Improving the Measurement of Civic Space: What are the ways forward for International Initiatives & Agreements, Individually & Together?

Workshop organised by the Transparency and Accountability Initiative: 10th February 2015, Washington DC

The issue of civic space

The degree to which citizens and organised groups have adequate ‘civic space’  - i.e. freedom to speak, associate, organise and operate, and the means to participate in public decision-making is key to many international initiatives and agreements. On the one hand, these initiatives have the potential to improve civic space by setting and promoting standards. On the other, they face serious challenges in judging when governments are ensuring sufficient ‘civic space’. Part of this lies in the current difficulty of defining and tracking measures of ‘civic space’, both within individual initiatives, and in seeking any kind of consistency between them.

To provide a practical support, the Transparency and Accountability Initiative has commissioned a scoping study on the measurement of civic space. This will focus on international Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives like the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and two international agreements like the Global Partnership on Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) and the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  At this one day workshop, we will present the preliminary findings and recommendations of the study, and explore ways practical ways forward with the initiatives. 

At this one day workshop, the preliminary findings and recommendations of the study will be presented, and practical ways forward will be explored.