead while jogging.

 

Machava was involved in a campaign supporting an economist and two reporters who are facing national security and defamation charges. Their case arose from an open letter written in 2013, which criticised the former president, Armando Guebuza. Shocking as it is that a journalist should be gunned down for simply doing his job, many cases like this have little or no chance of registering in the international news media.

On one level, this is understandable. With so much news out there and only so much time to take it all in, individual human rights abuses will always be subject to the vagaries of the 24-hour news cycle. The problem is that, in all parts of the world, cases like Machava’s are now happening more regularly and with more impunity. This is the reality of closing civic space.

Last year, CIVICUS documented serious violations of civic space - which includes the freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly - in at least 96 countries (link is external). That documentation was based on information received from our members, monitoring of the news media and reports from other human rights organisations and civil society groups.

But what about the countless abuses that go unreported or don’t make the editors’ cut?

That does not mean that current monitoring (link is external) is ineffective. On the contrary, all approaches have a part to play. But we need to recognise that much more can be done to accurately describe the reality of closing civic space.

To allow civil society to respond to this trend, we urgently need a tool that casts a much wider net and captures a greater volume of data on the conditions for civil society in a timely fashion. Unless that is done, hundreds of civic space violations will continue to fly below the radar each year, while international pressure will potentially be ill-informed or applied only after it is too late. Governments and non-state actors, such as unscrupulous business entities and extremist groups, are becoming unceasingly smarter (link is external) at finding ways to stifle progressive civil society voices, so we need to get better at reacting, responding and setting out our own, fact-based narratives.

For some time now, CIVICUS has been concerned about this gap in our understanding of civic space. More often than not, the tools at the disposal of policy makers, the media and international civil society only offer a snapshot of a single point in time. One report or media statement a year isn't going to stop intractable human rights abuses. Civic space isn't a static (link is external) space, and international civil society needs to keep up with those on the front line contesting it.

To address these problems, CIVICUS is working on two new - hopefully sharper - tools that we think will make a difference. In part, both of these rely on technology that allows us to interact with civil society in all parts of the world, at scales and speeds never before seen.

The Civic Space Monitor (link is external) (CSM) aims to provide accurate, verified and up-to-the-minute information on civic space in every country in the world.  We hope civil society, the media and governments will use this information to better understand and respond to the daily reality faced by thousands of civil society organisations and activists.

The CSM is different in two main ways. First, it will be constantly updated and so, unlike nearly all current measures of the health of civil society and democracy, it will act as a one-stop shop for the latest information on civic space. Secondly, it triangulates several sources of information - democracy indexes, human rights reports, verified media reports and - most crucially - up-to-date information obtained directly from activists in each country.

Initially, that information from the ground will be gathered through regular interactions with a small group of activists. Ultimately, however, our second tool, the new Civic Pulse methodology, will be used to periodically take the temperature of civil society and assess the likelihood of transformative social change.

With our reach as a leading global alliance, we want to engage our networks and work with our partners to identify “opinion panels” in as many countries as possible. These panels comprising of between 300 and 500 civil society leaders will be asked the same questions, every quarter, eventually building up an accurate picture of the trajectory of conditions for civil society over time. The Civic Pulse will provide essential and regular data, in real time and at scale. Over time we want to have opinion panels in as many countries as possible, improving our ability to react and respond effectively.

These new tools – The Civic Space Monitor and Civic Pulse (link is external), are dynamic, iterative, and complementary. They are being created collaboratively with our membership and will be subject to constant review, adjustment and improvement. Their ultimate success will however depend on how this information is used by civil society, the media and governments.

In order to turn the tide of closing civic space, many more people will have to realise the scale and implications of the problem and fight back accordingly. Hopefully, having access to reliable real-time information on civic space will allow them to do just that.

- See more at: http://www.opengovpartnership.org/blog/dominic-perera-and-cathal-gilbert/2015/09/17/vital-ogp-civil-society-needs-sharper-tools-defend#sthash.iGLDHQQC.dpuf

This news item was first published on http://www.opengovpartnership.org. Written by Dominic Perera and Cathal Gilbert

Post your comment

Comments

  • cialis coupon 2016
    <a href="http://cialisgrudj.com/">buy cialis</a>
    cialis 5 mg how long does it take to work
    <a href="http://cialisgrudj.com/">generic cialis</a>
    cialis 20 mg prices with prescriptions
    http://cialisgrudj.com/
    brand cialis 10mg


    Posted by JimmyDop, 28/04/2018 7:20am (3 months ago)


  • cialis 20mg price in india
    <a href="http://cialispaxl.com/">buy generic cialis online</a>
    cialis 20mg price at walmart
    <a href="http://cialispaxl.com/">cialis generic</a>
    cialis soft gel
    http://cialispaxl.com/
    buy cialis 5mg canada


    Posted by Rogerarisa, 28/04/2018 6:02am (3 months ago)


  • cialis 100mg dosage information
    <a href="http://cialispaxl.com/">buy generic cialis</a>
    cialis 20 mg tablets information
    <a href="http://cialispaxl.com/">cialis generic</a>
    20 mg dose of cialis
    http://cialispaxl.com/
    cialis super active 20mg pills


    Posted by Sidneydaync, 28/04/2018 12:49am (3 months ago)


  • cialis 20mg tablets reviews
    <a href="http://cialispaxl.com/">generic cialis online</a>
    cialis 20 mg cost at walgreens
    <a href="http://cialispaxl.com/">cialis</a>
    extra super cialis combitic global
    http://cialispaxl.com/
    side effects of prolonged use of cialis


    Posted by Jamesduppy, 27/04/2018 7:39pm (3 months ago)


  • comprar cialis generico al mejor precio
    <a href="http://cialisgrudj.com/">buy cialis</a>
    cialis vs viagra vs levitra which is better
    <a href="http://cialisgrudj.com/">cialis</a>
    brand cialis 5mg online
    http://cialisgrudj.com/
    cialis 5 mg price walmart


    Posted by Keithcearm, 27/04/2018 4:06pm (3 months ago)


  • cialis 20 mg tablet
    <a href="http://cialispaxl.com/">generic cialis online</a>
    best price cialis and viagra
    <a href="http://cialispaxl.com/">cialis</a>
    cialis professional 40mg
    http://cialispaxl.com/
    cialis generic 2018


    Posted by JerryFup, 27/04/2018 2:29pm (3 months ago)


  • viagra vs cialis vs levitra cost comparison
    <a href="http://cialispaxl.com/">buy cialis online</a>
    cialis 5mg effets
    <a href="http://cialispaxl.com/">generic cialis</a>
    cialis super active plus uk
    http://cialispaxl.com/
    cialis generico en chile


    Posted by AndrewAmefs, 27/04/2018 9:30am (3 months ago)


  • cialis vs viagra vs levitra dosage review
    <a href="http://cialispaxl.com/">cialis</a>
    will cialis go generic in 2018
    <a href="http://cialispaxl.com/">buy cialis online</a>
    levitra vs cialis vs viagra drinking
    http://cialispaxl.com/
    cialis generico do viagra


    Posted by RobertAvanT, 27/04/2018 4:16am (3 months ago)


  • precio de cialis generico en farmacias de espaГ±a
    <a href="http://cialisgrudj.com/">buy cialis</a>
    cialis 5 mg side effects
    <a href="http://cialisgrudj.com/">buy cialis online</a>
    5mg of cialis daily not working
    http://cialisgrudj.com/
    cialis levitra staxyn and viagra cost comparison


    Posted by BillyStoff, 26/04/2018 11:56pm (3 months ago)


  • viagra vs cialis cost per pills
    <a href="http://cialispaxl.com/">cialis generic</a>
    cialis prices in canada
    <a href="http://cialispaxl.com/">cialis</a>
    brand cialis online pharmacy
    http://cialispaxl.com/
    effectiveness of cialis vs viagra vs levitra


    Posted by Dwightvag, 26/04/2018 10:51pm (3 months ago)


RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments