Call for Expressions of Interest for Partnership Involvement in CIVICUS International Civil Society Week 2014

International Civil Society Week

CIVICUS is the only global network of civil society organisations and activists dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society around the world. We are proudly based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and have over 1000 members in more than 120 countries.  International Civil Society Week 2014 (ICSW 2014) is a key global gathering for civil society, governments, donors and business to engage constructively in finding common solutions to global challenges. The week will bring together concerned citizens across sectors, themes, regions and backgrounds. The key theme of the week is “Citizen Action, People Power”.

ICSW 2014 will be a ‘partnered event’–a model that was tested in the conceptualisation and implementation of ICSW 2013. Between 8-15 November 2013, CIVICUS, CONCORD/ DEEEP, Global Call to Action against Poverty and International Civil Society Centre convened 13 different conferences, workshops and events, which brought together over 300 civil society actors from around the world. ICSW 2014, hosted in November, will build upon the successes of ICSW 2013, bringing together over 500 people in Johannesburg and thousands more through online engagement.

South Africa has a rich legacy of activism and involvement to bring about social change, as exemplified by the liberation struggle. Active involvement did not end there and there are still many examples of positive citizen activism and engagement today. The proposed date for ICSW 2014 coincides with a pivotal moment in South Africa’s history–the 20th Anniversary of Democracy and Freedom. This provides an opportune time for the world to look back, reflect and celebrate what South Africa and the world has achieved in the past twenty years, and also to explore how we can deepen our gains in freedom and democracy to provide a more just and equitable society for all.

CIVICUS World Assembly

The CIVICUS World Assembly provides a space where a diversity of voices can be heard, a space to exchange experiences, challenges, successes and dreams and, most importantly, a space that leads to concrete ideas for a more equitable and just world. Previous World Assemblies were held in Mexico (1995), Hungary (1997), the Philippines (1999), Canada (Vancouver, 2001), Botswana (2004), Scotland (2006, 2007, 2008) and Canada (Montréal, 2010, 2011, 2012). The CIVICUS World Assembly will return in 2014 after a hiatus in 2013 and will be hosted for the first time in Johannesburg, our ‘home’ since 2003. 

The programme will alternate between short presentations by prominent activists, thoughtful social change agents and daring community leaders, and experiential activities that will allow participants to actively engage with the presentations and their environment. The CIVICUS World Assembly 2014 will culminate in the Nelson Mandela–Graça Machel Innovation Awards, which will identify and reward excellence, innovation, and brave risk-taking within grassroots development and governance.

The CIVICUS World Assembly will be an integral part of ICSW 2014 and is open to all ICSW attendees.

Partnership requirements

The partner-led events during ICSW 2014 should align to the theme for the week “Citizen Action, People Power” and focus on one or more of the three sub-themes: ‘connect, share and celebrate’.

Examples of types of events that would meet these criteria include:

  • Connect: Bringing together the different sources and forces of citizen action to discuss how disparate actors can work together more effectively to address common challenges
  • Share: Facilitating the sharing of tools and strategies for enhancing citizen action through workshops or training sessions
  • Celebrate: Showcasing case studies of successful people-powered campaigns or citizen actions that have led to positive social change

Partner-led events can take the form of workshops, seminars, small conferences or film screenings, among other formats.  All events should be highly participatory in nature.

ICSW 2014 will accommodate up to 500 delegates and partner-led events must be open to ICSW 2014 delegates who wish to take part. However, partners may impose size limitations for their respective events and allocate up to 50% of the places available to designated delegates.

Finally, ICSW 2014 partners should contribute to the vibrancy of the week through their respective constituent bases and networks, and assist in achieving the following targets for participant diversity:

  • Regional diversity: 70% Southern-based (20% South African); Fair regional representation
  • Sectoral diversity: 70% Civil Society; 10% Business; 10% Government; 10% Donors, Academia, Media
  • Delegate diversity: 20% Non-formal civil society; 15% Youth; Gender balance; Language diversity; Fair representation of large and small organisations

Roles and Responsibilities

CIVICUS as the main organising partner and the host will provide key support for partners wishing to organise an event during ICSW 2014:

  • Centralised logistical support centre including venue sourcing, flight and accommodation booking, visa assistance
  • Centralised website, registration system and communication hub for all internal and external ICSW communication
  • Dedicated physical space for networking, exhibitions and information booths

What CIVICUS requires from ICSW 2014 partners:

  • Access to contact lists for ICSW 2014 marketing and communication
  • Coverage of direct costs associated with event (i.e. venue, catering, AVI)
  • Bursary provision for flights and accommodation for delegates (designated or open)[i]

Partner Benefits

  • Opportunity to sit on ICSW 2014 Steering Committee and shape the programme of an internationally recognised event
  • Enhanced visibility through dedicated exhibition space at ICSW 2014, logo and branding on all marketing materials, and media exposure
  • Leverage resources and share financial burden of hosting international event with other ICSW 2014 partners for bigger impact and reduced financial risk
  • Outreach beyond current constituency and opportunity to engage new civil society actors (including CIVICUS’ global constituency), as well as representatives from government, donor and business

Closed Events

Closed events offer an opportunity for partners to host their own, relevant events alongside ICSW 2014.  While CIVICUS cannot offer registration, logistics, marketing or communication support to partners hosting closed events, we would be happy to provide advice and coordinate efforts.  Partners hosting closed events during the week are also welcome to provide bursaries to delegates attending their events so that they might also attend ICSW 2014, although this is not required.

For more information on International Civil Society Week 2014 contact the Partnerships team on


[i] Average bursary costs based on figures from fully funded delegates who attended the DEEEP Global Conference 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Africa: USD 1090 (Flight @ USD 800 plus 4 nights’ accommodation @ USD 80 per night)
Asia: USD 1610 (Flight @ USD 1300 plus 4 nights’ accommodation @ USD 80 per night)
Europe: USD 1210 (Flight @ USD 900 plus 4 nights’ accommodation @ USD 80 per night)
Latin America: USD 2050 (Flight @ USD 1700 plus 4 nights’ accommodation @ USD 80 per night)
MENA: USD 1000 (Flight @ USD 700 plus 4 nights’ accommodation @ USD 80 per night)
North America: USD 1950 (Flight @ USD 1700 plus 4 nights’ accommodation @ USD 80 per night)
Oceania: USD 2690 (Flight @ USD 800 plus 4 nights’ accommodation @ USD 80 per night)



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