• Presentation

Civil society organizations and democratic reform: Progress, capacities, and challenges in Indonesia

Citation

Antlov, H., Brinkerhoff, D. W., & Rapp, E. G. (2008, November). Civil society organizations and democratic reform: Progress, capacities, and challenges in Indonesia. Presented at 37th Annual Conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Abstract

A strong civil society is recognized as an important contributor to both launching and sustaining a transition from authoritarian to democratic governance. International donors seeking to support this transition have targeted civil society strengthening as key to realigning state-society relations in ways that expand citizen participation, increase representation and empowerment, and reinforce state responsiveness and accountability (Ottaway and Carothers 2000). Donor programs have sought to strengthen civil society through various combinations of capacity building for selected civil society organizations (CSOs), creating a conducive enabling environment (often through legal and regulatory reform), partnerships and coalition formation, and funding (Howell and Pearce 2000). This paper looks at civil society strengthening in Indonesia, drawing on selected experience from two programs funded by the US Agency for International Development. The analysis concentrates on issues of capacity and capacity development in a subset of civil society: nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) active in the arena that the international donor community defines as democracy promotion.