As civil society in some Latin American countries faces increasing pressure, organizations from Eurasia share tools, contacts, and best practices for success in difficult environments.

In recent years there has been a decline in the rule of law in many  countries, affecting all regions of the world, including Latin America. In this context, we have seen a growing demand from civil society in Latin America for information and practical advice on implementing projects in challenging jurisdictions.

Together with Ford Foundation’s Weaving Resilience grantees and local partners, PILnet organized a workshop in which CSOs from Eurasia with lived experience working in and around challenging jurisdictions shared their knowledge and answered questions from colleagues in Latin America who are increasingly facing similar challenges.  

The first part of the event aimed at understanding the difficulties of CSOs operating in challenging jurisdictions. A panel of experts from Belarus, Russia, and Central Asia shared their experiences and insights in areas such as security protocols, cybersecurity measures, communication strategies, visibility of projects, transfer of funds, and planning for the future. 

During the second part of the workshop, a pro bono lawyer from Guatemala discussed the legal considerations for CSOs operating in Latin America, such as registration of new nonprofits and innovative approaches to security for CSOs working on sensitive topics, compliance related to data protection, and taxation.  

Participants were also able to ask questions and engage in fruitful conversations, sharing tools and knowledge with one another.

We ended up with important reflections based on the diverse experiences of the panelists, very useful documents that we are now incorporating into our protocol, and important contacts that we will keep in case we need them” said one participant, adding, “we feel that we are now more confident working in these difficult contexts after the meetings we have had with the support of  Ford Foundation’s Weaving Resilience and PILnet as an ally.

As a next step PILnet is planning to develop a series of closed-door consultations for CSOs who are building partnerships in challenging jurisdictions. For more information and collaboration on this project, reach out to [email protected].