CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is launching a consultative process to develop a new strategic direction that meets the needs of a changing civil society.
With the popular overthrow of dictators in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, protest movements across the Middle East, southern Europe and the US, and global economic and climate crises, 2011 has forced many in civil society to rethink how to achieve and sustain real change. CIVICUS’s recent report Bridging the Gap: Citizens, organisations and dissociation found that many established civil society organizations (CSOs) are disconnected from citizens, and particularly from those participating and acting in new, non-formal and more fluid ways. This was a dominant theme at the 2011 CIVICUS World Assembly, where representatives of civil society from around the world tackled the question of how CSOs can better support and engage with informal citizen action to sustain positive social change.
Twenty years since it was first conceived, CIVICUS is now developing new strategic directions that will position it to be effective in the face of this changing world. With a need to empower those parts of civil society whose voices are often not heard, the CIVICUS board of directors, who are responsible for setting the organization’s strategy, are launching a consultative process to engage with all aspects of civil society and redefine what it means to be an alliance of civil society and citizen participation.
The results of this strategic direction process will be launched in August 2012 and presented at the 2012 CIVICUS World Assembly, which will be held from 5 to 8 September in Montreal, Canada.