Inclusive growth and sustainable development can only be achieved when governments
design and implement policies and services in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders.
The possibilities for citizens to be informed, organize and express their needs are crucial
for their meaningful engagement in these processes. The civic space in which these
activities take place therefore needs to be promoted and protected through policies, laws
and initiatives that increase the dialogue between governments and their constituencies,
in particular with the most vulnerable among them, in order to build sustainable and
However, the civic space has been undermined and must be imperatively protected for
the citizens to exercise their freedom. At the same time, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s
Democracy Index 2018 shows that while civic space is under attack, political participation
- such as protest, voter turnout and women’s political participation - is improving. In fact,
it is the only category in the 2018 index that is showing positive results, highlighting that
citizens are increasingly interested in participating, and that governments are called upon
to meet this demand.
Within this context, the OECD Observatory of Civic Space will support countries to
promote and protect the civic space by collecting data on the most effective policy,
legal, institutional and implementation frameworks; by acting as a platform of
knowledge-sharing and dissemination of good practices between government and civil
society practitioners; and by fostering the development of international standards and
encouraging governments to align their policies to them.
OECD Observatory of Civic Space
INTERNATIONAL SURVEY OF CIVIC SPACE
The aim of the survey would be to take stock of governments’ role in creating
an enabling environment for citizens and civil society to play an active role in
policymaking and in service design and delivery and will enable the collection of
good practices in this area.
INTERNATIONAL REPORT ON CIVIC SPACE
Based on the results of the Survey, and the collection of good practices, an
International Report will be published with key trends and recommendations
on how to effectively promote and protect civic space and enhance civic
engagement around the world.
CIVIC SPACE COUNTRY SCANS
Each country participating in the international survey would have the
opportunity to undergo a Civic Space Scan to deepen the assessment of their
civic space legal, institutional, policy and implementation frameworks.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CIVIC SPACE
A regular conference will take stock of international trends and serve as a sharing
platform between the CSOs and government representatives.
NATIONAL & REGIONAL THEMATIC ROUNDTABLES
A series of roundtables will be organized, bringing together civil society,
government, private sector, and academia to discuss the findings of the Survey.
CIVIC SPACE PORTAL
The reports and other outputs from the project will be made available on an
OECD portal to support their dissemination, create an international community
of practitioners, and allow for regular exchanges.
Composed of representatives from the OECD Secretariat, country delegates
of the OECD Working Party on Open Government, and strategic partners from
civil society, private sector, and academia, it will provide strategic advice on the
activities of the Observatory.
Alessandro Bellantoni: email@example.com