Posts with the tag
“Global Perspectives 2020”

#GlobalPerspectives2020, Conversations on Inclusion: “Nothing about us without us”.

20th October 2020 by Elizabeth Parsons

Listen to Acha Rita Agum, Disability and Inclusive Development Officer in Cameroon and Dominique Schlupkothen, Director of Community Based Inclusive Development at CBM, interviewed by Nihal Helmy from the International Civil Society Centre.

In this episode, they reflect on the importance of inclusion and how CBM is empowering local communities to have their own voice and advocate for themselves. Learn about the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and how they are ensuring their policies not only include people with disabilities, but that they are also consulted when designing the response.

Join their session at #GlobalPerspectives2020, where they will explore how representative organisations of persons with disabilities can effectively influence policy making at the local level.

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Communications Manager

International Civil Society Centre

World YWCA at #GlobalPerspectives2020: Using privilege for change

9th October 2020 by Robert Vysoudil

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Listen to Suchi Gaur, Ph.D, Director of Global Engagement and Impact, and Caterina Lemp Bitsacopoulos, Senior Specialist in Movement Building, interviewed by Nihal Helmy from the International Civil Society Centre.

World YWCA is a voluntary based, grassroots and diverse movement that connects and mobilizes the power of millions of women across the world. Learn how living in patriarchy motivates one to empower the new generations of women and to make space for them.

Join the Global Perspectives virtual experience in November, it will provide safe space to have honest conversations about inclusion!


Communications Student Assistant

International Civil Society Centre

Podcast: Breaking the cycle of poverty and disability

2nd October 2020 by Robert Vysoudil

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CBM Global works hard to transform lives and build inclusive communities for people living with disabilities in the underrepresented and marginalised communities around the world. Listen to David Bainbridge, Executive Director for disability and inclusion at CBM Global interviewed by Nihal Helmy.

Thirty years of experience help David to deal with the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemics, which has a disproportionate impact on the poor and those with disabilities. In collaboration with local partners, CBM Global is doing their best to make it possible for people with disabilities to enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potential.

Join us too at the Global Perspectives virtual experience in November! This year’s theme is inclusion. Share, learn, be challenged and inspired!


Communications Student Assistant

International Civil Society Centre

Civic Space is shrinking. Here’s how we can protect fundamental rights

24th September 2020 by Deirdre de Burca

Current research shows that civil society in over half of the countries of the world is facing serious and growing restrictions on its freedom to engage, express itself and be heard. Activists and human rights defenders in formal and informal spaces are building new bridges of solidarity to move forward, but these are challenging times for our community.

With increased surveillance, persecution and even violence against activists, many civil society organisations have come under attack, particularly those advocating on behalf of excluded groups and minorities, for democratic rights and in defence of the environment.

Human rights defenders in Africa, Latin America and Asia, as well as in other parts of the world, have been targeted and attacked. 212 environmental and land rights defenders alone were killed during 2019, and 219 human rights defenders are estimated to have been killed or died in detention in 2016. Technology advances have brought increased surveillance on civil society and create new risks for civic space.

The civic space case studies contained within the recent Forus report “Realising the potential of Goal 16 to promote and protect civic space” highlight the many restrictions civil society currently faces in different parts of the world. From Nepal to Colombia, it has become increasingly difficult to exercise rights of association, assembly and expression.

Now the question is –  how can we protect fundamental freedoms, essential to the creation of  a healthy, functioning civic space, where people’s voices are being heard?

The recent Forus report, Realising the potential of SDG 16 to promote and protect civic space, highlights how a particular Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)can provide important leverage for civil society everywhere in its efforts to create and defend civic space, and to be more effective in monitoring and implementing the 2030 Agenda.

Many in the human rights community are sceptical about what they regard as the weak potential of the SDGs to advance a universal human rights agenda. In his foreword to the report on Goal 16 and civic space, the former Special Rapporteur for Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Philip Alston, claims that despite almost 20 mentions of human rights in the text of the 2030 Agenda, no reference is made to any specific civil or political right.

Alston argues that human rights in general remain marginal and invisible in the agenda. He points to the behaviour of many governments who have side-lined or even rejected the inclusion of human rights in national SDG programming. He also refers to SDG reports by the UN and World Bank which he claims pay little or no attention to human rights, with the exception of the issue of gender.

Such ambivalence towards the 2030 Agenda has led some human rights activists and practitioners to overlook or disregard the role that SDG 16 could play in promoting civil and political rights globally. Here’s why SDG 16 could be effective in promoting and protecting civic space.

The effective implementation of SDG 16 can have profound implications for civic space in countries across the world. The goal broadly focuses on issues of governance and aims to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”. A specific target of SDG 16, Target 16.10, commits UN member states to “Ensure access to public information and protect fundamental freedoms”.

These freedoms, which include basic rights to associate and assemble peacefully and to express views and opinions, are themselves fundamental human rights protected under international human rights law, and they are essential to the creation and maintenance of civic space.

And yet, the two global-level indicators which have been adopted to date by the international community, do not adequately assess progress in protecting and promoting fundamental freedoms.-In particular, because they do not directly measure the extent to which fundamental freedoms of association, assembly and expression are being protected in day-to-day civic life as citizens attempt to engage with issues which impact on their communities and wider societies.

This failure to monitor and measure the extent to which citizens are free to participate in the civic life is a significant omission where SDG 16 is concerned.

There is an urgent need for the international community to extend the scope of SDG 16 civic space indicators which are currently limited to an outcome indicator measuring the extent to which activists, human rights defenders and others have been kidnapped imprisoned or murdered. Additional global indicators must be developed which measure the extent to which citizens can exercise their rights to freedom of association, assembly and expression in their communities and societies, in accordance with international human rights standards and national human rights laws.

Following the launch of the Goal 16 report at the UN High Level Political Forum in 2020, Forus and its partners intend to collaborate with interested civil society networks and other groups on a new global advocacy campaign. This campaign will call for a wider range of  civic space indicators to be adopted by UN member states as official Goal 16 indicators and to become part of national regional and global review processes of the 2030 Agenda. For this we need human rights defenders.

The involvement of human rights activists and practitioners in this global advocacy campaign, and in the wider monitoring and review of SDG 16 implementation, will be crucial as it could bring its considerable technical expertise, advocacy capacities and political influence to bear on the process.  Let’s join forces to launch a broad dynamic strategy for fundamental freedoms to be promoted and protected.  Please contact me on if you wish to discuss this proposal further!


Deirdre de Burca

Forus Advocacy Co-ordinator

Forus International

Deirdre de Burca currently works as the Advocacy Co-ordinator with Forus (formerly known as the International Forum for National NGO platforms). Forus is a global network of 69 national development platforms and 6 regional coalitions. Deirdre previously worked as Director of Advocacy for World Vision's Brussels office. She was also a member of the EU Steering Committee of Concord's Beyond 2015 EU Taskforce which played an essential role in influencing the position of the EU and its Member States during the UN negotiations on Agenda 2030. Deirdre was one of the founding members of SDG Watch Europe - a broad alliance of European civil society organisations established in June 2015 and which works to ensure the full implementation of Agenda 2030/the SDGs by the EU and its Member States.

Podcast: #GlobalPerspectives2020, Gender inclusion policy in Care International

2nd September 2020 by Robert Vysoudil

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One of the most important topics at Global Perspectives 2020 will be gender diversity and women leadership. Join our host Nihal Helmy who interviews Kassie McIlvaine and Esther Watts from Care International.

Kassie McIlvaine works as a Program Quality – Deputy Regional Director West Africa and Esther Watts as a Country Director at CARE Ethiopia. Addressing staffing ratios and power dynamics in their own organization was worth it despite the challenges in the implementation of diversity policies. Hear them out on women and girls’ empowerment, making change happen and more!

We invite you to the Global Perspectives 2020 virtual experience, this year’s topic is “A Passion for Inclusion”. See the link below.


Communications Student Assistant

International Civil Society Centre

Podcast: #GlobalPerspectives2020 preview, in conversation with World Vision International

12th August 2020 by Robert Vysoudil

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A conversation about eradicating violence against women, Global Perspectives as a safe space for important civil society discussions and exploring this year’s topic “A Passion for Inclusion”.

Join our host Nihal Helmy who interviews Brenda Wanjiku Kariuki from World Vision International. They touch upon the problem of increased violence against women and children during the pandemic. However, they also talk about the progress made by Brenda and her colleagues to achieve their goals.

You are invited to the Global Perspectives 2020 virtual experience, see the links below.


Communications Student Assistant

International Civil Society Centre

Call for Global Perspectives Speakers and Workshop Hosts

29th July 2020 by Thomas Howie

We are looking for inspiring people to contribute to Global Perspectives 2020 – A Passion for Inclusion. Global Perspectives is an annual conference bringing together leaders of civil society organisations (CSOs) with high-level representatives from governmental, inter-governmental, corporate, philanthropic and academic sectors. Every year around 150 participants engage in interactive formats, discussions and co-creation sessions to analyse the world’s most pressing challenges and devise strategies to bring civil society forward in pursuit of solutions.

Who are we looking for?

Anyone with a Passion for Inclusion and an inspiring idea or piece of work from one of the sectors mentioned above, namely: civil society, governmental, inter-governmental, corporate, philanthropic and academic.

How can you contribute?

We are looking for anyone happy to host a workshop or panel or be part of a panel. Workshops and panels last between 1 and 1.5 hours. There are three pillars to our conference on which you can focus your contribution: Including CSOs in political processes, inclusive programmes and CSOs as diverse and inclusive organisations. There are also three cross-cutting dimensions: Digitalisation, diversity and futures. To find out more detail, please read the flyer.

How can express an interest?

Fill out the form below!

Where is it and what do I have to pay?

This year’s event is fully virtual, so there are no travel costs or hotel to pay. We do have a limited number of funded participation spots open, you can find the application form and the regualr participation fees, on the registration page. This event is almost solely funded by participation fees and relies on the generosity of people to share there time and expertise, at the same time as getting access to the most interesting people from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Got a question?

Email the Global Perspectives Event Manager, Nihal Helmy

Name of the organisation, network, foundation...etc that the speaker is affiliated with

Communications Manager

International Civil Society Centre

Global Perspectives 2020 and Delegate Connect

7th July 2020 by Thomas Howie

We are excited to announce a new partnership between the International Civil Society Centre and Delegate Connect to deliver Global Perspectives 2020 virtually in November.

We chose Delegate Connect for its exciting and user friendly platform which provides a space for participants to network, operate on a low bandwidth making it accessible around the world, and for their excellent customer support. Delegate Connect also understands that this event will generate social good and is the flagship event for civil society. As such they are supporting us to put on the best Global Perspectives ever.

Communications Manager

International Civil Society Centre

Global Perspectives 2020: Nurturing inclusive communities

25th June 2020 by Anna Simitchieva

This year´s development definitely caught us all by surprise. The reality of Coronavirus translated into very real restrictions on our freedom to move around, meet-up or simply to sit at the office together. This woke up many of us and made even more obvious the path that is no longer a choice, but a necessity: to act together in building inclusive communities for us all. In this article, we invite you on a journey towards inclusion, which is the topic and the long-term goal of the virtual conference Global Perspectives 2020.

Inclusion has many layers and aspects, relating to race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, economic status and many more. We can argue about the success of our communities towards it, but many marginalised groups not only in the developing world, but also in cosmopolitan cities, such as Berlin, remain neglected. We still have a lot to do, especially if we truly hope to achieve at least some of the ambitious 17 SDGs[1] during the last decade for their implementation.

The urgency and the importance of the topic put it on top of the International Civil Society Centre´s agenda. We decided to offer safe space for interaction and exchange on inclusion within the community we host. At our biggest platform for exchange, Global Perspectives, participants from around the world will explore new ideas and strategies together on how to make inclusion a fundamental part of our work towards achieving the goals, outlined in the Agenda 2030.

Our aim is to open discussions on:

  • Including civil society in political processes;
  • Empowering inclusion in CSO programmes;
  • Creating and maintaining CSOs as diverse and inclusive organisations.

Global Perspectives is a dynamic place to be, with a diverse group of participants – civil society leaders, academics, social entrepreneurs, journalists and many more. The common theme between them all is their passion to co-create, connect and collaborate to tackle the world’s most pressing problems.

Furthermore, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Global Perspectives will be entirely a virtual experience. We will provide both the award-winning conference mobile application Whova and an interactive software to open up the possibility to dive deep into the virtual networking. With shorter sessions scheduled to accommodate different time zones, we will enable high-levels of creativity, proactive engagement and fully inclusive discussions with participants from all over the globe.

This experience sounds exciting? It truly is, and we want to invite you to be part of it! There are many possibilities for collaboration, sponsorship and tailored support. Don’t hesitate to and discover the most suitable one.

We welcome you to support our effort for sustainable inclusion now!


Anna Simitchieva

Fundraising Officer

International Civil Society Centre

Anna joined the Centre as Fundraising Officer in November 2019. From Bulgaria, Anna has studied and worked in Germany, Spain, Colombia and Armenia. She gained previous fundraising experience at SODI e.V. in Berlin and in the Caucasus, when she was sent to Armenia by Bread for the World to support Women for Development as Communication for Development and Fundraising Officer for two years. Before entering the nonprofit sector, Anna worked for different (inter-)national TV stations for live news productions in Berlin for more than 5 years, among them RBB and Deutsche Welle. Anna holds a MA in Intercultural Communication Studies from the European University Viadrina in Frankurt Oder and a BA in Journalism and Communication Studies and Spanish from the Free University Berlin.