CSO s in sustainable development in Ethiopia: Past practices and new trajectories

Nicky Broeckhoven, Desta Gebremichael Gidey, Kelemework Tafere Reda, Dina Townsend, Jonathan Verschuuren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


We researched how CSO s working in the area of sustainable development responded to regulatory restrictions on advocacy work using Ethiopia as a case study. We found that the restrictive laws had a severe impact: many CSO s had to shut down or limit their operational capacity to service delivery only. Those that survived continued to do advocacy work, disguised as service delivery. This shows that northern stakeholders should not adhere to a strict division between advocacy and service delivery in their funding policy. They also should focus on long-term CSO engagement and long-term CSO funding. In 2019, regulatory reform reopened political space to some extent. The new law envisions a greater role for self-regulation in the civil society sector while still maintaining some degree of State oversight through registration, reporting and funding allocation requirements. Despite these improvements, the sector is still in need of international support and consistent and reliable funding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalAfrican Journal of Legal Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jul 2020


  • sustainable development
  • civil society organisations
  • Environmental Policy
  • Regulation


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