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A necessary step for democracy: Effective Civil Society

YADA Foundation, which works to strengthen civil society's participation in decision-making mechanisms, brought together the meetings organized within the scope of the Effective Civil Society for Participatory Democracy project and the suggestions that came to the fore in these meetings under 10 headings.

After face-to-face meetings with nearly 100 civil society representatives from different backgrounds working in various fields in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Diyarbakır, the problems and suggestions for solutions to the problems were brought together under the headings of freedom, reputation, accreditation, resources, participation and cooperation, standardization, transparency, visibility, self-regulation and volunteerism.

It is aimed to convey the solution suggestions under these headings to politicians. 

Top 10 priority steps for an effective civil society

  1.  Freedom: Inclusive regulations on freedom of expression and freedom of assembly as a key issue in enhancing the influence of civil society.
  2. Reputation: Civil society needs a restoration of dignity. Politics needs to engage and distance itself from civil society without instrumentalizing it, and by emphasizing the civilian nature of civil society.
  3. Accreditation: The ambiguity in the answer to the question "Who do we call civil society?" should be eliminated. An independent, impact-oriented accreditation system should be established for the evaluation of institutions. 
  4. Resources: Civil society has been under a financial burden since the beginning of its existence due to existing legal bindings such as tax burdens.  The bureaucratic processes for civil society fundraising and resource management need to be streamlined.
  5. Participation and collaboration: Decision-makers need to take civil society and its recommendations into inclusive consideration when formulating policies. Procedures need to be transparent and take into account the fact that they have different political approaches and operate in different localities
  6. Standardization: The attitude and approach of public institutions, in particular the Directorate General for Relations with Civil Society, towards civil society differs in each province. The relationship and functioning between the public sector and civil society needs to be standardized.
  7. Transparency: There is a need to create an environment where the state reports its steps and savings in all thematic areas, and in particular the data it collects in the field with civil society, and where civil society can freely and transparently share all its activities with society. 
  8. Visibility: Civil society should be encouraged to use all state-owned dissemination resources, especially resources such as public service announcements.
  9. Self-monitoring: Civil society sees the state as an institution that controls it. However, the control should be self-regulation, civil society should be responsible and have a say in its own control.
  10. Volunteerism: Civil society needs volunteers. This requires both restoring civil society's reputation and supporting active citizenship.
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