Since 2016, the International Civic Forum (ICF) convenes leaders from civil society, media, philanthropy, government and business who are at the forefront of protecting and advancing civic space around the globe. It is the annual civic space platform to network, build trust and identify opportunities for collaboration.
In 2020, the International Civic Forum focused on the topic of “Countering misinformation and disinformation that target civil society organisations and the communities they serve.” In the recent years, misinformation and disinformation have become a common challenge in the civil society sector targeting civil society organisations and the communities they serve as well as challenging fundamental values on which their work rests. The speed and the scale of the spread of mis- and disinformation have been further increased by the COVID-19 pandemic as the “infodemic” or rather the “disinfodemic” is taking centre stage.
At the ICF 2020 participants discussed risks that mis- and disinformation pose, exchanged on ways of countering them, looked at useful tools and strategies, and explored new models of addressing mis- and disinformation.
In 2019, the International Civic Forum assessed existing and new solidarity response mechanisms that come into effect when there is a moment of systematic clampdown on civil society organisations (CSOs). The ICF 2019 kicked off the process of developing a global solidarity playbook and network that informs and helps to improve the solidarity mechanisms.
In 2018, the International Civic Forum took place within the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) and was co-hosted by Transparency International, Charities Aid Foundation, CIVICUS, The B Team, and the Open Government Partnership. The Forum highlighted the importance of bringing together a diverse set of civil society activists and organisations on the topic of civic space. While they all may focus on different areas (such as anti-corruption, human rights, environmental issues, and LGBTI rights), the Forum gave participants a space to explore the connectedness of these issues.