The Regional Alliance for the Freedom of Expression and Information (the
Alliance), an innovative civil society network, has had a major role in
promoting freedom of expression and the right to information regionally.
The Alliance coordinates the efforts of 23 civil society organisations
(CSOs) from 19 American countries and carries out extensive advocacy
work at the regional level. This network’s experience, achievements and
lessons learned could be useful to CSOs in Sub-Saharan and South Asian
countries aiming to advance freedom of expression and access to
information in their own regions.
•Forming a regional network can be a useful mechanism for coordinating
the efforts of individual civil society organisations of various
•Advocacy actions at the regional and country level can be more
effective if they are undertaken by a regional network representing a
large number of individual organisations, one that is seen as a credible
and trustworthy actor.
•For a regional network to work well, it is important that there is a
leadership mechanism in place that deals with the differences among
members and coordinates their activities. The Secretariat has played
that role, articulating members’ contributions and making sure that all
have equal leadership, participation, and voice. Member organisations
should also cooperate actively and devote time and effort to support the
Banfi, K.; Oropeza, J. ELLA Policy Brief: Civil Society&#8217;s Regional Network for Advancing Freedom of Expression and Access to Information. ELLA, Practical Action Consulting, Lima, Peru (2012) 4 pp.