Citizen Action, People Power: Restless Development at International Civil Society Week

14 Nov 14


The CIVICUS World Assembly is one of the key global moments in any year for global civil society. Restless Development will be joining this year’s Assembly as part of the International Civil Society Week (ICSW) 2014, taking place in Johannesburg from 19th to 24th November under the banner of ‘Citizen Action, People Power’.

 ‘The global partnership that will make up the International Civil Society Week will be bound by a common aim to connect the forces that nurture positive social change, share the tools that enhance citizen action, and celebrate inspiring examples of people power.’ Civicus

Restless Development is looking forward to connecting with citizen movements, engaging young delegates from across the globe and to our Southern launch of our Big Idea. We will be among 500 delegates, predominantly from civil society with a proportion of representatives from the UN, government and the donor community, who collectively come from over 100 countries.

During the week we will be co-hosting the Youth Assembly, alongside Civicus, ChangeMob and the Centre for Human Rights and Development Studies. This event will convene 70 young people from across the globe to develop and share their skills and to design ambitious joint action.

We will be running a Southern launch of our pioneering youth-led accountability and data programme, the Big Idea, on November 21st. The Big Idea programme aims to support and empower young people to influence their decision-makers and hold them accountable. By participating in the Big Idea programme, they will use and generate data on issues they identify as priorities, use data in evidence-based advocacy to change the conditions that affect their lives, and scrutinise governments and aid agencies over whether they are helping to change their lives for the better. At the launch event, participants will be taken through each stage of the Big Idea methodology in a simulation game that unfolds the Big Idea journey young people will take on in the programme.

We will also be supporting 3 fantastic youth advocates, Aviwe, Athini and Teboho from the Eastern Cape, who will be representing the voices of young people from one of the most disadvantaged regions of South Africa. They will join a diverse delegation (70% of whom are under 30) at the Rustlers Valley Youth Retreat, which takes place a few days before the ICSW. The retreat is an opportunity for delegates to discuss the future of the NGO sector, issues surrounding youth activism and voice as well as the youth narrative for post-2015 development initiatives, such as Action/2015. The three day retreat will culminate in a clear vision, strategy and path of implementation for a plan to build a movement below and beyond borders.

To follow the discussions on Twitter, follow @RestlessDev, @RestlessBigIdea or follow the International Civil Society Week hashtag #ICSW