On May 29th – 31st, 2017, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation organized the 2nd Research Partners Workshop within the project CIVICUS Monitor: Tracking Civic Space in Johannesburg, South Africa. Gathering representatives of 17 regional civil society networks working on enabling environment for civil society development issues, including Sanja Bogatinovska, BCSDN’s Junior Policy and Advocacy Officer on Civil Society Development, the workshop aimed at furthering the discussion about future cooperation on the CIVICUS Monitor, share experience and practices in order to improve reporting and flow of updates on countries for the CIVICUS Monitor and plan potential advocacy opportunities using the CIVICUS Monitor as a resource.
The representatives of the networks partnering CIVICUS in monitoring civic space reflected on the challenges, successes and lessons learnt during the past year of collaboration in researching civic space, discussed for how to improve the primary research methods, but also discussed the latest trends in civic space during 2017. More so, the participants talked about networks’ members, partners and constituency building, as well as promotion of the CIVICUS Monitor within their respective region so as to improve the effective communication with the wider audience, restrictive measures undertaken with regards to financial flows of CSOs, but also mapped jointly advocacy opportunities in the year ahead. Finally, the participants were presented with initiatives undertaken by CIVICUS on global level as Vuka – a new coalition on combating civic space restrictions.