Oxfam’s efforts to find solutions to the world's inequalities are welcome but its wrongful use of “human economy” and repackaging it as a concept from high up might do more harm than good.
A study of how the Young African Leaders Initiative handles its business exposes typical weaknesses, mainly lack of understanding local context, suffered by many foreign aid programmes.
Protestors hold banners saying ‘No to the stigmatisation of civilians’ at a meeting of the Hungarian parliament’s justice committee.
A proposed law in Hungary to monitor finances of foreign-funded NGOs is another burden for the country's civi society.
The list of African countries blocking access to social media during elections is growing.
This is election year for several African countries and there's a need to ensure social media isn't used to incite violence. But can governments be prevented from restricting citizens’ rights?
Demonstrators march against corruption in Cape Town. South Africa has some way to go to plug a public accountability deficit.
South Africa's end of term report at the helm of the Open Government Partnership shows that it failed to meet key targets it set for itself. But it also shows improvements in some areas.
May Wong, Great Hall of the People, Tian'anmen Square via Flickr
A new Chinese law giving police powers over foreign NGOs is indicative of a global trend to restrict the political space available for civil society.
Nationalist protests will be more welcome than anti-government protests from now on.
Poland's women may have won the abortion battle, but the ruling Law and Justice Party is cracking down on dissent elsewhere.
When governments and students collide, university systems wobble.
The politicisation of academia definitely contributes to a decline in academic standards. This is a situation South Africa must work hard to avoid. It can learn from others on the continent.
Young Kenyan entrepreneurs hard at work. Such enterprise must be encouraged.
African governments and businesses must do more to assist young people by creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem to support them. Without this support, all of their potential may stutter and die.
Kenyan civil society activists protest against the extrajudicial killing of a human rights lawyer and his client. Restrictions against NGOs have intensified.
The government of Uhuru Kenyatta may wish to reconsider its repeated attacks against NGOs. The country as a whole is likely to benefit if the government softens its stance.
Unemployed graduates in Tunisia demonstrate to demand that the government provides job opportunities.
In the wake of the Arab Spring the international community lauded Tunisia's political transition to democracy. But a plethora of challenges may threaten democratic consolidation in the country.
The decline in commodity prices means African countries must work that much harder to encourage both local and foreign smaller and junior mining companies.
Most Asia-Pacific governments are more focused on preventing irregular movement of asylum seekers and refugees than addressing the underlying causes of such movement.
In many regional countries there are civil society organisations attempting to fill the protection gap for refugees through service provision, advocacy, or both.
Last year’s election of federal independent MP Cathy McGowan as a result of Voices 4 Indi’s kitchen table campaign was a spectacular demonstration of the potential power of this model of community engagement.
Grassroots common sense and decency lie at the heart of two growing movements to reassert the voice of the people in the management of our local and national affairs. Kitchen table conversations and community…
The Sydney Alliance’s founding assembly in 2011 filled the Town Hall with people eager to put community back into politics.
In the wake of the Second World War, Karl Polanyi wrote that the public arena is made up of three interconnected sectors: the market, government and civil society. He argued that democracy thrives when…
Everyone’s at it.
In an experiment for a forthcoming National Geographic television show Mind Over Masses, a pavement was divided into lanes, separating those that are walking from those walking while talking on mobile…
What role can civil society organisations have on the agenda of the G20, which Australia is president of this year?
One of the many preparatory events leading up to the G20 Leaders Summit in Australia later this year is the C20 Summit, which will begin in Melbourne on Thursday. The C20 – or Civil Society 20 – aims to…
The community services sector has felt the pressure of underfunding for years.
The federal government’s austerity budget is expected to hit disadvantaged people the hardest, including the unemployed, single parents and people with a disability. In times of increasing social need…
Oil on the water: Russian environmental problems are commonplace, but who’s watching?
The Russian state’s engagement with environmental concerns is complicated, carrying as it does a heavy legacy from Soviet times. From the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster (in what is Ukraine…
If oil spills in the forest and no one is around to see it, will anyone care?
Lying to either side of the Urals, the Republic of Komi and Khanty-Mansiysk in the north of Russia are among the country’s most oil-rich regions. Scarcely populated, they provide a substantial share of…