Rowan Popplewell

Rowan Popplewell

Policy manager - civic space

Rowan is Bond's policy manager focusing on civic space and the operating environment. She supports organisations from across the development and environment sector to respond to restrictions on advocacy and campaigning in the UK. 

Prior to joining Bond, Rowan spent several years researching political and operating space for civil society in post-conflict contexts as a doctoral student at the University of Oxford. Rowan has also worked as a researcher at INTRAC in Oxford, and a policy analyst at SCIAF in Glasgow. 

Her interest in international development began at a young age, when she would travel to Kenya to visit family. She is passionate about civil society and has worked with local organisations and activists in several countries around the world, including Burundi, Uganda, Ghana, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, and India. 


 Liz Truss gives a speech on Foreign Policy at Chatham House in London. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street
18 February 2022
The UK government is due to publish a new International Development Strategy in the coming months. What can we expect from the strategy, and most importantly, will it deliver for people living in poverty around the world? 
Police clash with protesters at an anti-austerity rally in 2011
15 December 2021
We review the good, the bad and finally, the downright ugly developments that took place this year for for those campaigning for human rights and civic space in the UK and globally, before looking at opportunities for change in 2022.  
Houses of parliament
21 October 2021
The government is looking to make further changes to the rules governing elections, which could have a big impact on charity campaigning. The Elections Bill will make an already complicated and burdensome area of law even more confusing for NGOs.
9/11 tribute in New York
6 September 2021
On the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, a look at UN Security Council Resolution 1373 and the damaging impact it has had on humanitarian response, development and peacebuilding, and what needs to change over the next 20 years. 
Prime Minister Boris Johnson G7 Leaders Summit Day One in Carbis Bay
15 June 2021
The Open Societies Statement, published alongside the final G7 communique, is a clear and welcome declaration of intent from leading democracies. But what we need now is action. 
Woman with a megaphone shouting slogans during act against the coup and calling for new elections and other social agendas for the country
19 April 2021
The UK government is prioritising efforts to promote open societies globally, but it needs to demonstrate that it is an exception to this trend if it is to have any legitimacy championing human rights and transparency around the world.
Anti-corruption protesters in Eastern Europe.
10 February 2021
The UK government must do more to protect human rights defenders and civil society activists who are at risk as the global civic space continues to erode.
People with arms in the air
9 August 2018
The most important parts of the government's new Civil Society Strategy, which sets the direction of government policy towards civil society over the next decade.
March and protest sign
5 June 2018
A new report shows how the Lobbying Act is negatively impacting campaigners and democratic engagement in the UK.
Hamilton waterfront, Bermuda
2 May 2018
The bill gives the UK government new powers to clamp down on money laundering and tax havens and to respond to human rights violations.