Identifying New Programmatic Models
Exploring issues and making recommendations relating to the structure and funding of civil society.
The allegations leveled against civil society organizations (CSOs) that they are lackeys of the West, serving foreign masters and agendas with weak links to local issues and local constituencies are often used to weaken civil society. This rhetorical assault on civil society is coupled with attempts to regulate the receipt of foreign funding, which (when successful) can have devastating effects on the sector. Against this backdrop, iCon members will explore the implications of closing space being in part driven and/or exacerbated by a dominant programmatic model in which Global North (or West) donors support Global South (or East) CSOs on a short-term, project-by-project basis where the donors’ interests and priorities take precedence over local organizations’ missions and agendas. They will examine current programmatic models and organizational cultures and identify different ways of funding the work of civil society that would make the sector more resilient.
- What programmatic models would be more suited to different contexts?
- What would a programmatic model that enhances sustainability and resilience look like?
- What constraints will CSOs and donors face in adopting these approaches and how can those barriers be overcome?
Polish Civil Society
This report describes how civic space is narrowing in Poland and provides recommendations to civil society organizations, donors, the US government, and the European Union on how to build the capacity of civil society in Poland, especially through the creation of new business models and funding streams.
Donors' Perspectives on Closing Civic Space
This report examines financial support to civil society, and analyzes different methods of support that enhance the sustainability and resilience of these groups, especially in restricted environments.