A CIVICUS Monitor Research Partners Workshop was organized on 27th-29th June in Beirut, Lebanon, the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND). BCSDN’s Communications Officer, Anja Bosilkova-Antovska, participated and represented BCSDN as a regional research partner to the CIVICUS Monitor, providing updates on the civic freedoms in the Western Balkan countries. Hosting research partners from 19 different organisations, the workshop aimed to build and strengthen linkages between researchers. During the workshop, research partners reflected on the progress made, identified new areas for development and growth, and discussed ideas and opportunities for further promoting the Monitor, as well as connecting the partners’ research with advocacy on civic space.
BCSDN started the research collaboration with CIVICUS for the CIVICUS Monitor project in May 2016. The project allows for global comparisons and trends in real time regarding freedom of association, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression around the world. BCSDN, as one of the 20 regional partner networks, is responsible for bi-monthly research updates for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. In 2018, BCSDN was supported by KCSF and Civic Initiatives in providing updates for Kosovo and Serbia, gathering relevant information on the civic freedoms in both countries. By tracking civic space in a continuous manner, BCSDN is also providing alerts and early warning notification when worrying signals are observed, some of which result in supporting further action by CIVICUS for organizing in-depth interviews with civil society activists regarding worrisome developments in some countries.