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Panel Discussion report 9 : Democracy and civil society organizations.


During introduction to civil society course we were asked to perform a panel discussion presentation. Therefore, we formed group of five members: Muhsin from Uzbekistan, Natri from Indonesia, Suneedah from Thailand, Maimouna from Guinea and me, Huriya from Eritrea. We chose to discuss about “Democracy and Civil society organizations”.

Overview of the points discussed:

  1. The implication of civil society mobilization for democracy and how civil society societies respond to the challenges in democratic countries.

  2. The role of democracy in empowering women.

  3. The challenges faced in empowering women.

  4.  Civil society’s contributions in democratic countries and non democratic countries.

  5. An overview about Saudi Arabia’s as a non democratic country. And the problems and challenges that civil society organizations face in non-democratic countries.

The process:

We formed our group members randomly and the process was smoothly done. At first choosing the topic was difficult but Muhsin suggested to talk about “Democracy and Civil Society organizations” and none of us seemed to have any objection.  Even though we thought the topic is a bit complicated yet we started doing our researches. Moreover, we had two meetings the first one to decide the sub-topic of each member and form the questions. The second meeting was for final rehearsal, we had different opinion during the rehearsal in deciding to make PowerPoint slides or not. As a result, we had to go through vote to make slides or not and we followed the majority’s opinion.  Our group was very punctual and well organized which helped the process to be smooth and successful.


Our group strength was punctuality, sharing ideas and understanding. Therefore, making decisions was easier since each one of us shares what she/he wants and we decide based on the majority.  I could emphasize from my own point of view that there was no weakness point identified for this short period of time.

Learning/ Reflection of the panel discussion on informative and handling questions:

During the panel discussion I believe each panelist tried their best to make the panel interesting. About me it was my first time to be one of the panelist’s instead of the moderator. It was quite interesting for me to talk about a topic basing on the country that I live in as my first time.  Talking about democracy has been always a debatable topic, many people with different understandings and thoughts. There were many questions to be asked and answered which made it look a bit messy to satisfy everyone’s question and giving each other to answer a question.  Moreover, the question session is a difficult session to handle yet interesting as well.

In conclusion, panel discussions are always interesting based on the topic raised and the panelist’s themselves. It loses its flavor when the speaker is not clear, loud enough or lacks confidence. Therefore, it is also a nice way to share ideas and thoughts from one another.


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