9 August 2018

The government today released its Civil Society Strategy: building a future that works for everyone, setting out how it will work with civil society in the long-term.

Reacting to the strategy, Claire Godfrey, head of policy and campaigns at Bond, the UK network that represents UK international development NGOs said: 
 
"It’s great to hear that the Government would like the charity sector to have the confidence to speak up and play a strong role in campaigning for social change – if it wasn’t for civil society pushing for reform we wouldn’t have seen the recent clampdown on overseas tax havens. But the best way of giving civil society the confidence to speak out would be to revise the Lobbying Act and stop inserting anti-advocacy clauses into grant agreements, and this strategy does neither. We welcome the offer to work with civil society, regulators and other government departments to determine how to support advocacy and campaigning in the UK, but this is not enough. Real confidence will now have to come from actions rather than words."

Commenting on Grants 2.0 outlined in the new strategy Claire Godfrey said:

"We are also concerned about the blurring of lines between grants and contracts in Grants 2.0. Grants and commercial contracts are not the same types of funding and must stay distinct. Grants are not about profit, they are about the beneficial societal impact of funding, which makes them very different from contracts."

ENDS

  1. The full report can be found here: Civil Society Strategy: building a future that works for everyone
  2. Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of over 450 civil society organisations and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice.
  3. For further information please contact Maryam Mohsin, [email protected] or 07555 336029