CIVICUS Civil Society Index

An international action-research project by and for civil society

Posts Tagged ‘Partnership’

Chile Holds Second Advisory Committee Meeting

Posted by civilsocietyindex on January 4, 2011

The CSI partner in Chile held their second and final National Advisory Committee meeting for the CSI implementation project.

The project is being implemented in Chile by Fundacion Soles, with the sponsorship and support of the Bicentenary Commission.  The agenda of the meeting focused on examining the issues related to ‘changes that civil society can achieve in the national context in which it operates.’

The Soles Foundation is a non profit organisation that not only focuses on research but also strives to develop an “equitable and solidarity based society.”

To read more about the advisory committe meeting and the partner organisation, click here

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CSI Madagascar launched and off to a great start!

Posted by civilsocietyindex on December 23, 2010

Written by: Yosi Echeverry Burckhardt and Megan MacGarry

We are very excited to report on our participation and observation last week of the official media launch and first Advisory Committee meeting, thus marking the official start of the CSI in Madagascar!

 Two very intensive days of training were held by us, with our partners Consortium National pour la Participation Citoyenne (CNPC) and Multi-Sector Information Services (MSIS), as well as full participation from the leading donors on the project, the UNDP Madagascar regional office. This training was on the complex realities and intricacies of the CSI methodology, which is currently underway in Madagascar. Everyone was rather tired due to the intensive, but exciting work done over the two days.

 However, this was to be shaken off quickly as the stage was set, at the Hotel La Residence Ankerana on the outskirts of Antananarivo, for the official launch and ceremony, as well as the first Advisory Committee meeting, marking the beginning of the project. There were numerous groups present for this prestigious event, including the United Nations Resident Coordinator Fatma Samoura, the CSI national Advisory Committee, the teams of both the national coordinating organisations MSIS and CNPC, UNDP programme staff members, two representatives from CIVICUS, and several journalists from both print and tv press present. Key speakers at the beginning of the launching ceremony included:

  • Mr Andriamoraniaina Harijaona (Niaina): Coordinator of MSIS
  • Mr Amaholimihaso Rahaga: the speaker of the Advisory Committee
  • Mrs Fatma Samoura: UN Resident Coordinator
  • And Miss Yosi Echeverry Burckhardt: CSI Programme Officer with CIVICUS.

 

From left to right: Niaina, Amaholimihaso Rahaga, Fatma Samoura, Yosi

The speakers emphasised what a great opportunity implementing the CSI project is for Madagascar, how this will hopefully impact broader participation in Malagasy society, and how this will hopefully strengthen civil society throughout the country, despite the ongoing political difficulties and constraints evident of late in the country.

There is a strong interest and participation in the project from a wide scope of stakeholders across various sectors, including from the government, the private sector, and the media. This helps to highlight how timely and valuable an evaluation of the state of civil society, such as the CSI, is. In a country where all development projects, except humanitarian projects, have been stopped due to sanctions from various international actors. Compounded by the complexities of operating in repressive and constricted environments, it is hoped that the CSI implementation will be an initiator for increased, deepened civic engagement, participation, and leadership. As Edmondine Ramaroson, the President of CNPC underlines, the findings from the project will not be an end in themselves but rather serve to create a more active and engaged citizenship throughout Madagascar. As Edmondine mentioned in her welcoming speech at the launch of the project:

Donnons – nous la main pour n’avoir qu’une unique : la résultante, suffisamment solide pour porter l’espoir que Madagascar sera hissé à la place qu’elle mérite!

It was a true honour for both of us to be present, to highlight CIVICUS’ commitment and active participation in civil society strengthening processes and showing the value of the CSI particularly in countries such as Madagascar. It was engaging and exciting to see our project in real live action in front of us- witnessing how interested and motivated the members of the AC are in the project, as it allows us to see the true participatory value of the CSI.

The Advisory Committee (AC), the two NCOs, UNDP Madagascar focal point and the CIVICUS team:

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Press Statement: CIVICUS condemns crackdown on Civil Society in Bahrain

Posted by civilsocietyindex on December 13, 2010

  

Johannesburg. 10 December 2010. CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is deeply concerned about the deteriorating operating environment for civil society in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The past few months have been marred by growing intolerance towards dissenters, which began in the run up to the October elections and continues in the post election phase.

Authorities in Bahrain are waging a relentless campaign against activists whose views are not in line with the official position. Currently, 24 prominent human rights defenders are facing trial under Bahrains anti-terrorism laws. They have been charged with collaborating with foreign organisations and circulating false information. They have also been accused of forming terrorist networks, destruction of public and private property and defaming the authorities.

The arrested activists have complained about torture and abuse meted out to them by the National Security Agency. They have so far appeared in court on four occasions and the next hearing has been scheduled for 23 December. During their first appearance in court on 27 October, detainees informed the court that while in detention they were beaten, electrocuted, verbally and physically assaulted and denied adequate sleep. Those detained were not allowed access to legal representation during interrogation and some family members did not know where they were being detained for two weeks after their arrest. It has also been reported that prior to, during and after the elections about 350 other activists have been arrested.

In a worrying trend, it has become commonplace in Bahrain to arrest activists for writing articles and delivering speeches which are critical of the governments discriminatory policies and official corruption, said Netsanet Belay, CIVICUS Director of Policy and Research. Persecution and torture of public-spirited individuals offering legitimate criticism against official policies and the clampdown on their organisations amounts to a repudiation of Bahrains accession to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention Against Torture.

The Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS), a CIVICUS partner for the Civil Society Index and one of the few remaining independent groups striving for the protection of civil and political freedoms in the country, has been targeted in the recent crackdown. On 6 September, the Ministry of Social Development issued an order to dissolve the Board of the BHRS and went ahead to appoint an administrator  an employee from the Ministry  to lead the BHRS. The BHRS has had to go to court in response to these arbitrary actions and its fate currently depends on the courts response. The first hearing of the case scheduled for 26 October has been postponed to 4 January 2011.

According to Abdullah Aldorazi of BHRS, the unfair order issued by the Ministry of Social Development to dissolve the Board of the BHRS is a security strategy aimed at preventing the documentation of atrocities carried out by the authorities during the crackdown and preventing families of the detainees from using the society as a safe haven.

CIVICUS urges the authorities of the Kingdom of Bahrain to live up to their commitments under international law and guarantee civil society the space to freely express, associate and assemble.

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is a global movement of civil society with members and partners in over a hundred countries. The Civil Society Watch (CSW) Project of CIVICUS tracks threats to civil society freedoms of expression, association and assembly across the world.

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CALL FOR PAPERS

Posted by civilsocietyindex on December 10, 2010

ISTR AFRICA CIVIL SOCIETY RESEARCH NETWORK CONFERENCE

Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa

23-27 August 2011

 

Theme: Civil Spaces in Africa: Past, Present and Future

 

Past and present narratives of civil society in Africa have been, by and large, about ‘space’ – political, material and symbolic. Inspired by stirring Eastern European examples of anti-state mobilization, the earliest discourses focused on the modalities of reclaiming space for civic agency from authoritarian state forces.  Hence the interest, variously, in thematics such as ‘expanding’, ‘opening up’ or ‘liberating’ ‘democratic space’. In these early, even heady, articulations, the goal of civil society was envisaged as a simple one: to contest and open up the public arena (one that, until then, the state had largely monopolized) as a way of embedding modes of participation crucial for civic renewal and political regeneration. In a sense, the history of civil society agitation and organizing in Africa over the past three decades is in fact the unfolding of this particular struggle.  It invited an inevitable reaction by state elements reluctant to relinquish many of the advantages carried over from colonial governmentality.

Yet, contestations for space are, by definition, always ongoing. Thus, gains and losses are hardly ever permanent, with strategic positionality always subject to the thrust and parry of local, regional and, increasingly, transnational political, cultural and economic forces. Current developments in various parts of Africa provide a vivid illustration of this complex. They create a backdrop for much needed reflection on the current history of space, spaces and space-making in African contexts. Moreover, because of the external normative characteristics of much research on the continent, they also invite a more careful examination of the endogenous nature of civil society and civic agency. 

It is against this background that we invite papers that attempt to deepen scholarly understanding of African civil spaces in their cultural, social, demographic, economic and political pluralities and particularities. Original, conceptual or empirically-grounded contributions are welcome from a variety of social-oriented disciplines – including, but not limited to: history, sociology, economics, demography, geography, cultural studies, literature, and political science.

Papers may be guided by the following questions, though creative subversions are strongly encouraged:  What characterizes civil spaces in Africa?  What, if anything, is distinctive about such spaces?  How have spaces metamorphosed within globalizing geo-political movements and dominant economic processes? How have these forces encouraged or thwarted the production of governable and/or ungovernable spaces across the continent? How can we understand fundamental and emergent forms of civic mobilizing – in primary associational life, in social movements, in mutuality, in charity, in philanthropy?  How do we measure their presence and effectiveness on the social landscape? What are forms and contours of the new spaces of assertion dominated by anti-state forces? How do we account for their emergence against the background of state retrenchment? In what ways do virtual and material spaces interact, and how do they reinforce or contradict one another? What are the implications of the virtualization of politics for the understanding of state praxis and citizenship? What roles are women, underprivileged and oppressed groups playing in the marking and delimitation of new socio-economic and political spaces? How do new forms of sociality enable us to comprehend the distinctions between private and public spaces, and how tenable are those distinctions?

 

Paper abstracts (maximum 500 words) should be sent to:

 Prof Ebenezer Obadare

Department of Sociology

Kansas University

obadare@ku.edu 

Please also provide contact details (at least an email address and telephone number) and your institutional affiliation.

 DEADLINE:  28 February 2011

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ESRA Conference 2011 Call for Paper Proposals

Posted by civilsocietyindex on December 9, 2010

The Department of Sociology (University of Heidelberg), the Centre for Social Investment (Heidelberg), and CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Partizipation (Johannesburg) are organizing a panel on:

 “The Civil Society Index as a tool for cross-national comparisons.

Methodological issues and substantive applications”

within the context of the 4th Conference of the European Survey Research Association (ESRA), which will take place in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 18-22 July 2011.

The proposed panel will focus on the CIVICUS Civil Society Index (CSI) as one specific tool for assessing civil society cross-nationally. Between 2003 and 2006, the CSI was implemented in over 50 countries worldwide. In 2008 the project’s methodology was further strengthened to allow for comparative analysis, and data from the current project phase (2008-2010) is available for 21 countries. The CSI uses a multilevel and multimethod approach, combining various tools to measure different dimensions (Civic Engagement, Level of Organisation, Practice of Values, Perceived Impact, External Environment) and levels of civil society engagement (micro, meso, macro). A population survey assesses the extent and the intensity of engagement of individuals in civil society. An organizational survey analyzes the structure, policies and practices of NGOs and other organized expressions of civil society. An expert survey, combined with a series of in-depth interviews with government officials, the media and other stakeholders, aims to get an external assessment on the impact of civil society in society at large. Currently, CIVICUS is developing a database to publish the data of the CSI on the Internet.

We are inviting papers presenting substantive applications of the CSI from different world regions as well as analyses of innovative methodological approaches and challenges. The aim of the session is to assess the current state of measurement applications based on the CSI and to discuss potential improvements. The best papers will be featured in one of the upcoming volumes of the “CIVICUS Study of Civil Society around the World” book series, which we are currently establishing. For scholars with a promising outline, we will be able to provide exclusive access to the full CSI data (currently under embargo).

For more information on the CSI and its methodology see the CSI Blog or the CSI webpage

A full description of the panel can be found here

Information on the Conference is available from the ESRA website

To be considered for inclusion in the scientific programme of ESRA 2011, please submit an abstract of your paper containing no more than 250 words via this ESRA website. To submit a presentation, you must sign up or log in to the ESRA website. After logging in with your account, click “Propose a new presentation” to start submitting.

 The closing date for submission of paper proposals is 14 January 2011.

We are looking forward to receiving your interesting abstract!

Michael Hoelscher & Helmut Anheier

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CSO Accountability Workshop in Sierra Leone

Posted by civilsocietyindex on October 29, 2010

by CIVICUS LTA

CIVICUS has teamed up with Accountability Alert in Sierra Leone to strength the legitimacy, transparency and accountability of civil society in the country. We are hosting a 2 day multi-stakeholder workshop in Freetown on 10-11 November to launch the new national programme which seeks to raise the standard of governance within the NGO sector.

In Sierra Leone there is a pressing need for civil society to strengthen professional performance and ethical behaviour in order to address the commonly held perception that civil society organisations operate under a veil of secrecy.

There are high expectations of civil society organisations so stories of bad behaviour and hypocrisy often have a lasting negative impact in the sector. CIVICUS’ Civil Society Index (CSI) findings show that there have been high levels of financial mismanagement within civil society organisations, as well as weak internal governance and gender equity. Action must be taken to improve public trust and the credibility of the NGO sector.

There are huge amounts of foreign aid pouring into Sierra Leone with donors channelling funds into state-building, as well as providing financial support directly to civil society organisations. Accountability Alert and CIVICUS hopes to build a collective society voice that speaks out about the responsibility civil society has to adhere to agreed values and principles of accountability.

The workshop to be held on 10-11 November 2010 will be a key occasion for civil society organisations, beneficiaries, donors, INGOs and government officials to identify ways to strengthen accountability in the NGO sector. It will be an opportunity for civil society to define the models of legitimacy, transparency and accountability they want to adopt to enhance their efficiency and improve their reputation. We are very fortunate that the review of best practices will be informed by CSO accountability experts from DENIVA in Uganda and NWANGO in Cameroon, as well as CIVICUS LTA programme experiences.

The LTA Programme will report back on the progress of this important workshop and how civil society in Sierra Leone plans to tackle legitimacy, transparency and accountability challenges. CIVICUS are playing an instrumental role in bringing together civil society organisations together at a national level, alongside accountability experts and influential policy makers.

To read the full CSI Sierra Leone Country Report, click here

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CIVICUS and CSI to attend the upcoming Black Sea NGO Forum: 21- 23 October 2010 in Constanta, Romania

Posted by civilsocietyindex on October 20, 2010

By Megan MacGarry

CIVICUS and the CSI team here at the Secretariat in Johannesburg are delighted to announce that Mariano De Donatis, the new Manager for the Convening Unit at CIVICUS, will be attending the upcoming Third edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum to be held on 21-23 October 2010 in Constanta, Romania. This will be hosted by the Romanian Federation of Development NGOs (FOND).  The Black Sea NGO Forum was launched in 2008 by FOND and its partners throughout the region with support from the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation in the framework of the Black Sea Synergy. It has continued in 2009 in cooperation with the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission and the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation.

The Forum aims at increasing the level of dialogue and coordination among NGOs, as well as strengthening the advocacy capacity for NGOs in order to influence development strategies in the region. It gathers NGOs from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, other EU member states and important actors in the wider Black Sea Region. The first two editions of the Forum knowledge that took place in this region, which is extremely complex from a political point of view, showed that cooperation among NGOs from the civil society represents a real potential for stability and prosperity in the wider Black Sea region.

The 2010 agenda will dedicate a space for sharing governmental actors, international institutions and donors’ perspectives, assessments and experiences, introducing their programs and interacting with NGO representatives in the search of common solutions to regional and local problems.

There are two specific sessions on the Forum’s agenda that will be of specific interest for the CSI partners and researchers. These two sessions will be continuing work that was started by various Black Sea Region CSI partners who held a very interactive session at the International Society for Third-Sector Research (ISTR) that took place in July in Istanbul, Turkey. This was led by TUSEV from Turkey, a current and former CSI implementer, along with numerous other Black Sea representatives, both CSI active or non, all supported by the Black Sea Trust, a part of the German Marshall Fund.

At the upcoming NGO Forum, various partners from this original workshop will also continue the work started in Istanbul, with various other CSI partners attending the Forum.

Numerous previous and current CSI country implementers are planning two separate events as a follow up to the Istanbul event:

1)       Open space panel on “Democracy and Citizen Participation” to discuss and work on an action plan / collection of regional cooperation ideas for the “Civic Participation” dimension of our exercise in Istanbul.

2)      Open space panel on “Challenges for the Independence of the Civil Society” panel where we can work on “Government – Civil Society Relations” dimension by suggesting some additional topics.

Mariano will be participating in these events, to lead on issues of CSI implementation, but also to follow on the very interesting Black Sea regional discussions and developments that are currently occurring. There is scope for new and exciting partnerships and networks to emerge from these discussions and interactions throughout the Forum. We both in the CSI team and CIVICUS, look forward to feedback and insights that will emerge as a result of this exciting and in-depth regional event. We congratulate our partners on this initiative and wish all participants of the Forum the best of luck in their upcoming discussions and interactions to take place over the next few days.

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Can the Philippines ever recover?

Posted by civilsocietyindex on October 13, 2010

As the 100 day anniversary of Philippines new president Benigno Aquino passes, Sixto Macaseat, the executive director of the nation’s biggest development organisation, is reluctant to sing his praise. Rowena McNaughton writes.

IN his campaign for presidency less than five months ago, Benigno Aquino declared that henceforth corruption would no longer plague the Philippine government. The stance proved wildly popular with ordinary Filipinos, and not just because it was being touted by the son of one of the most admired presidents in the nation’s history, President Corazon Aquino, who replaced the dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, when he was ousted by the People Power Revolution of 1986. Philippine society had long grown fatigued by their nation’s crumbling economy, growing inequality and rising poverty levels now set at a lofty 33 per cent. The presidential candidate’s promise of radical change seemed to augur a break from six years of corruption by the ruling Arroyo administration. Voters responded, and he won in a landslide.

The Philippine economy has certainly grown less grim during the reign of President Aquino, who last week celebrated 100 days in the top seat. His administration has attracted US$2.4 billion in fresh foreign investments and around 43,600 jobs have reportedly been created. The notoriously weak PSE (Philippine Stock Exchange) has morphed into being one of the best performing stock markets in Asia, and the nation’s international reserves are at a record high of US$52.3 billion. The government’s budget is now transparent. And importantly, the countries large civil society network feels a little less ignored than it was under the previous president.

 

But much of the movement is not occurring where the promises of change were made. The private armies remain, justice has not been provided for human rights abuses and military and police impunity has not been addressed. Since Aquino took office on 30 June, human rights organisations have reported the killings of three journalists and 16 leftists’ activists. There have been no convictions in the hundreds of politically motivated killings over the past decade in which security forces were implicated. Just three of the 19 recent killings have a suspect under investigation and there has been only one arrest.

Indeed, the poverty rate continues to climb, despite the rise in investment, as Sixto Macaseat, Executive Director of the Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO), the largest coalition of social development non-governmental organisations in the Philippines points out, This, he says, is because of the widening inequality gap.

Many support his scepticism: in a multi-layered performance review of president Aquino’s first 100 days, Amnesty international failed him in the area of human rights; Archbishop Oscar Cruz gave him a milk warm “C”; Alyansang Makabayan rated his tenure as disappointing and the National Union of Students of the Philippines said he had failed to live up to his promises.

Yet what has altered is, in many ways, behind the scenes. Macasaet attests that the new administration is “significantly” more transparent. Aquino has championed open dialogue between government and civil society organisations, for instance. But when it comes to reaching the targets of the Millennium Development Goals, Macasaet does not hold much confidence, stating that there is still no government strategy in place. “We have wasted so much time that we will have to do the work of 15 years in five years,” he says. “It’s not possible.” Maternal health, education and poverty remain key areas of concern.

A recent analysis on Aquino’s 100 days of presidency by Human Rights Watch argues that Aquino’s failure to decisively address ongoing human rights abuses jeopardises his stated commitment to justice. “Human Rights Watch urged Aquino to fulfil his campaign commitments to abolish private armies, provide justice for human rights abuses, and address impunity by the police and military. Aquino has yet to address these persistent problems with any long term measures,” the report concludes. “While Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has promised to create a “superbody” to investigate journalist killings, structural reforms to overcome police inaction rather than new ad hoc bodies are needed to investigate alleged political killings vigorously.”

On some specific promises, the report praises the change in dialogue but says it is still waiting for action: such as Aquino’s proposed 80 percent budget increase for witness protection program. Yet it notes with concern that, while Aquino has directed the security forces to take control of official parliamentary forces, properly train them, and ensure that all forces are insulated from political entities the old military regime remains. Aquino continues to defend the use of such forces, which often provide manpower for private armies and have a history of perpetrating rights abuses. As for tightening controls on weapon procurement by local government, there has been no change. The same goes for improving witness protection. Private armies still remain.

“Most of us want to believe he is genuine but it does still remain to be seen,” says Macaseat, who uses the term “democracy recession” to describe his homeland.

Sixto Macaseat is currently the Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of the Affinity Group of National Associations (AGNA).

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“We are not so different.”

Posted by civilsocietyindex on September 2, 2010

Written by Tracy Anderson;-CSI Research Officer

This is perhaps the most profound statement I have ever heard regarding the CSI project and its findings.  It came about in a workshop led by some of CSI’s partners at the World Assembly last week.  As mentioned in a previous blog (click here), this workshop presented the findings and experiences of two cross-border initiatives based on the CSI project: Zeynep Meydanoglu (Third Sector Foundation of Turkey – TUSEV) and Lusine Hakobyan (Counterpart International Armenia) presented findings from Turkey and Armenia respectively; and Vanessa Cartaya (SINERGIA in Venezuela) and Luis Serra (Red Nicaraguense por la democracia y el desarrollo local, Nicaragua) each presented on the experiences of the cooperation throughout the Latin American region.

When examining their CSI diamonds and the various sub-dimensional scores that make up this image, both groups noted they had similar results. It was Luis who said:  “We are not so different.  The similarities far outweigh the differences.”

While he was talking about the scores of the diamond and therefore the makeup of civil society in the Latin American countries that participated, the honesty and simplicity of that statement echoes to all aspects of society.  We are not so different.   In a world full of conflicts- international conflicts, civil wars, genocide, personal conflicts, work-place conflicts; in a world full of poverty; of economic and environmental injustice, we are not so different, you and I.

Though the catalyst for this message here was the CSI project, the profoundness of this statement is its universality. The catalyst does not need to be CSI, but it is dialogue. Taking the opportunity, finding the ‘excuse’ (as Lusine and Zeynep said about the CSI), to talk, to get to know the ‘other’ enables us to see we are not so different.  This is often a key step in conflict resolution and prevention, humanizing the enemy, the ‘other’.  It also makes it harder to justify many of the ills in the world: how can we watch so many starve, let these children grow up without education, and deny those people refuge from the atrocities in their homeland.  If we are not so different from each other and we would not wish these ills upon ourselves or our friends and loved ones, we cannot allow them upon others.  If we are not so different, then why conflict, why poverty, why?

And if we are not so different, then surely we must stand up and help out. And that is the root of civil society.  Stand up together for the things we believe in, because we are not so different and we all are worthy.

 

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Impressions from the 2010 CIVICUS World Assembly, Montreal, Canada:

Posted by civilsocietyindex on September 1, 2010

Written by the CSI partner in Russia, Liliana Proskuryakova

My first and strongest impressions from the WA in Montreal derive from meeting old and new friends and colleagues.

My organization, Higher School of Economics, is the Russian CSI partner in the current phase. Naturally, I was looking forward to meeting and chatting with the renewed CIVICUS CSI team and national CSI partners of this phase. We also made an input to this renovation through sending Olga, a Russian researcher from Higher School of Economics, for an internship to CIVICUS CSI. She’s extremely existed about spending some time in CIVICUS House this fall.

Carefully preparing my presentation at the “Participatory Research” workshop, I remembered the CSI training I went through in 2005 in winterly parched Jo’burg outskirts and the fellows I met there. Since then I quit the civil society sector and moved over to UNDP and later to the University to do research. Some of the other CSI colleagues, in fact, moved pretty much the same direction (for ex. Ben Genrezghi has moved to UNDP in NYC and Finn Heinrich is pursuing his PhD at the University).

“How would you assess the Montreal Assembly as compared to Glasgow” asked Kumi Naidoo, former Secretary General and now CIVICUS honorary President, at the last day’s gala dinner. “I think it’s well organized”, – I responded. First of all, the theoretical discussions at the plenaries and workshops were followed by special events and open forums, which are meant to transform words into actions. These are complimented with learning exchanges and networking opportunities (i.e. at lunches) to improve lacking skills, contacts and information. Secondly, the proximity of accommodation to the conference venue saves time and effort.

On the participants’ diversity side, however, Glasgow was much ‘brighter’ and participants’ geographical representation was more diverse. It should also be noted that budgetary campus accommodation and somewhat more modest receptions in Glasgow served better the civil society cause and spirit.

Personally, partly due to my new research work, I missed the knowledge-based activities. At those workshops, which I attended or looked into, with the exception of 2 on civil society research, the presenters and public did not go much into the theoretical and methodological discussions.

It was my second time in Montreal and I used this opportunity to finally see the 3,5 streets of the “old city” and admire the heartfelt interior of churches and cathedrals, which are hidden among the typical North American high concrete-and-steel boxes. The grilling fire season was finally over in Canada, as well as in my country, and autumn was infiltrating with rains into the streets of Montreal.

To read more about Liliana’s experinece from the CIVICUS World Assembly,  please  click here for Russian version.  and for the english version click here.

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