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INTRAC, International NGO Training and Research Centre
This paper sketches the historical background and the economic, social and political context in which civil society operates in the Arab World. It describes the work of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in each country in the region, the challenges they face and their capacity needs. The paper offers an analysis of the common issues facing civil society across the region and addresses vital questions, such as: What are the major constraints to civil society resources? Can people interact with and learn about others? Are the CSOs capable of stating their case? What are the major constraints to people expressing themselves? Is access to information accessible, plentiful and suitable for non-literate as well as literate users? What are the major constraints to information? Are there well functioning ways, places and capabilities for civic interests to be continuously expressed? What are the major constraints to interaction and civic participation? While this Praxis Paper provides a useful overview, it invites to further discussions and a more detailed study of the specific aspects surrounding this complex subject.