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Enabling Environment for Civic Engagement

What is an Enabling Environment for Civic Engagement?

A set of conditions - often inter-related - that impact on the capacity of citizens and civil society organizations to engage in development processes in a sustained and effective manner, whether at the policy, program or project level. They include legal, regulatory and policy frameworks, and political, socio-cultural and economic factors. There are institutional factors within civil society that should be considered in thinking about this environment.

Why is an enabling environment for civic engagement important?

It is increasingly being recognized that civil society is an important agent of development alongside the market and the state. Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are important actors in building necessary social consensus for economic reforms and long term development, in promoting effective governance by fostering transparency and accountability of public institutions, and in efforts to fight inequality and exclusion. CSOs also have an increasingly critical role in the direct delivery of social and economic services, and in improving natural resource management and environmental protection through collective action.

How can enabling environments for civic engagement be promoted?

The Participation and Civic Engagement (PCE) group, World Bank has developed and piloted tools that feed into upstream analytical work which seeks to deepen the understanding of constraints and opportunities to effective civic engagement at the country level. The analysis is designed to (a) provide a conceptual and methodological framework for assessing the range of conditions impacting civic engagement; and (b) to guide Bank country teams in identifying priorities and developing strategies for promoting effective civic engagement.

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