Civil Society

Slum-Dwelling Still a Continental Trend in Africa

Nompumelelo Tshabalala, 41, emerges from her dwarf ‘shack’ made up of rusty metal sheets and falls short of bumping into this reporter as she bends down to avoid knocking her head against the top part of her makeshift door frame.

“Swachh Bharat” (Clean India) Requires a Mindset Change

“Swachh Bharat”, or Clean India, is a slogan that most Indians today associate with the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his first nation-wide campaign launched soon after taking office in 2014.

Prepaid Meters Scupper Gains Made in Accessing Water in Africa

While many countries appear to have met the U.N. Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water, rights activists say that African countries which have taken to installing prepaid water meters have rendered a blow to many poor people, making it hard for them to access water.

EU Calls for Paradigm Shift in Development Cooperation

In the run-up to the international Conference on Financing for Development from Jul. 13 to 16 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the European Union has called for a “true paradigm shift” in global development cooperation.

Expo 2015 Host City Promotes Urban Food Policy Pact

How can we provide healthy food for everyone, without threatening the survival of our planet? This is the fundamental issue at the centre of Expo 2015 – which has ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’ as its central theme – and a huge challenge for cities. 

Opinion: Burundi – Fragile Peace at Risk Ahead of Elections

Pierre Claver Mbonimpa is not permitted to get close to an airport, train station or port without authorisation from a judge.  He cannot travel outside of the capital of his native Burundi, Bujumbura. Whenever called upon, he must present himself before judicial authorities.

Europe’s Unregulated Lobbying Opens Door to Corruption, Says Rights Group

Lobbying is an integral part of democracy, but multiple scandals throughout Europe demonstrate that a select number of voices with more money and insider contacts can come to dominate political decision-making – usually for their own benefit.

Opinion: Shared Action for a Nuclear Weapon Free World

From the end of April, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference will be held in New York. In this year that marks the seventieth anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I add my voice to those urging substantial commitments and real progress toward the realisation of a world without nuclear weapons.

Global Civil Society to the Rescue of the Amazon

A global civil society petition to save the Amazon is circulating on the internet and its promoters say that once one million signatures have been collected indigenous leaders will deliver it directly to the governments of Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela.

Opinion: Measurement Matters – Civic Space and the Post-2015 Framework

For those of us interested in a vibrant civil society, it seems to be best of times and the worst of times.

High-Tech to the Rescue of Southern Africa’s Smallholder Farmers

Agriculture is the major employer and a backbone of the economies of Southern Africa.

Anger Seethes in Gabon after Wood Company Sacks Protesting Workers

There is rising anger among trade unionists, environmentalists and civil society groups in Gabon after a wood company, Rain Forest Management (RFM), sacked 38 fixed-term workers last month in Mbomao, Ogooué-Ivindo province.

Opinion: War on Wildlife Crime – Time to Enlist the Ordinary Citizen

It is no exaggeration to say that we are facing a “wildlife crisis”, and it is a crisis exacerbated by human activities, not least criminal ones.

The Hidden Billions Behind Economic Inequality in Africa

Reports this year of illicit moneys from African countries stashed in a Swiss bank – indicating that corruption lies behind much of the income inequality that affects the continent – have grabbed international news headlines.

OPINION: Brazil Can Help Steer SDGs Towards Ambitious Targets

With the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expiring at the end of this year to be replaced by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which will set priorities for the next fifteen years, 2015 will be a crucial year for the future of global development.

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