Why shrinking civil society space matters in international development and humanitarian action

Questions explored in this joint paper include: how are development actors and funders experiencing the space for civil society? What are funders doing to engage around re-opening space for civil society? How are they adapting? What are the impacts of the development community’s approach to civil society as a whole?

Over the past year, European Foundation Centre (EFC) has joined forces with Funders’ Initiative for Civil Society (FICS), a new Funders Initiative to Strengthen Civil Society to jointly examine how the trend of shrinking space for civil society effects development funders and actors, and how they are responding. The European Foundation Centre and the Funders’ Initiative for Civil Society and have come together to develop better insight into these questions and to increase awareness of the threats to civil society and to discuss approaches that can enable a more effective response to reverse this worrying trend. The Fund for Global Human Rights and Open Society Foundations proudly supported the publication of this report.