Are NGOs whiners, winners or what?

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By Fraser Reilly-King, Ottawa Citizen, 8 May 2013

Bold statements and polarized commentaries make for interesting reads. They immediately situate you on one side or the other of a debate, which can be fun. You’re engaged.

But they don’t leave much room for moving forward and identifying solutions to challenges, especially because they break complex issues down into one simple “truth”.

“Aid doesn’t work to reduce poverty. Trade does.”

Or the dismissive comments made by several commentators about, “typical whining from the NGO community,” when the plans for the CIDA-DFAIT merger were announced six weeks ago and a number of groups pronounced some misgivings.

A great new report by CIVICUS, a world alliance that focuses on civic participation in society, “The State of Civil Society 2013: Creating an enabling environment,” helps move beyond this polarizing (and paralyzing) debate into a much more nuanced recognition and understanding of the key role that civil society plays (and must continue to play) in society and the conditions that enable it to do so.

To read the article in full, please click on the link below.

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