• New data analysis shows that Latin American civil society has poor access to development resources

    CIVICUS, and the Colombian social impact startup, Innpactia, released the report, Access to Resources for Civil Society Organisations in Latin America: Facts and Challenges, which presents a challenging funding landscape for CSOs in Latin America. It reviews over 6,500 calls for proposals, for a total amount of almost US$5.9 billion, offered between 2014-2017 by 2,000 donors to individuals, CSOs, the private sector and other actors in the region.

    Read the report


  • 5 amazing funds that are making a difference for women

    Did you know that only 4% of the total Official Development Assistance (ODA) supports programmes that integrate gender equality and women’s empowerment as the main objective? And only 3% of that fraction goes to women’s rights organisations.

    Fortunately, a growing number of groups, organisations, and funds are mobilising and allocating resources for women, their specific needs and agendas. Even better, many of them are led by women! Today, we want to share five funds that are making a big difference for rural women, adolescent girls, women and transgender activists and human right defenders, and sex workers.

    Blog 5 funds women


               1. Tewa – Nepal’s women fund

    Tewa was founded 25 years ago and since then has been breaking new grounds in fundraising locally to promote self-reliant development and the empowerment of emerging groups of rural women in Nepal. This women-led fund has awarded almost 700 grants to 500 organizations strengthening women’s leadership, voice, visibility, and collective organizing power throughout the country. These organisations work in a wide variety of areas like income-generating activities, skill development training, women’s rights, environmental rights and justice, legal and health rights, and advocacy to stop violence and discrimination against women.

    To learn more about Tewa, visit their website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

               2. With and for Girls

    This is the world’s only participatory fund by, and for, adolescent girls! It joins a collective of 11 donors who contribute with funding, expertise and time to co-resource and execute the annual ‘With and For Girls Awards’. Under this programme, up to 25 exceptional, local and adolescent girl-led and centred organisations worldwide are chosen every year, by regional judging panels of adolescent girls, to be awarded flexible funding, opportunities for collaboration, mentorship, accompaniment, and profile-raising. Since 2014, With and For Girls has supported 60 organisations in 41 countries, reaching more than 1.5 million people.

    To learn more about With and for Girls, visit their website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

               3. FCAM - Central American Women's Fund

    FCAM is the first and only feminist fund in Central America to raise funds in support of the financial, political, fiscal, and emotional sustainability of groups, organizations, human rights defenders, networks, and movements that work for the human rights of women and their communities. These women are exposed to high rates of violence because of their activism and generally can’t access traditional sources of funding. FCAM’s partners receive flexible, multi-year general financial support, and are the ones who define their agendas, priorities, and methods. Since 2003, FCAM has supported and strengthened almost 400 women’s groups, organisations, networks, and activists in Central America.

    To learn more about FCAM, visit their website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

               4. Red Umbrella Fund

    This is the first global fund guided by and for sex workers. The Red Umbrella Fund mobilises resources, provides grants, and offers capacity building, technical assistance, and communications and donor advocacy to help strengthen and sustain the movement in achieving human rights for sex workers. While it brings together a diversity of funders and sex workers, the fund’s grant decisions and overall governance are led by sex workers themselves. Since its creation in 2012, the Red Umbrella Fund gave out 157 grants to 104 sex worker-led groups and networks in over 60 countries to organize themselves and speak out against the human rights violations they face.

    To learn more about The Red Umbrella Fund, visit their website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

               5. Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights

    This feminist fund can be a lifeline for women and transgender human rights defenders at critical moments. It provides rapid response grants and advocacy and alliance-building support when activists are poised to make great gains or face serious threats to their lives and work. They use online, text and mobile funding applications to respond to requests from activists within 72 hours and have funds on the ground within 1-7 days. They work in partnership with three sister funds, Urgent Action Fund-Africa, Urgent Action Fund-Latin America, and Urgent Action Fund-Asia & Pacific. Collectively, they support women’s leadership and activism in over 110 countries.

    To learn more about Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights, visit their website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


  • Alarm bells ring as EU governments take aim at funding to ‘Political’ NGOs

    By Cathal Gilbert, Civic Space Research Lead at CIVICUS and Giada Negri, Research and Advocacy Officer with the European Civic Forum

    Increasingly, public figures across Europe are twisting the meaning of “political activity” by claiming that NGOs overstep the mark when they campaign publicly for social or policy change: that they somehow encroach on territory reserved exclusively for political parties.

    Read on: Diplomatic Courier 



  • CIVICUS calls on world leaders to make countries accountable for failing aid commitments at OECD summit

    Johannesburg. 24 May 2011. World leaders should use the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) 50th anniversary forum to press for concrete improvements in sustainable development and fighting poverty, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation said as the two day summit opened today in Paris.

    The 34-member institution should make clear that real improvements in poverty eradication depend on countries living up to aid commitments and the effectiveness of international aid, CIVICUS said.
    "Rather than being an occasion for delegates to pat each other on the back and celebrate the amount of aid money that has been given to the world’s poorest countries, it is critical that OECD leaders assess the impact of their efforts and the policies being advanced by international financial institutions to tackle poverty and climate change," said Ingrid Srinath, Secretary General of CIVICUS.

    The gap between commitments and aid pledges in 2011 has widened. In 2005, members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) collectively promised to commit 0.56 per cent of gross national income to aid. However, in 2010 aid has reached just 0.32 per cent.


  • CIVICUS: Ending poverty needs serious introspection and hard decisions

    Johannesburg, 10 May 2011. CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation calls on the United Nations Least Developed Countries (LDC) IV Conference to examine the current development paradigm and ensure progress on commitments related to development aid funding.

    It is vital that practical, innovative and time bound approaches to development are prioritised along with a reaffirmation of commitments under the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action.

    "After decades of empty promises, missed deadlines and opportunities, the international community must agree that concrete measures need to be taken to ensure domestic ownership of aid. Conditionalities tied to aid packages hinder rather than promote the effective utilisation of aid," said Ingrid Srinath, Secretary General of CIVICUS. "On the other hand, it is equally important that ownership of development processes is democratised at the national level through the inclusion of parliaments, civil society and local communities in developing policies around resource utilisation."


  • Donors must improve on Istanbul summit pledge to world's poorest

    Budget squeeze no excuse to let targets slip

    BRUSSELS, 6th May, 2011: The first UN summit for the world's poorest countries in a decade must ensure that developed nations make good on commitments to help the most destitute, a global coalition of over 1000 civil society organizations said today.

    "Richer nations cannot use the economic crisis as an excuse not to follow through on their engagements," said Tony Tujan, co-chair of BetterAid.

    "This week's conference must ensure the immediate flow of 0.15 percent - 0.20 percent of the total gross national income of developed countries to the less developed countries, in line with previous commitments."

    The four-day United Nations conference on the 48 Less Developed Countries opens in Istanbul on 9 May. The so-called LDC-4 summit will adopt an "action program" for the coming decade that is likely to include a target of cutting the number of people suffering from poverty and hunger by half.

    BetterAid insists the Istanbul summit must go beyond good intentions to produce concrete results that go beyond the limited achievements of the last LDC conference in 2001.


  • New Paper: Regulating Political Activity of Civil Society -- A look at 4 EU countries

    A comparative analysis of regulation of civil society organisations’ ‘political activity’ and international funding in Ireland, Netherlands, Germany and Finland. Written by CIVICUS, Irish Council for Civil Liberties, with support from The Community Foundation for Ireland

    RegulatingPoliticalActivityOfCivilSociety650This paper provides a comparative assessment of how the “political activities” of civil society organisations are regulated in Ireland and three other European Union member states. This paper focuses particularly on organisations, such as human rights organisations, which carry out public advocacy activities and rely on international sources for a substantial portion of their funding.

    All four countries are rated as “open” by the CIVICUS Monitor, a global platform which tracks respect for civic space in 196 countries. These four  european countries are also well known for their strong promotion of civil society, human rights and democratic freedoms through their foreign policy and international development cooperation on programmes. 

    Following a brief outline of key international and regional norms, the paper outlines relevant aspects of domestic regulatory systems in Netherlands, Germany and Finland. A final section sets out what Ireland could learn from these examples, with a view to reforming its laws and policies governing “political activities” and foreign funding of civil society organisations.

    Download Paper


  • Open letter to the G20 Finance Ministers

    Dear G20 Finance Ministers,

    As you meet this week, we are writing to you to encourage you to take concrete actions in order to build a better future through a just recovery by investing in people and ensuring that funds being made available reach those that need them the most.


  • Response to DFID Civil Society Partnership Review

    Many in civil society will mourn the loss of the PPA. DFID core funding helped build capable and confident organisations that were able to plan long-term and holistic interventions. Any new system will introduce new uncertainties and administrative burdens that will hamper the effectiveness of civil society.
    We do welcome DFID’s commitment to supporting a diverse range of civil society actors, especially smaller and Southern organisations, and to doing more to support civic space. The focus on feedback loops and new forms of accountability has the potential to yield some exciting and transformative change.

    - Dr Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah, Secretary General, CIVICUS, the global civil society alliance

    For further information and to request interviews, please contact .


  • Suenan las alarmas mientras los gobiernos de la UE plantean financiar las ONG "políticas"

    Por Cathal Gilbert, Responsable del equipo de investigación sobre el espacio cívico de CIVICUS y por Giada Negri, Responsable de investigación e incidencia en el Foro Cívico Europeo

    Cada vez aparecen más figuras públicas por toda Europa que tergiversan el significado de la "actividad política". Afirman que las ONG se pasan de la raya cuando hacen campaña pública a favor de un cambio social o político, consideran que de alguna manera invaden un territorio reservado exclusivamente a los partidos políticos.

    Artículo disponible en inglés en: Diplomatic Courier 



  • Why community philanthropy enables people-powered, sustainable development from the ground up

    By Clara Bosco

    Across the board, civil society groups are finding it increasingly difficult to organize in ways that pursue a radical transformation of the current social and economic structures, while also mobilizing the resources needed to keep on keeping on.

    Read on: Global Fund for Community Foundations