The Protection and Promotion of Civic Space
Strengthening Alignment with International Standards and Guidance
The past decade has seen increasing international recognition of civic space as a
cornerstone of functioning democracies, alongside efforts to promote and protect it.
Countries that foster civic space are better placed to reap the many benefits of higher
levels of citizen engagement, strengthened transparency and accountability, and empowered
citizens and civil society. In the longer term, a vibrant civic space can help to
improve government effectiveness and responsiveness, contribute to more citizen-centred
policies, and boost social cohesion. This first OECD comparative report on civic space
offers a baseline of data from 33 OECD Members and 19 non-Members and a nuanced overview
of the different dimensions of civic space, with a focus on civic freedoms, media
freedoms, civic space in the digital age, and the enabling environment for civil society.
It provides an exhaustive review of legal frameworks, policies, strategies, and institutional
arrangements, in addition to implementation gaps, trends and good practices. The analysis
is complemented by a review of international standards and guidance, in addition to
data and analysis from civil society and other stakeholders.
Published on December 16, 2022