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Webinar: How do NGOs navigate shrinking civil society space?

Ongoing course

On Thursday, 20 June, ICVA and PHAP organized the second session in the learning stream on the Navigating change. The discussion provided an overview of current challenges and trends regarding civil society space and how NGOs and other actors are working to counter initiatives that shrink this space.

The event featured speakers representing a wide range of perspectives. David Moore, Vice President - Legal Affairs, International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), provided a broad overview of the issue, shared some of the trends and drivers of shrinking civil society space, and the work that his organization is carrying out in this area. Emma O’Leary, Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), discussed the impact of counter-terrorism measures for NGOs working in humanitarian contexts. Pius Ojara, Director of the South Sudan NGO Forum, shared his perspectives on issues faced regarding shrinking space in South Sudan and how the forum has been addressing them. Thomas Nikolaj Hansen, Senior Policy Advisor, Team Leader for Civil Society Team, Department for Humanitarian Action, Migration and Civil Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, and his colleague Thomas Thomsen, Senior Policy Advisor and Head of the Humanitarian Team, discussed what governments can do to improve support for civic space at the EU and the UN, and in bilateral relations with governments violating civic space.

This webinar is part of the “Navigating Change” Learning Stream which includes webinars, briefing papers, and other resources on how NGOs are managing changing global, regional, and national contexts for humanitarian response.

Target audience

All practitioners interested in humanitarian policy issues, particularly NGO staff.

Recommended resources

The following resources were recommended for preparing for the webinar:

Additional resources were mentioned during the event, including:

How to Register

Recordings available at