InterAction, the White House, and USAID Stress Importance of Preserving Civil Society Space

Photo By: Sarah Siguenza

On September 26, InterAction partnered with the White House and USAID to co-host an event entitled, “Holding the Doors - A Discussion on Closing Civic Space.” The event, featuring Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, discussed the impact of President Obama's Stand with Civil Society Agenda launched in 2013, and recognized that attacks on civil society continue. To address shrinking civil society space, the U.S., with increased partnerships between the U.S. government and the U.S. based non-profit community, needs to strengthen ties with local civil society actors around the world. These partnerships can help preserve NGO space in humanitarian and development spheres and support the ability of advocates and activists to work with their governments for better and more prosperous livelihoods.
Solidarity Center’s Executive Director, Shawna Bader-Blau, led the conversation with Rhodes. They were also joined by activists from Internews network, American Jewish World Service (AJWS), Mercy Corps, and an expert from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who spoke about their work to preserve civil society space and to evolve in the face of increasing pressure from governments and repressive regimes.


Listen to the full audio of the conversation between Shawna Bader-Blau and Ben Rhodes:


Read more about Stand with Civil Society in this blog post from Ben Rhodes.


The photo above features, from left, InterAction President, Lindsay Coates, Deputy National Security Adviser, Ben Rhodes, and Solidary Center Executive Director, Shawna Bader-Blau.