Citizens’ Perception Toward Civil Society: Ethiopia

The environment for civil society in Ethiopia is among the most restrictive in the world. The ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has overseen a continuous crackdown on opposition, independent media, and civil society. As the EPRDF marks 25 years in power, civil society groups struggle to maintain operations and keep their doors open. The 2009 Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSP) was particularly crippling for civil society organizations, especially human rights NGOs. The CSP places severe restrictions on foreign funding and operational autonomy of civil society organizations. Its enactment caused many groups to abandon democracy and human rights work or scale back operations.From April 16 to May 5, 2016, Freedom House, in partnership with Real-Time Interactive Worldwide Intelligence (RIWI), conducted an online poll using RIWI’s random domain targeting methodology. The poll reached over 18,600 internet users in Ethiopia. Of these, over 1,400 people responded to all 10 survey questions. The average response rate for substantive (non-demographic) questions was more than 2,700 individuals.

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