Posts in category Reports


Iran is Not Done Surprising Us

2013 was a busy year for Arseh Sevom. It was a year of collaboration, partnerships, and exploration. In 2013, we brought eighteen people together to discuss civil society in Iran and create a strategy for moving forward as an organization more effectively. We did this by spending a significant amount of time mapping out Iran’s civil society, identifying strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities, talking to civil society actors and organizations inside as well as outside Iran.

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Post of the WeekReports

Annual Report 2012: Letter from the President

We also learned that every once in awhile what we do, no matter how small, makes a difference. We are just one of many forces influencing civil society. We are not the only one or the most important one. We are not alone. There are others fighting for human rights, advocating for the marginalized, addressing issues of poverty, volunteering to clean parks and beaches, rebuilding homes destroyed by earthquakes, and participating in the life of society.

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Arseh Sevom Annual Report, 2010

In this, our first ever annual report, we look back on 2010, share our accomplishments and even some of our struggles. This first report covers four months of operations.

The objective of Arseh Sevom as an organization is to use our annual reports as learning documents. This means we strive for transparency, while making a case for Arseh Sevom. This is a difficult path. Annual reports are meant to show the world how wonderful we are. By sharing our struggles as well as our successes, we demonstrate our trust in our stakeholders to help us do everything possible to become successful in our mission to promote a vibrant civil society in Iran and related communities. Arseh Sevom is a learning organization that seeks out and shares knowledge from people and organizations all over the world. We welcome your participation.

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Civil Society WatchReports

ICT and Environmental Sustainability

In this paper, published as part of a report on ICTs and Environmental Society, Arseh Seovm’s Sohrab Razzaghi argues that ICT can be used to promote sustainable growth in Iran. He suggests using Information and Communication Technology to address issues of city management, pollution, and environmental issues. The paper stresses the need for more open access to ICT and a commitment to democratic values.
(Continue reading…)

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State of Civil Society in Iran

In this policy paper on the state of civil society in Iran, Razzaghi makes a number of claims and offers recommendations for bolstering independent civil society in Iran. Two of the most thought-provoking points concern the role of the UN in propping up state-sponsored and dependent civil society as opposed to independent civil society and the influx of former political insiders into independent civil society.
Razzaghi writes:

At present, and for the first time, an opposition has emerged from within the regime which none of the suppressive measures are able to drive into the margins. This opposition is getting increasingly stronger and has created splits among Iranian society, the clerical establishment, the government, and the people.

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Attack on civil societyCivil Society WatchPressReports

Report: Attack on Civil Society in Iran

In mid-June 2009, millions of Iranians took to the streets to protest a deeply flawed election. In the days and weeks that followed, reports of suppression, deaths in prison, torture, and rape, shocked people all over the world. These crackdowns were predictable given the anti-democratic nature of the Ahmadinejad administration.

“Despite the increasingly liberal and pragmatic character of Iranian society, this current administration is highly ideological and hostile to democracy,” Tori Egherman, one of the authors of the report states…While the abuses happen to individuals, they are designed to undermine the democratic development of Iran as a nation. Dr. Sohrab Razzaghi, another author of the report states, “They have chosen to read Iran’s ambiguous constitution as fundamentally undemocratic.”

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