Civic Engagement Alliance supports the SPEAK! 2019 campaign, organized by CIVICUS. The campaign culminates in 24 hours of global action from 20-21 September. If we are to stand with one another in creating a more inclusive, peaceful and sustainable world, we need to speak with one another – also with those with whom we disagree. That's why, the SPEAK! campaign will bring people together to have meaningful conversations. In India the Alliance is organizing several activities.
The civic space context in India
India is undergoing a paradigm shift in relation to the role and space of civil society organizations. Major challenges such as shrinking resources to carry out meaningful interventions, curtailment of rights issues pursued by civil society organziations, decreased participation and interface with government and private sector and increased regulatory regime that is highly strict and punitive has disturbed the operational environment and image of civil society.
In order to restore the image of the sector, there is a need for proactive steps that will help preserve the space forcivil society organizations through organized campaigns and collectivization of the sector. Civic Engagement Alliance and its partner Voluntary Action Network India (VANI) has been an instrumental agency for facilitating Indian civil society collectivization through opening multiple channels for interaction with government, private sector and other stakeholders.
In August 2019, through the support of Civic Engagement Alliance and VANI organized a multi-stakeholder development conclave in the state of Jharkhand- an effort to locally implement SDG 17 which emphasizes triangular cooperation for sustainable development outcomes. At the end of the conclave the government and private sector acknowledged the role of civil society and openly supported its role in being change-makers and important agencies for raising voices of the marginalized and guardians of civic rights. Thus, the conclave was a success in terms of setting a positive narrative for civil society.
From 20-21st September 2019, the Alliance and VANI will be organizing in support of the SPEAK! 2019 campaign a multi-stakeholder development conclave in Guwahati, Assam which will bring together government, civil society and private sector in attempt to discuss how triangular partnership can be strengthened in the North-East Region of India. Additionally, there will be an exhibition from civil society organizations to generate awareness on the sector’s role and contribution. It is intended to be an open discussion with almost 100 organziations.
SPEAK!www.togetherwespeak.org celebrates the relevance of civic space and the power of dialogue to break down barriers and recognize our shared humanity. Organizations, embassies and individuals from over the whole world are invited to organize events, strengthen dialogues and amplify the campaign message. The SPEAK! campaign kicks off a week of global action, as the UN Climate Action Summit on 23 September and parallel summit events on 20-21 September take place.