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Democratic Freedoms Learning Network

Credit: Jacob Lund

About the Network

Democratic freedoms and civic space – including the rights of citizens and civil society to freely associate, assemble and express their views – are fundamental to democracy and open government. They enable citizens and civil society to organize and participate freely and without fear of intimidation, persecution, or prosecution. They also safeguard democracy and ensure that institutions are open, inclusive, accountable, and responsive. 

To support and advance these freedoms, OGP convenes the Democratic Freedoms Learning Network, an informal network of government reformers, civil society advocates, and international partners and others committed to reversing the 15-year trend of declining civic space to share learnings on democratic freedoms and civic space.

The Network aims to provide an open space for dialogue among reformers who are advancing local, national, and global efforts to protect and enhance democratic freedoms and civic space, including upholding rights of assembly, association, expression, and privacy. 


The OGP Democratic Freedoms Learning Network aims to:

  • Advance democratic freedoms and civic space as key open government norms, recognizing their importance for ensuring open, accountable, inclusive, and responsive institutions
  • Encourage the uptake of global democratic freedoms protections and civic space priorities by supporting OGP countries and local governments who have made or are interested in making concrete commitments to reforms on these issues through OGP plans
  • Convene a network of champions leading by example and advocating for reforms on democratic freedoms and civic space at the global, national and local levels to create open, safe space for dialogue and learning on specific challenges


The Network has an informal membership structure and meets three to four times per year. Meetings include topical discussions on specific reform issues and discussions focused on coordinating on global initiatives and fora such as the Summit for Democracy.

By participating, reformers benefit from connecting with their peers who face similar challenges and have access to reform ideas and technical expertise from those implementing these reforms. They also receive support from the global community of advocates and funders who can provide strategic advice, resources, and other support. If you are interested in joining the Network or learning more, please reach out to Tim Hughes at

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