Direction de la Gouvernance publique

Civic Space


Promoting and protecting civic space (defined as the set of legal, policy, institutional, and practical conditions necessary for non-governmental actors to access information, express themselves, associate, organise, and participate in public life ) is a precondition for good governance and inclusive growth, as well as for effective and efficient open government policies and stakeholder participation initiatives. This area of work focuses on collecting data and good practices on the legal, institutional, and policy frameworks for stakeholder participation in OECD Member and selected partner countries.


  • A Civic Space Survey will broaden and deepen relevant sections on stakeholder participation in the OECD Governance of Open Government (GOOG) Survey in order to take stock of governments’ role in creating, enabling and protecting an environment that allows citizens and civil society to play an active role in policymaking and service delivery.
  • Civic Space Scans will provide a qualitative assessment intended to complement data collected through the GOOG Survey with tailored policy recommendations for participating countries based on OECD good practices.
  • Building upon the data and innovative practices collected, a Global Civic Space Report will identify key trends in this field and good practices that effectively promote and protect civic space and enhance citizen participation.

In line with the OECD outreach strategy for civil society, the OECD Secretariat will consult with the members of the OECD Working Party on Open Government (WPOG) in 2020 on how best to engage with civil society stakeholders. In addition, the Secretariat has created an informal Advisory Group to support the above mentioned activities. The Group is composed of representatives from the OECD Secretariat, the Chair and interested delegates of the OECD WPOG, and representatives of selected strategic partners from civil society, the private sector, and academia.

 civic space dimensions


To increase the visibility of the current and planned work on civic space, these activities will be rebranded as the OECD Observatory of Civic Space. The Observatory builds on almost two decades of OECD work on open government, supporting governance cultures based on transparency, integrity, accountability and stakeholder participation. The OECD Recommendation on Open Government recognises the promotion and protection of civic space, as well as stakeholder participation initiatives, as being essential to effective and efficient open government policies.


A Civic Space Scan is a qualitative assessment of the laws, policies, institutions, and practices that support civic space in OECD member and partner countries. Designed to protect fundamental freedoms and promote good practice, the scans are accessible studies that include tailored, timely, and actionable recommendations to help governments respond to evolving challenges and opportunities in their efforts to protect and promote civic space.

For more information see our Civic Space Scan brochure in English and French.



Public consultations are hosted on our Civic Engagement Platform, developed by the OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) and the Observatory of Civic Space.  







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Observatory of Civic Space cover


Alessandro Bellantoni

Claire McEvoy





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