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Closing Civic and Political Spaces: Exploring opportunities for CSOs in the MENA region to advocate for claiming spaces

by Innovation for Change – The Middle East and North Africa

Published | May 2019

Monitoring civic space


"Closing Civic and Political Spaces" research was conducted to examine the underlying factors that affect or limit CSOs capacities to initiate effective advocacy programming in the MENA region. This involves a comprehensive study for both advocacy capacities and understanding of CSOs and power structures for operating environment of theses CSOs. The latter focuses on the trends of power holders to restrict political and civic spaces.

Why read

The study provides an understanding of restricted civic space work in the MENA region.


The paper is developing regional and national understanding around the closing of civic spaces using the power analysis framework through which a deeper analysis for spaces for CSO engagement are well developed. It is additionally presenting some key learnings from advocacy and campaigning work in the region as well as good examples and case studies. 

It includes aspects of closing civic spaces are forcing NGOs globally and regionally to fall within the framed agenda of securitization. Innovation for Change has conducted this research to explore and assess capacity gaps for CSOs at regional and national levels that can be later support in designing advocacy capacity building plans and advocacy curriculums. 


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