In recent years there has been a flurry of legislative activity affecting civil society and philanthropy. According to ICNL’s tracking data, 94 countries have proposed more than 269 legislative initiatives over the past six years. It’s not all bad news; one-third of the initiatives would enhance civic space

Data indicate three primary forms of legislative pressure on civic space over this time period:

• Lifecycle legislation restricting the formation, registration, and operation of civil society organizations (CSOs)

• Legislation constraining the ability of CSOs to receive international funding; Legislation restricting peaceful assembly

Among these constraints, restrictions in “lifecycle” legislation appeared most often, with restrictions on international funding and peaceful assembly occurring with nearly equal frequency.

In recent months, our tracker has picked up “innovations” that go beyond these traditional forms of constraint. For example, in Tanzania recent amendments to the Statistics Act make it illegal to discredit or challenge any official government statistic. In Uganda, after songs critical of the government gained popularity, the government proposed regulations that require artists to have their lyrics and scripts vetted by the authorities.

Read the full article about infrastructure organizations and civic spaces by Douglas Rutzen and Alexandra Deblock at Philanthropy In Focus.