Read the full EFC Press Release

Nurturing the legal and policy environment in which philanthropy operates is an EFC key priority. Over the past year, EFC has joined forces with 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. 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? 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 paper is accompanied by a series of concrete examples/experiences of how different actors are engaging around the closing space for civil society (around specific restrictions/drivers or in specific contexts/regions):  

Transparent to a fault? The role of transparency in the context of closing civic space

Michael Jarvis, Transparency and Accountability Initiative


Stand with us!: activists call funders to action

Shalini Eddens, Urgent Action Fund
Susan Jessop and Happy Mwende Kinyili, Mama Cash


Can Sustainable Development be a stimulus for expanded civil society space?

Heather Grady, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors


Derisking and Civil Society: Drivers, Impact and Possible Solutions

Sangeeta Goswami,  Human Security Collective



If you want to go far, go together – how German civil society organisations and networks started to engage with the German Government on shrinking civil society space

Christine Meissler, Brot Fuer Die Welt



Its time for human rights organisations to harness the power of local giving – and for funders to support them to do so 

Jenny Hodgson, Global Fund for Community Foundations