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. 

Rowan is on maternity leave until January 2020.


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.
23 October 2017
With 32% of Conservative MPs wanting to prevent charities from lobbying, we need to defend charity campaigning for civil society groups and activists everywhere.
18 May 2017
Taking 40 minutes to calculate the cost of a tweet? We want to hear your experiences of how the Lobbying Act has restricted your work.
Crowd of people in India
31 January 2017
Westminster Hall's recent debate highlights why it's crucial to protect civil society space in the UK and developing democracies.