CIVICUS Civil Society Index

An international action-research project by and for civil society

Archive for September, 2009

Launch of the CIVICUS CSI Indicator Database 2003-2006

Posted by civilsocietyindex on September 29, 2009

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The CIVICUS Civil Society Index (CSI) is pleased to announce the launch of the Civil Society Index 2003-2006 Indicator Database. The CSI Indicator Database was developed in order to ensure the availability of civil society data collected in the 2003-2006 phase in the CSI programme to a global audience. In making the data available, in addition to allowing others to use and validate the information therein, it is also hoped that it will encourage further and new research on civil society around the world. To this end, the CSI Indicator Database is:

  • easily-accessible online
  • searchable by country, dimension and individual indicator
  • available free of charge.

Please visit to access the database

To commemorate this milestone, CIVICUS and the CSI programme are also pleased to announce an Essay Contest and call for papers based on this newly launched database. We welcome submissions from interested students, civil society stakeholders and academics. Submissions must be based on the information available in the CSI 2003-2006 Indicator Database, and there is a prize of $500 USD for the best paper. A selection of the highest-quality papers will also be included in a compilation volume and published on the CIVICUS website. DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: October 31, 2009

Please see the attached: CIVICUS_CSI_Essay Contest (in English) for more information on the essay contest.


L’Indice CIVICUS de la Société Civile a le plaisir d’annoncer le lancement de la Base de Donnée des Indicateurs de l’Indice de la Société Civile 2003-2006. La Base de Données des Indicateurs ISC rend disponible au public toutes les données collectées lors de la phase 2003-2006 du programme ISC. En rendant ces données disponibles au public, nous espérons non seulement permettre leurs utilisation et validation, mais aussi encourager d’autre recherche sur la société civile dans le monde entier. C’est pourquoi cette base de donnée est :

  • Facilement accessible en ligne
  • Accessible par pays, dimension ou indicateur
  • Gratuite

Rendez-vous a pour accéder à la base de données.

Pour célébrer ce lancement, CIVICUS et le programme ISC on le plaisir d’annoncer un concours : les participants sont invités à écrire et soumettre un article basé sur les informations contenu dans la Base de Données ISC 2003-2006. Un prix de $500 sera versé à l’auteur du meilleur article. Une sélections des meilleurs articles sera aussi publiée par CIVICUS et posté sur le site internet de CIVICUS. La date limite de soumission des article est le 31 Octobre 2009.

Voir le prospectus ci-joint pour de plus amples informations.


El Índice de la Sociedad Civil (ISC) de CIVICUS se complace en anunciar el lanzamiento de la Base de Datos de Indicadores del Índice de la Sociedad Civil 2003-2006. La Base de Datos de Indicadores del ISC fue desarrollada para asegurar la disponibilidad al público global, de la información sobre la sociedad civil recogida en la fase 2003-2006 del programa del ISC. Al poner la información a disposición y, además, permitiendo a otros utilizar y validar la información que allí se encuentra, se espera alentar futuras y nuevas investigaciones sobre la sociedad civil en todo el mundo. Con este fin, la Base de Datos de Indicadores del ISC es:

  • de fácil acceso online
  • permite buscar por país, dimensión e indicador individual
  • disponible sin cargo.

Por favor visite para acceder a la base de datos

Para conmemorar este hito, CIVICUS y el programa del ISC también se complacen en anunciar un Concurso de Ensayos y convocar a la presentación de papers basados en esta nueva base de datos. Son bienvenidas presentaciones de estudiantes interesados, grupos de interés de la sociedad civil y académicos. Las presentaciones deben estar basadas en la información disponible en la Base de Datos de Indicadores del Índice de la Sociedad Civil 2003-2006, y hay un premio de USD 500 para el mejor paper. Una selección de los papers de mayor calidad además será incluida en un volumen de compilación y publicada en el website de CIVICUS. FECHA LÍMITE PARA PRESENTACIONES: 31 de octubre de 2009.

Por favor, ver el folleto adjunto (en inglés) para más información.

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CSI Sign of Impact of the week: Research

Posted by civilsocietyindex on September 29, 2009

Further Research Inspired by CSI Findings

The Civil Society Index 2003-2006 has inspired other research on civil society around the world.  Some examples, as a result of our preliminary CSI 2003-2006 Impact Assessment, can be found below:

Montenegro: the CSI report identified that “the key problem constraining the sustainability of civil society sector is the limited availability of financial resources” and that “the private sector has no interest in working with and supporting CSOs.”  These findings helped lead to (and were also used by) CRNVO for a publication entitled “Development of Corporate Social Responsibility.”

Togo: Based on CSI findings REALITE GOUVERNANCE (RG) plan to conduct research about the topic: Activism of Civil Society in Togo

Palestine: Dissemination of findings has affected organizations differently. Some research centres have developed their own research agendas based on some findings of the CSI study to understand the weaknesses of civil society organizations that the study has exposed, to try to bridge the gap and find answers and solutions. While the academia have been informed more about the problems of the civil society organizations and their deviation from real development and have tried to conceptualize the development paradigms and understand the transition that is happening at this stage in the civil society

Vietnam: Many research organisations have being interested in CS studies and some donor organisations (government as well as international) are willing to fund for these researches. In 2007 – 2008 CECODES conducted an evidence-based research project “Empowering Civil Society Organisations (CSO) for Conflict Resolution in Rural Areas in the Urbanization Process”, funded by the Embassy of Finland. In 2008, with the financial support of the Finish Embassy, CECODES has been conducting a two-year project to evaluate the situation of corruption and build capacity in corruption prevention and anti-corruption for civil society organisations.

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CSI Partner Profile of the Week: TUSEV from Turkey

Posted by civilsocietyindex on September 28, 2009


Third Sector Foundation of Turkey (TUSEV) was established in 1993 by Turkey’s leading civil society organizations (CSO), and has now grown to a supporting network of over 100 associations and foundations that share a vision of strengthening the legal, fiscal and operational infrastructure of the third (non-profit) sector in Turkey.

Among TUSEV’s main objectives are civil society law reform, research on civil society and philanthropy, promoting social investment and social justice philanthropy, and facilitating partnerships across sectors, as well as across borders. Since its establishment, TUSEV has been a leader in producing literature and policy for the sector’s needs and future, and has played a crucial role in recent reforms concerning civil society laws.

In 2008, the Foundation and its trustees hosted the 19th EFC Annual General Assembly and Conference in Istanbul, which marked the largest international gathering of foundations in the history of Turkey. TUSEV also conducted the CSI National Workshop in June, and is now well on their way to finalizing their reports and the implementation of the CSI in the country for this phase. Congratulations on all of your hard work!

More information on TUSEV is available at, and more information on the CSI implementation in Turkey is available at

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CSI Sign of Impact of the week: Palestine

Posted by civilsocietyindex on September 25, 2009

Palestine: Engaging with Local Communities and Better Meeting their Needs

In Palestine, implementing the CSI has led to a better consideration of local community needs and marginalised people. The Bisan Centre for Research and Development (BCRD) implemented the CSI in the previous phase, and as Eileen Kuttab, Acting Director General of BCRD, explains:

The CSI has exposed the internal problematics of relations of NGOs with [the] local community, so I think that this gap is being more monitored and more emphasis is put on finding creative policies to reach marginalized groups through opening programs that permit equal opportunities and equal access to all groups and sectors of community.

In this way, CSI findings exposed a key shortcoming of Palestinian civil society. Later actions have sought to remedy this situation. According to Eileen Kuttab:

Due to evaluation of development practice, civil society organizations are becoming more sensitive to community practical and strategic needs and hence more engagement of the civil society in popular issues is picking up, especially in the context of the weak performance of the government as these organizations are providing more quality services for the people.

Better evaluation of civil society actions is thus leading to better practices.  She also points out that:

As our organization is a research organization, the findings have exposed some ways of how to reach people genuinely, and how to disseminate information as tools for empowerment in a popular way, and what kind of research issues we should emphasize at this stage. Following an action research methodology, research has become more relevant to feed in promoting development models that can be more effective in impacting the local community.

Increased research and knowledge about civil society has thus made development initiatives more relevant to local communities. She also says that, “in addition it is noteworthy to mention that some NGOs are more inclined to adjust their agendas to suit the needs of the local community which makes them more relevant and interesting to the public.”

Clearly, civil society organisations are changing their practices based on such findings. In short, some of the most successful recommendations that were implemented in Palestine are “[engaging] more with people” and “[conducting] projects that are more relevant to community practices.” By listening more to community needs, civil society organisations can do better work in Palestine.

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Did you know…

Posted by civilsocietyindex on September 25, 2009

… in Uganda in 2006, according to the CSI community survey, out of 548 respondents, 50% said that most people could not be trusted while 47% indicated that most people could be trusted. However, according to the World Values Survey, only 8% felt that most people could be trusted, while 92% felt that you need to be very careful with others. (Indicator 2.4.1)

Want to know more?


Keep watching this blog and other CIVICUS platforms for the launch of the CSI 2003-2006 Indicator Database, coming soon!

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Meeting CSI implementers at the CIVICUS Partner Events

Posted by civilsocietyindex on September 23, 2009

Here are some pictures of some of our current CSI implementers, who were at CIVICUS Headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa this week and last week  for the CSW, LTA and AGNA partners meetings.


In the CIVICUS Indaba room for the LTA meeting

CSW woman

At the CSW workshop at the cottages: In this picture, you can see CSI partners Luis from RNNDL (Nicaragua), Feliciano from SINERGIA (Venezuela) and Giang from CECODES (Vietnam)

Analia and addys

Analia from ICD (Uruguay) and Addys from Alianza ONG (Dominican Republic), enjoying a little Latin America gathering while in Joburg


Tracy from the CSI team and Roina from SUNGO (Samoa) pointing to Samoa’s position on the CSI implementation roadmap for this phase


Feliciano from SINERGIA (Venezuela) talking with Ingrid Srinath, Secretary General of CIVICUS


Out and about in Johannesburg: CSI partners in this photo (from left to right, include Consuelo from CEMEFI (Mexico), Analia from ICD (Uruguay), Addys from Alianza ONG (Dominican Republic) and Amy from the CSI team

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Did you know….

Posted by civilsocietyindex on September 23, 2009

… results from the CSI Survey Civil Society 2004 indicate that, since 1990, only 5.3% of Croatian citizens have written a letter to a newspaper, 14.6% have participated in demonstrations, while 61.3% have signed a petition (Indicator 1.1.1)

Want to know more?


Keep watching this blog for the launch of the new CSI 2003-2006 Indicator Database, coming soon!

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Pictures from the CIVICUS Global Crisis and Civil Society meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa

Posted by civilsocietyindex on September 20, 2009

After a successful three day workshop with CSW’s Early Warning System September 17, 18 and 19, the remainder of the CIVICUS AGNA and LTA delegates from all over the world joined us in Johannesburg, South Africa for today’s meeting on the Global Crisis and Civil Society.  Below are some pictures from the event:


Ingrid Srinath, CIVICUS Secretary General, addressing the group

Group shot

Participants listening to the preliminary talks

Participants were all smiles!

All smiles!

Group work

Working in smaller discussion groups

Ingrid and Anabel

Ingrid and Anabel Cruz (Chair of the Board of CIVICUS) sharing a laugh

Keep your eyes on this blog as well as the CIVICUS website ( for more pictures, updates and outcomes from the various meetings happening this week at the CIVICUS offices in Johannesburg! 

A reminder of the remaining events this week:

  • Monday, 21 September: CIVICUS Legitimacy, Transparency and Accountibility (LTA) Workshop
  • Tuesday, 22 September: CIVICUS Affinitity Group for National Associations (AGNA) Annual Meeting
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    CSI Partner Profile of the Week: GERDDES from Burkina Faso

    Posted by civilsocietyindex on September 15, 2009

    gerddes logo

    Le Groupe d’Etudes et de Recherches sur la Démocratie et le Développement Economique et Social au BURKINA FASO (GERDDES-Burkina) est une section du Groupe d’Etudes et de Recherches sur la Démocratie et le Développement Economique et Social en Afrique (GERDDES Afrique), créé en mai 1990 à la suite d’une rencontre d’un millier d’intellectuels africains, à Cotonou au Bénin, autour de la problématique du bilan de trente années d’indépendance et des perspectives du continent africain en matière de gouvernance démocratique.

    Le GERDDES-Afrique est né de la volonté et de l’engagement de ces intellectuels de soutenir les perspectives de réalisation de la démocratie en Afrique. A ce jour, il est représenté dans 25 pays africains dont le Burkina Faso, en France, au Canada et aux Etats Unis d’Amérique.

    L’article 2 des statuts stipule que « le GERDDES Burkina a pour ambition de contribuer à éclairer l’opinion publique nationale et internationale, par des analyses sur la paix, la démocratie et le développement » dans le but de contribuer à améliorer la qualité des institutions démocratiques et la capacité des citoyens à jouer un rôle essentiel.

    Les objectifs spécifiques que s’est fixé le GERDDES Burkina sont les suivants :

    • contribuer à la prise de mesures pour la promotion et la consolidation de la démocratie pluraliste au Burkina Faso, dans ses dimensions politique, économique et sociale ;
    • aider à promouvoir au Burkina Faso un enseignement et une éducation civique afin de faire entrer les idéaux de démocratie dans les mœurs des populations ;
    • contribuer à la transparence des élections et à la crédibilité des résultats par une observation indépendante des scrutins ;
    • contribuer au développement économique et social à travers une stratégie de promotion de la participation citoyenne des populations au développement, par le biais de la décentralisation ;
    • contribuer au renforcement de la participation de la femme dans le développement économique et social ;
    • entreprendre des initiatives citoyennes pour la prévention des crises/conflits sociaux et politiques et faire de la médiation entre des parties en conflit ;
    • effectuer des études et des recherches sur les différents aspects de la démocratie en vue d’accélérer le développement économique et social ;
    • coopérer avec les organisations nationales et internationales poursuivant les mêmes objectifs

    La vision globale de base consiste à oeuvrer à ce que la démocratie, comme système politique contemporain avec ses vertus de respect des droits de l’homme et des libertés, sa capacité de créer les espaces libéraux permettant le développement économique et social, puisse se réaliser au Burkina Faso de manière fonctionnelle. Connaissant toute la sensibilité et la délicatesse de la sphère politique, le GERDDES Burkina va développer une stratégie propre basée sur une approche médiane et conciliatrice.

    Au delà de la méthodologie, la démarche stratégique du GERDDES Burkina est une démarche générale de prévention, d’orientation et d’éclairage. Le GERDDES a choisi d’aborder les questions relatives à l’instauration et à l’enracinement de la démocratie, en se plaçant en amont pour étudier et relever les défis à venir, pour identifier les facteurs de risques et prévenir les conflits.

    01 BP : 584 Ouagadougou 01
    Tél : (226) 31 45 77 /
    33 27 05 (B) 33 40 36 (D)
    Fax : 31 45 79
    Tél/Fax : 30 53 36 / 34 05 29

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    CSI “Sign of Impact” of the week: Hong Kong

    Posted by civilsocietyindex on September 14, 2009

    Hong Kong: Increasing Engagement
    through the Annual Social Forum

    HKCSS logo

    CIVICUS’ country partner in Hong Kong during the 2003-2007 phase was the Hong Kong Council for Social Services (HKCSS). HKCSS was originally founded in 1947 and is an umbrella organisation of 360 social welfare agencies. Its vision is “to build a welfare sector that is highly accountable, efficient, effective and responsive to social needs, upholding the long-term sustainable development of society and the well-being of our citizens,” and its mission is to promote the development of social welfare together with its member agencies, through:

    • enhancing accountability of social welfare service agencies;
    • promoting improvement of social welfare services;
    • facilitating agencies to better serve the community;
    • advocating equality, justice, social integration and a caring society;
    • and setting the local welfare sector as a model of excellence in the international community.

    Currently, Christine Fang serves as the Chief Executive for HKCSS. The Chief Research Officer for Policy Research and Advocacy is Anthony Wong. HKCSS implemented the CSI in Hong Kong between 2004 and 2005.

    The CSI findings for Hong Kong showed that while civil society in Hong Kong was fairly vibrant despite having a somewhat unfavorable environment, civil society was very weak in the dimension of structure. More specifically, different NGOs rarely worked together. Consequently, HKCSS wanted to “build up a platform which could allow all these NGOs to meet up regularly and network with each other and also learn from each other so then in two senses civil society could be enhanced.”

    Firstly, the network between NGOs would be strengthened, and secondly, “through this network or platform, civil society organisations can learn and build their capacity more in terms of [community] organising.” This knowledge-sharing was seen as important especially because different social issues are becoming increasingly interrelated.

    To accomplish this goal of networking and knowledge-sharing, in 2006 HKCSS began organising its first Social Forum, which was held in 2007. There was also a Social Forum in 2008, and in 2009 the Social Forum will be held in October. HKCSS hopes that the Social Forum will be “an annual gathering which all the NGOs in Hong Kong could look forward to.” In addition, it is a “platform for CSOs in Hong Kong to explore, publicize and advocate the issues of their concern.”

    In 2008, HKCSS worked with 43 partner organisations to hold 30 programmes for the Social Forum over the course of three weeks. For each programme, HKCSS worked with at least one other NGO that had some expertise in the topic of interest. These programmes are very “activity-based” and often include outings. For example, there were trips to organic farms and visits to marginalised groups, such as people seeking asylum.

    The Social Forum is an excellent opportunity for engagement. As Anthony Wong explains, “participants of the program are people from the general public, so everybody in Hong Kong is welcome to join any of these programmes.”

    In 2008, there were 500 different participants, though since some people attended more than one programme, the head count was about 800. Participants were from “all walks of life” and “not just the ‘usual suspects’ from the NGOs.” There are civil servants that work for the government, secondary school students, and people from the business sector. In the words of Anthony Wong:

    a lot of business people…are concerned with some current social issues, but actually, they don’t know much about the channels of participation. And this Forum actually opened up some channels for them to explore some of the issues which they had been very much concerned [about].

    Thus, the Social Forum gives members of the general public the opportunity to learn firsthand about social issues in Hong Kong as well as the work of civil society organisations.

    HKCSS hopes to continue the Social Forum in the future and make it even more visible through better publicity and involving more partners in the overall organising.

    For more information about HKCSS and the Social Forum, please visit their website:


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