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27 January 2011
Edition No: 521

Poll question

Are you going to the World Social Forum?
a. Yes, it's an opportunity to find solutions
b. No, but I wish I could be a part of it
c. No, it's a waste of time

To answer the question, click here

Previous question: What do you consider the most brutal effect of climate change?

a. Food scarcity
b. Rising sea levels
c. Inflated food prices
d. Drought
e. Forced migration

Results: a. 46.7%, b. 26.7%, c. 20%
, d. 6.7%

End civil unrest in Albania: Petition

Source: Refleksione

Civil society organisations in Albania and Albanian society at large are following developments in the country with much concern after the opposition demonstration on 21 January 2011.
After the loss of three lives due to the use of heavy-handed police tactics, and reports of tens of thousands injured and arrested, civil society is calling for an end to the violence and a thorough investigation of the violent reaction.
Let people of express their rights and join the campaign to say no more to the Albanian authorities.
Read more

Wither the World? Wither the Civilization? Live online webcast

Source: United Nations University

 In this online talk, Professor Kolodko, considered a key architect of Polish economic reform, will draw on research from his latest book, Truth, Errors, and Lies: Politics and Economics in a Volatile World (Columbia University Press, 2011). The book presents a critical analysis of the neoliberalism that dominated policymaking in the last quarter of the twentieth century. The webcast will run from 1.15pm-2.30pm on 3 February (New York time)
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Dakar 2011: The WSF is back in Africa

Source: World Social Forum

Returning to Africa three years after the event in Nairobi (2007), the World Social Forum 2011 will be held in Dakar, Senegal, from 6 to 11 February on the campus of the University Cheikh Anta Diop. Traditionally a counterpoint to the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland (26 to 30 January), this year the WSF follows it and looks beyond.
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Grappling with Governance: Perspectives on the African peer review mechanism

Edited by Steven Gruzd

Born out of the optimism at the new millennium that Africa's time had come, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), a tool designed to promote good governance on the continent, is built on the belief that the continent does not lack ideas to advance its development, but that states have struggled to live up to their principles and implement their policies. The APRM rests on the fundamental belief that good governance is a precondition for taking Africa out of its spiral of conflict, underdevelopment, poverty and increasing marginalisation in a globalised world.
Looking in the rear-view mirror almost a decade after the APRM was first conceived, Grappling with Governance: Perspectives on the African Peer Review Mechanism explores how this complex process has evolved from theory to practice in a variety of contexts.
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For more book reviews, click here
Follow @civicusalliance on twitter and get the latest civil society updates.

This week, new civil society job openings have been added to the CIVICUS website. Please click here.

Consultant, External Evaluation of CIVICUS (application deadline 7 February 2011)


CIVICUS is seeking a consultant to complete an external evaluation of the organisation. The evaluation is intended principally for learning and accountability purposes. It is expected to generate relevant findings, lessons and recommendations which will be shared with key stakeholders of CIVICUS and used by the implementing agencies to guide and inform current work and future programming.
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Project Manager, Southern Sudan Protected Areas Capacity Building Project (application deadline 15 February 2011)

Source: Wildlife Conservation Society

This is a full-time position based in Southern Sudan responsible for managing the WCS's day to day implementation of a project for Protected Area Network management and building capacity in Southern Sudan in cooperation with the Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism of the Government of Southern Sudan. The project undertakes a range of activities to build capacity for protected area management, improve management of key protected areas and develop and enhance sustainable financing of protected areas.
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Director General (application deadline 15 February 2011)

Source: ICIMOD, Kathmandu, Nepal 

ICIMOD is the leading international institute for sustainable mountain development and expertise on the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region. Its mission is to contribute to the reduction of the scientific uncertainty around the changing climate, to enhance the knowledge of regional and global decision makers about mountain ecosystem services, and to strengthen the resilience of the communities of the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region.
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It has been a busy week for CIVICUS with a Board meeting and an open house event on Climate Justice and the role of civil society.  Through it all, CIVICUS staff have been hard at work and I now invite you to check out this article by CIVICUS Staff, Adele Poskitt, Policy Officer and Rowena
McNaughton, Media Officer. I will be back with you next week.

What the police infiltration of legitimate activist groups also reveals
is a far more disturbing global phenomenon: the right to public protest is
getting harder to defend.

Since the twin towers fell on September 11, 2001, governments around the globe have systematically been stepping up restrictive civil society measures, under what they deem "public protection". Despite the Universal Declaration of Human Rights containing the right to assemble, evidence shows democratic dissent is becoming a dangerous pastime.

Continue reading

In solidarity,

CIVICUS at the World Social Forum (WSF), Dakar 6 -11 February: Open invitation

David Kode, CIVICUS Policy Officer, and Megan MacGarry, CIVICUS Convening Officer

CIVICUS would like to use the WSF to bring together its members, partners and key stakeholders to discuss a pertinent and alarming issue negatively affecting civil society and constraining its ability to play a greater role in governance from the local to the global level, i.e. the shrinking space for civil society to operate in different corners of the globe post 9/11. 
Read more

Human rights in freefall

Source: The Phnom Penh Post

The Cambodian government has severely restricted fundamental freedoms over the past year, making it "increasingly difficult" for rights defenders, land rights protestors and unionists to operate freely in the country, according to Human Rights Watch.
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Gaza's blogging boom

Source: IRIN

Gaza City. Sharif Al Sharif, 27, launched his blog in 2006 when there were only a handful of bloggers in the Gaza Strip. Now, he says, there are more than 50.
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The rich and the rest

Source: The Economist

What to do (and not do) about inequality
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MDGs: Make the most of the next five years

Source: IRIN

A decade after world leaders adopted the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), there is no consensus on what impact they have had on global poverty.
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Shell accused of misleading data over Nigerian spills

Source: Bloomberg

Royal Dutch Shell Plc was accused by Amnesty International and Friends of the Earth International of using discredited and misleading information in blaming the majority of oil spills in the Niger Delta on saboteurs.
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Director of policy on climate will leave, her goal unmet

Source: The New York Times

United States President, Barack Obama, has acknowledged that no major climate change legislation is likely to pass in the next two years.
Read more


World Bank as a global education ministry? Proposed strategy lacks a focus on human rights

Source: Bretton Woods Project

In early 2011 the Bank will approve a new education strategy amid indications that international goals on education will not be met. Zoe Godolphin of the University of Bristol argues that the Bank's proposals fail conceptually because they do not accept education as a human right. They fail pragmatically because they continue to advocate a template approach instead of supporting genuinely country-driven priorities in education planning.
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The World Report 2011 launch

Source: Human Rights Watch

The Human Rights Watch 21st annual World Report summarises human rights conditions in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide. The report features three essays on worldwide trends: The tendency for governments to "soft talk" rights abusers rather than pressuring them to change, the use of schools as battlegrounds, and the roles of nongovernmental organisations in a changing media landscape.

2011 Foreign Assistance Briefing Book

Source: InterAction

"Global approaches to development have shifted in a manner that has transformed the role of official development assistance (ODA) programmes here in the U.S. and around the world. Gone are the days when a few donor nations and the World Bank provided the bulk of the grants or loans to recipient countries and targeted programmes. New donors, such as the Gulf states and China, play a more significant role, while the global growth of private efforts, both in industrialised and developing countries, has been astounding."

Conflict Trends 2011: Call for articles

Source: African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)

ACCORD seeks contributions for its first 2011 Issue of Conflict Trends. Topics considered include: conflict, conflict resolution, peace, development, security, human rights and peace building within Africa or more broadly. Submission deadline, 31 January 2011.
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Entries open for peace and development award

Source: The Right Livelihood Award

The Right Livelihood Award Foundation, a Swedish charity organisation that promotes scientific research, education, public understanding and practical activities, invites entries for the Right Livelihood Award.  The award was established in 1980 to honour and support those "offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today". The submission deadline is 1 March 2011.
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GreenVoice photo award: Call for entries

Source: ICVolunteers (ICV)

ICVolunteers (ICV), an international non-profit organisation specialising in the field of communications, invites entries for its GreenVoice photo competition: "Water and Forest, Citizenship and Volunteering." Deadline for submission is 28 February 2011.
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Postgraduate Fellowship Course: "Human Rights and Women: Theory and Practice"

Source: University of Chile

Using similar technical resources as those employed in its previous fellowship course, this capacity-building programme for Latin-American lawyers will combine online teaching (18 weeks) with classroom-based teaching and other academic activities in Santiago, Chile (2 weeks at the end of the course) and will take place from 18 July to 2 December 2011.
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Ingrid Srinath
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