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Key lessons for civil society to expand civic space include adaptation of new business models, report says

Author: Catherine Hyde Townsend, Center for Strategic and International Studies (USA), Published on: 16 January 2019

A CSO Playbook to reclaim civic space, 21 Dec 2018

"This brief consolidates key lessons from iCon’s invaluable research. The main target audience is CSOs, though governments and donors should take heed of the recommendations as well. This brief focuses more narrowly on: 1. Key ways in which civil society can act directly to build long-term resilience to counteract repression by state and non-state actors alike. The brief identifies a road map of priorities moving forward, focusing on approaches that may be outside the traditional experience and expertise of civil society but grounded in real life examples, including: strengthening their constituency base; enhancing collaboration; and communicating with a broader audience. 2. Emerging practices that hold promise as tactics to both build resilience and resist attacks—and warrant additional exploration and research— such as: use of economic analysis; innovation in CSO “business” models; and informal organizing networks... Civil society must develop its own playbook to share tactics and focus limited resources on approaches that not only protect civic space but also enhance the impact and relevancy of human rights groups. This brief seeks to build on existing efforts to develop such a playbook."

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