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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

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Foreword
Executive summary
Overview of the OECD’s approach to the protection and promotion of civic space
Facilitating citizen and stakeholder participation through the protection of civic freedoms
Protecting and promoting the right to access information as a core component of civic space
Media freedoms and civic space in the digital age for transparency, accountability and citizen participation
Fostering an enabling environment for civil society to operate, flourish and participate in public life
Methodology
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