CSOs in sustainable development in Ethiopia. Broadening the role of CSOs in sustainable development in Ethiopia


Ignoring the liberal rights and freedoms embodied in its constitution, Ethiopia has deliberately and effectively closed the political space for CSOs through recently adopted legal measures. We will map the legal approaches adopted and its actual impact on various types of CSOs, and mirror these against the internationally accepted human and constitutional rights aimed at protecting civil society, as well as best practices in South Africa, which has a stronger rule of law. In this way, we will discover legal pathways that can be pursued, both domestically and internationally, to challenge the domestic legal instruments adopted to close CSOs’ political space, or discover ways around the legal limitations that were put in place. We will discover whether and if so how various stakeholders from the North, both the Ministry and Northern CSOs, have a role to play in supporting the different types of CSOs, to regain political space. In addition, the project aims to support the necessary change in Ethiopia, through offering research based solutions, creating critical public awareness through dissemination of research outputs, and sponsoring capacity building with CSOs, research institutions, organs of justice, and government officials.


Project number

W 08.311.102

Main applicant

Prof. dr. J.M. Verschuuren

Affiliated with

Tilburg University

Team members

Dr. N.G.M. Broeckhoven, Dr. D. Gidey, Dr. D.L. Townsend, Prof. dr. J.M. Verschuuren


15/12/2017 to 04/06/2019