New conditions and new actors – time to rethink civil society support?

22 April, Stockholm

Democratic development is a core element in Swedish development cooperation. What are the implications of current global changes for donors supporting democratic development through civil society?

In this seminar, Dr. Richard Youngs will present his EBA report on civil society and support for democracy. He argues that donors need to rethink the way they support civil society in developing states and presents five areas for reconsideration.

Swedish support for democratisation and civil society has increased in recent years. But the context for such support is changing: New kinds of actors and protests have appeared. New forms of organization have taken shape. Regimes increasingly impose legal and practical restrictions on civil society, limiting their ability to act and to receive external support. Dr. Youngs presentation will be a point of departure for a discussion on how to understand and how to respond to the changing context for civil society support.

Time: 09:00-11:00, Coffe and registration from 08:30

Venue: ”Rosenbads konferenscenter”, Drottninggatan 5

Participating:

Richard Youngs, Author of EBA-report, expert on international relations and democracy support; senior associate at Carnegie Europe and professor at the University of Warwick.

Rachel Hayman, Head of Research at INTRAC/International NGO Training and Research Centre

Lena Ag, Secretary General, Kvinna till Kvinna

Robert Hårdh, Executive Director, Civil Rights Defenders

Cecilia Björner, Director General for International Development Cooperation, Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Karin Fällman, Senior Policy Specialist, Sida

Lisbeth Petersen, Head of International Programs, Forum Syd

Julia Schalk, Member of EBA, Senior Policy Specialist at RFSU

Program:

08.30 Coffee and registration

09:00 Welcome and introduction – Julia Schalk, EBA-member (moderator)

09:10 Rethinking Civil Society and Support for Democracy – Richard Youngs

09:40 Comments – Rachel Hayman, Head of Research, INTRAC

10:00 Civil Society Perspectives – Lena Ag, Secretary General, Kvinna till Kvinna and Robert Hårdh, Executive Director, Civil Rights Defenders

10:20 Should Sweden rethink its civil society support?

Panel discussion: Cecilia Björner, Director General for International Development Cooperation, MFA; Karin Fällman, Lead Policy Specialist, Sida; Lisbeth Petersen, Head of International Programs, Forum Syd; and Richard Youngs.

10:55 Concluding Remarks – Julia Schalk