About the Network:
The Innovation for Change network, is a global network of people and organizations who want to connect, partner and learn together to find positive approaches to overcome barriers to closing civic space and restrictions to our basic freedoms of assembly, association and speech. We are a community-led network inspired by ideas, methods, and technologies from across sectors, to create solutions that drive positive social change. We work together on advocacy, research, network building, education and training, fundraising, digital literacy and technology development.
Our six connected regional hubs are growing in both physical and online spaces across Africa, Central Asia, East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa and South Asia. A seventh Helper Hub is co-facilitated by Counterpart International and CIVICUS to support project implementation and drive innovation across the entire Network.
Innovation for Change is seeking a qualified consultant to conduct a digital mapping of civil society organizations (CSOs) working on advocacy and issues around the closing of civic space in the MENA region.
Innovation for Change is requesting a detailed technical proposal and financial proposal from interested consultants and agencies to perform the mapping of CSOs campaigning on civic space issues. For the purposes of this project, the working definition is on campaigns around freedom of expression, association and assembly. he following outcomes are expected:
- Identify CSOs focusing on advocacy and campaigning in the region around issues related to the closing of civic spaces.
- Identify CSOs that promote non-violent strategies and tactics for social change.
- Map resources available in Arabic for non-violent strategies and tactics.
- Identify successful advocacy and campaigning actions and identify advocacy and campaigning tools, platforms and training resources around issues related to the closing of civic spaces.
- Identify challenges and lessons learned by CSOs in their campaign work. There will be three case studies presenting successful campaigning and a deeper analysis of activities that contributed to their success in this region.
- Identify the training needs of CSOs in the areas of advocacy, campaigning and networking.
- Civic space working definition
Civic space is the bedrock of any open and democratic society. When civic space is open, citizens and civil society organisations are able to organise, participate and communicate without hindrance. In doing so, they are able to claim their rights and influence the political and social structures around them. This can only happen when a state holds by its duty to protect its citizens and respects and facilitates their fundamental rights to associate, assemble peacefully and freely express views and opinions. These are the three key rights that civil society depends upon. The CIVICUS Monitor analyses the extent to which the three civil society rights are being respected and upheld, and the degree to which states are protecting civil society. There are many factors influence civil society’s success. These include civil society’s levels of funding, the availability and quality of channels for dialogue with governments, and the strength of public trust in civil society organisations, factors that CIVICUS analyses in other aspects of our work. For the purpose of this project, we will keep the focus narrow, looking at the basic elements that can form a basis for civil society advocacy.
The right to the freedom of association is the right of any citizen to join a formal or informal group to take collective action. This right includes the right to form a new group and join an existing group. Associations can include civil society organisations, clubs, cooperatives, non-governmental organisations, religious associations, political parties, trade unions, foundations and online associations, as well as less defined and new forms of groups such as social movements. There is no requirement that the association be registered in order for the right of the freedom of association to apply. Under the right to the freedom of association, groups have the right to access funding and resources. For more on the right to the freedom of association, see the website of the current UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, and the website of the former Special Rapporteur.
- Peaceful Assembly
The right to the freedom of peaceful assembly is the right of citizens to gather publicly or privately and collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common interests. This right includes the right to participate in peaceful assemblies, meetings, protests, strikes, sit-ins, demonstrations and other temporary gatherings for a specific purpose. States not only have an obligation to protect peaceful assemblies, but should also take measures to facilitate them. For more on the right to the freedom of association, see the website of the current UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, and the website of the former Special Rapporteur.
The right to the freedom of expression includes the right to access information, critically evaluate and speak out against the policies and actions of state and non-state actors, and publicly draw attention to and carry out advocacy actions to promote shared concerns, without fear of retribution from any quarter. Civil society organisations should be assured the freedom to carry out investigations and document their findings under this right. For more on the right to the freedom of expression, see the website of the UN Special Rapporteur for freedom of expression and opinion.
- Civic space definition – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civic_space
- Rating civic space – https://monitor.civicus.org/Ratings/
- Changes in civic space conditions in each country – https://monitor.civicus.org/
If interested please submit a detailed technical and financial proposal by April 15th to the Program Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, based on this Scope of Work (SOW) for CSO Mapping Activity.22