The Rights CoLab, Prague Civil Society Centre, Social Innovations Advisory, and the West Africa Civil Society Institute have joined forces to launch a website devoted to Mapping Civil Society Innovation to Advance Human Rights.
The website is expected to be a source of information to support civil society innovation, pooling common practical resources as well as insights drawn from both achievements and setbacks.
Also, the site is intended to serve as a platform for all those exploring alternatives to the traditional organizational form for human rights activities.
According to a joint statement by the groups, each of the founding organizations is actively assisting groups searching for new ways to achieve human rights aims while avoiding some of the pitfalls of the traditional human rights organizational model, comprised of a legal structure and a revenue model.
“While we have come to depend on such civil society organizations (CSOs) or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for the realization of human rights, that model – particularly when a CSO’s revenue comes mostly in the form of grants from outside the country where it operates – has made them vulnerable to financial insecurity as well as political attack on the grounds of perceived illegitimacy.
“Where governments have severely restricted CSOs, alternative organizational forms — driven by growing trends in social entrepreneurship, impact investment, voluntarism & technological and generational change — can carry out some of the same functions. These new organizational forms, and the broader range of revenue models they encompass, also offer the promise of enhanced sustainability,” the groups said.
They expressed hope that more content providers that are motivated to join the collaboration, and we encourage all who are experimenting with civil society innovation to join in would be added.
“Together, we hope to build a healthy and rigorous transnational community of civil society innovators working collaboratively to supplement and reinforce the already extensive transnational CSO networks we have come to depend on for promoting and protecting human rights,” the added.