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Protecting the civic space in times of Covid-19

Civic Space Guardian

  • DIRECTORIO LEGISLATIVO
  • International
  • 2021
  • Scale-up project

Project overview

The project Civic Space Guardian (CSG) aims to create a web platform serving to alert and inform on proposed new laws and policies that may impact civic space in Latin America and the Caribbean. Project leaders are hoping for this to lend a strong, engaging digital presence to their existing Civic Space Guardian newsletter, which is widely distributed throughout the region. Amid the pandemic and an authoritarian drift in parts of Latin America, knowledge, tools and time to be able to swiftly react and adapt to repressive measures are essential for pro-democracy civil society organizations (CSO). Through features such as a browsable visual map and a bill-tracking tool, this solution will allow users to monitor and mobilise around issues of concern.

Presentation of the organization

DIRECTORIO LEGISLATIVO is an independent, non-profit organization working to strengthen democracy and make law- and policy-making in Latin America more transparent, representative and participatory. This is accomplished by improving access to public information, and through the creation of spaces for legislators and politicians to engage and be influenced by outside specialists, civil society and the public at large. Much of their work concerns ‘opening up’ legislatures and state bodies in general – to funnel in outside expertise and demands, increasing institutional responsiveness, accountability, and transparency.

How it works

  • Objective: Bolster civic space in the Latin America by making civil society organizations more resilient to and able to effectively and preemptively push back against state-driven restrictions to civic freedoms and rights.
  • Key activities: Development of a web-platform spanning 19 separate Latin American countries. The platform will be positively audience-tested and evaluated post-launch to ensure a high level of accessibility and navigability.
  • Preliminary visibility goals: Strong communication and promotion of the tool to ensure the site attracts a minimum 100,000 unique users in the course of the first year, with social media followers totalling min. 30,000.


2022 Outlook

DIRECTORIO LEGISLATIVO hopes to establish the aimed-for engaging web presence to widen the scope and impact of its current Civic Space Guardian newsletter. This may cover domains suchas enhancing the profile and visibility of the new platform and its products, shaping the nature of the online aids (maps, tracking tools, spaces for debate,profiling of ‘successes’ etc.), target setting and M&E, and marketing approaches including social media and promotions via other organizations.

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