Centre for Internet & Society

Subsequent to the publishing of a peer reviewed essay titled Resisting Revolutions: Questioning the Radical Potential of Citizen Action, the Centre for Internet & Society has been listed as one of the global organisations working on issues of participation, citizenship and new technologies along with a list of partner organisations.

Published by Palgrave Macmillan

This issue of Window on the World lists some civil society organizations, networks and research institutes working on issues of participation, citizenship and new technologies.

American Commonwealth Partnership (ACP)

The ACP is a broad alliance of colleges, universities and civic groups, which promotes and develops ‘democracy colleges’ for the twenty-first century. It was launched in the White House convening, ‘For Democracy's Future – Education Reclaims Our Civic Mission’ in association with the Department of Education and the White House Office of Public Engagement.

ACP responds to the civic crisis in America, and the widespread sense of powerlessness. It holds that we must reinvent citizenship for the twenty-first century in the United States and around the world.

ACP develops interest and support for civic agency, including policy, legislation, media and deliberative dialogues. It also highlights several initiatives, which embody principles of civic innovation, full participation, diversity and civic agency.

Arab Forum for Alternatives (AFA)

The AFA is an organization that works for a society in which democratic culture prevails, for a society capable of protecting its rights and defending such rights through a democratic movement. This will be implemented by providing a space for experts, activists and researchers in the field of civil society who are interested in issues related to the reform/change process in the Arab region, and who have alternative visions seeking to put forward in a scientific and practical way aiming to the development of their societies based on justice, democracy and human rights values.

Centre for Internet & Society (CIS)

The Centre for Internet and Society critically engages with concerns of digital pluralism, public accountability and pedagogic practices, in the field of Internet and Society, with particular emphasis on South–South dialogues and exchange.

Through multidisciplinary research, intervention and collaboration, it seeks to explore, understand and affect the shape and form of the Internet, and its relationship with the political, cultural and social milieu of our times.

Civic explorations programme

Inspired by the knowledge explorations, HIVOS, together with Institute of Development Studies (IDS), ISS and CiS, is turning ‘The changing face of citizen action’ newsletter into a longer term ‘civic explorations’ programme. With this programme, it intends to offer a space to reflect on the changing dynamics of citizen action in a globalizing world, through research and dialogue. Its action plan for 2012 includes three regional knowledge explorations (In Central America, East Africa and South America), the continuation of the newsletter and its involvement in a number of innovative research programmes on civic action.


CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is an international alliance of members and partners, which constitutes an influential network of organizations at the local, national, regional and international levels. CIVICUS has worked for nearly two decades to strengthen citizen action and civil society throughout the world, especially in areas where participatory democracy and citizens’ freedom of association are threatened. CIVICUS has a vision of a global community of active, engaged citizens committed to the creation of a more just and equitable world. This is based on the belief that the health of societies exists in direct proportion to the degree of balance between the state, the private sector and civil society.

Community Development Resource Association (CDRA)

CDRA is a South African non-governmental organization, which is a centre for organizational innovation and developmental practice.

It values people's ability to organize, and so shape the world. It fosters and promotes innovative organizational forms and practices that seek to transform power towards a just world characterized by freedom, inclusion and sufficiency.

The essence of its work and services can best be described in four words: searching (collaborative inquiry, research and learning); accompanying (consultancy services that accompany organizations through processes of learning and change); sharing (courses through which they share effective organizational practice); and promoting (courageously standing with others to advocate for new organizational forms and practices that work, and challenge those that do not).

Future citizenship

Future Citizenship is a venture to facilitate access to citizenship projects internationally.

Its initiatives include a network of scholars, seminars, conferences and an e-journal. Future Citizenship hopes this will encourage further cooperation and exchange of ideas and insights between its participants, their students and other interested parties. It also hopes to contribute to a better understanding of the problems confronting modern democracies and its growing numbers of various new citizens. Whether such understanding will contribute to addressing and solving those problems in the spirit of basic human rights could in part determine the future course and well-being of modern democracies, and of new forms of political communities.

Global voices online – The Netizen report

Global voices Online frequently produces ‘The Netizen Report’: a regular overview of recent global developments related to the power dynamics between citizens, companies and governments on the Internet. It is hoped that these regular reports can provide Netizens around the world with useful information about who is seeking to influence and shape the digital platforms and networks we increasingly depend upon, and how. Armed with information, people are in a better position to defend their rights, and to make sure the Internet evolves in a manner that is compatible with free expression and dissent.


Involve is made up of experts in public engagement, participation and dialogue. It carries out research and delivers training to inspire citizens, communities and institutions to run and take part in high-quality public participation processes, consultations and community engagement. It believes passionately in a democracy where citizens are empowered to take and influence the decisions that affect their lives. Involve has transformed how leading organizations engage, including the OECD, Communities and Local Government, the European Commission, the States of Jersey, the BBC, the UNDP, the Cabinet Office and numerous Local Authorities.

JASS (Just Associates)

JASS (Just Associates) is an International Feminist Organization driven by the partners and initiatives of its regional networks in Mesoamerica, Southern Africa and Southeast Asia. JASS is dedicated to strengthening and mobilizing women's voice, visibility and collective organizing power to change the norms, institutions and policies that perpetuate inequality and violence, in order to create a just, sustainable world for all. Founded as a learning community by a group of activists, popular educators and scholars from 13 countries in 2002, JASS generates knowledge from experience, with the intention of improving the theory and practice of women's rights, development and democracy.


LogoLink, the Learning Initiative on Citizen Participation and Local Governance, is a global network of practitioners from civil society organizations, research institutions and governments created to stimulate and support civil society organizations and networks to engage in citizen participation and social control of public policies at the local level.

LogoLink is engaged in animating a more participatory and inclusive relationship between those who govern and those who are governed. It means, on the one hand, to sensitize and challenge governments to implement innovative and equitable public policies oriented to assuring human rights, and to be more responsive and accountable towards the needs and concerns of citizens. On the other, it means to support citizens and civil society organizations to create participatory spaces, hold their governments accountable and exercise social control.

Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS)

MKSS is a people's organization and part of the growing non-party political process in India. The MKSS works with workers and peasants in the villages of Central Rajasthan. It was set up by the people of the area in 1990 to strengthen participatory democratic processes, so that ordinary citizens could live their lives with dignity and justice. The organization was born out of a struggle for community land held illegally by a feudal landlord. The subsequent struggle for minimum wages made it evident to the people, that transparency and accountability of systems of governance are basic to access any right. It became clear that access to relevant information is a fundamental tool for ensuring transparency and accountability of the government, and of all bodies that affect public interest.


mySociety runs most of the United Kingdom's best known democracy Websites. It works with the public, private or third sector, and organizations which try to adapt to the new world of citizens empowering themselves through the Internet. mySociety has helped them by building sites, consulting or helping them to make plans. mySociety has two missions. The first is to be a charitable project, which builds Websites that give people simple, tangible benefits in the civic and community aspects of their lives. The second is to teach the public and voluntary sectors, through demonstration, how to use the Internet most efficiently to improve lives.

Participation, Power and Social Change (PPSC)

The PPSC team at IDS works in partnership with diverse collaborators from around the world to generate ideas and action for social change. Through research, innovation and learning in rights-based and participatory approaches, it works with people to identify and implement alternative approaches to social change that respond to local situations and bridge operational practice with research and policy change. The team's work intends to help tackle the power inequalities that create crises and sustain poverty and injustices through the suppression of alternative or marginalized voices. Citizenship DRC – resources: http://www.drc-citizenship.org/

Participation research centre

The Participation Resource Centre is a collection of over 5,000 documents, many of them unpublished and practitioner-based, about participatory approaches to development. They include research reports, training manuals, workshop reports and critical reflections on Participation. Information about each document can be searched online.

The Centre particularly promotes Participatory Methodologies, sharing practical examples from development initiatives around the world in the form of case studies, guides and manuals.

The collection is held at the IDS, University of Sussex and incorporates the collection of the International Institute for Environment and Development.


Politeia – Participation for Citizenship and Democracy in Europe – is a network of institutions and organizations throughout Europe. The general aim of the association is to promote active democratic citizenship in countries of Europe and, more specifically, political and social participation of citizens and their organizations.

The goals of Politeia are the creation of a structure that will set civic participation and education higher on the European and national agenda, the strengthening of the capacities of the partner organizations by exchanging methods and practices and a stronger presence in the European NGO scene by focusing on the promotion of European citizenship through participation.


Twaweza means ‘we can make it happen’ in Swahili. It is a ten-year citizen-centered initiative, focusing on large-scale change in East Africa. Twaweza believes that lasting change requires bottom-up action. It seeks to foster conditions and expand opportunities through which millions of people can get information and make change happen in their own communities directly and by holding governments to account.

Compiled by Remko Berkhout and Laura Fano Morrissey


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