CIVICUS Civil Society Index

An international action-research project by and for civil society

Archive for October, 2009

One World Trust and CIVICUS working together to improve knowledge exchange

Posted by civilsocietyindex on October 30, 2009

The Civil Society Index team is now pleased to be working closely with the One World Trust to better share and disseminate knowledge generated by civil society self-regulatory initiatives, including the findings of the CSI project.

 

One World Trust

  About the One World Trust

The One World Trust is an independent think tank that conducts research, develops recommendations and advocates for reform to make policy and decision-making processes in global governance more accountable to the people they affect now and in the future, and to ensure that international laws are strengthened and applied equally to all.  To achieve this the OWT develops practical tools and recommendations in support of organisational reform, identifying gaps in the accountability of governance systems, and highlighting opportunities for cross-sector learning.  

Visit the One World Trust’s website at www.oneworldtrust.org

 

About the CSO SRI Portal

The One World Trust has launched a portal on civil society self-regulation which includes a database listing over 320 initiatives (codes of conduct, certification schemes, working groups, self-assessments and information services) across 80 countries. Each initiative has a unique page with summaries of its content; contact details; areas and types of activities the initiative addresses; a list of participant organisations; compliance, monitoring and sanctioning mechanisms; among others.

The launch of their database provides the first ever detailed stock-taking of the content and mechanisms of CSO self-regulation worldwide. In addition, the portal offers an interactive map of CSO self-regulatory initiatives linking directly to the database, briefing papers, and the latest news on CSO self-regulation. The portal will be an important tool for civil society organisations, donors, researchers and the general public interested in the self-regulation of the sector.  

Visit the One World Trust’s CSO SRI portal at www.oneworldtrust.org/csoproject.

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Call for Nominations: CIVICUS Board of Directors

Posted by civilsocietyindex on October 30, 2009

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS

CIVICUS seeks nominations of individuals
to stand for election to its Board of Directors

Deadline for nominations
Midnight GMT, Friday, 29th of January 2010

CIVICUS letter-head-final

Dear Colleague,

It is my pleasure to invite you to submit nominations for the upcoming CIVICUS Board elections. I sincerely hope you will take up this opportunity to participate in the governance of CIVICUS and that it will inspire you to renew your membership of our organisation. At the time of submitting your nomination, it is not vital that your membership is up to date. However, to be eligible to vote for the final candidates you would need to be a paid up member of CIVICUS.

Background

The CIVICUS Board of Directors is the organisation’s governing body. It comprises 13 directors elected to serve three year terms. Any current or prospective member of CIVICUS may stand for election to the 13 seats.

To ensure transparency and avoid conflicts of interest, the Board has created an ad hoc Nominations Committee to develop a list of candidates to be presented to the membership of CIVICUS. Members will elect the 13 directors from a list of approximately 26 names. The list will consist of current Board members eligible to stand for re-election and individuals not currently serving on the Board but who are nominated by CIVICUS’ members.

The outgoing Board Chairperson, Anabel Cruz, (Uruguay) will chair the Committee. Other members will include one current Board member who will not stand for election and three persons of prominent standing in the civil society movement who are not CIVICUS directors and who also will not stand for election to the Board. The CIVICUS Secretary General, Ingrid Srinath will serve as an ex-officio member of the Committee.

Selection Criteria

In selecting nominees, the Committee will take into account CIVICUS’ needs for a Board to be filled by persons who:

  • Have institutional and individual credibility in the civil society movement at national, regional and/or international levels;
  • Have experience at managerial levels and/or as a member of boards of directors;
  • Have demonstrated a commitment to CIVICUS’ mission, vision, values and programmes

The Committee will also consider CIVICUS’ needs for a Board that collectively is:

  • Broadly representative of CIVICUS’ global reach and geographic diversity;
  • Broadly representative of CIVICUS’ membership composition (by institutional type, national location, etc.);
  • Diverse in terms of gender, age, race, ethnicity and cultural background;
  • Diverse in terms of experience and talents.

The Call and Directions

The CIVICUS’ Nominations committee requests nominations from Members and partners of the organisation. You may nominate yourself and/or others.

A nomination will be certified when CIVICUS receives by midnight GMT, Friday, 29th of January 2010

  1. A completed Nomination Form for each nominee (copy the blank form as you need)
  2. A letter of intent from each nominee (other than self-nominees who have submitted the nomination form for themselves).

See Nomination Form Section B about what the letter of intent should include. (Note: a nominee does not have to be a member of CIVICUS
when nominated, but she/he or his/her organisation must join no later than 30th April 2010.)

Please submit completed nomination forms, which can be downloaded here: http://www.civicus.org/media/CivicusNominationForm.pdf

Sent you completed application package to:

Anabel Cruz,
Chair – CIVICUS Nomination’s Committee

By e-mail to: boardelections@civicus.org  or by fax to: + 27 11 833 7997

Please contact Sandra Pires at sandra.pires@civicus.org for further information on CIVICUS membership or take a look at the Membership section of our website at www.civicus.org

Warm regards,

Anabel Cruz

 

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New poll on the CSI blog

Posted by civilsocietyindex on October 29, 2009

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CSI Sign of Impact of the week: Engaging the general public

Posted by civilsocietyindex on October 28, 2009

sharingEngaging the General Public

After implementing the CSI in the 2003-2006 phase, several country partners have also tried to better engage the general public in civil society issues. For example, according to Analía Bettoni from ICD in Uruguay, one of the most significant changes in Uruguay was “more public visibility of civil society actions, in order to set some issues in the public agenda.” Eileen Kuttab of Palestine also notes that her organisation tried to “develop the interest of public in community issues.” In addition, one of the most successful recommendations that was implemented in Ukraine was “[developing] civil society culture, which includes active and knowledgeable citizens, their participation in the formation and realization of public policy.” Thus, there has been some success in making the general public more interested in civil society issues and more engaged in advocating for their policy positions.

In Indonesia, Yappika has sought to increase more concrete financial assistance from the general public. According to CSI findings, the general public in Indonesia is only willing to donate for charity or religious activities. Consequently, Yappika worked with a notable Moslem public fundraising organisation and the NGO Indonesia Corruption Watch to “conduct public fundraising for advocacy on education.” As Francisca Fitri Kurnia Sri notes, “in terms of [the] money we get, we consider this public fundraising is promising.” To some degree, the general public in Indonesia is becoming more willing to donate money for civil society initiatives.

In addition, for the last three years there has been a considerable effort to better educate and engage members of the private sector, government, and general public in civil society issues through the Social Forum in Hong Kong.

Keep you eyes on this blog for more signs of impact from the CSI in the 2003-2006 phase of implementation!

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Partner Profile of the Week: Red Nicaragüense por la Democracia y el Desarrollo Local, Nicaragua

Posted by civilsocietyindex on October 27, 2009

logo

La Red Nicaragüense por la Democracia y el Desarrollo Local, es un espacio de comunicación e intercambio horizontal de una expresión de la sociedad civil nicaragüense, cuya identidad se construye en un proceso permanente de interacción sobre la base de principios y valores acordados entre sus 54 miembros.

La Red Nicaragüense por la democracia y el desarrollo local es un espacio autónomo integrado por organizaciones de la sociedad civil y personas a título individual, que promuevan de manera articulada e inclusiva el desarrollo local con equidad de género, generacional y pluricultural, de forma participativa y descentralizada.

Sitio web: http://www.redlocalnicaragua.org

—————

The Nicaragua Network for Democracy and Local Development (NNDLD) is a space for communication and horizontal exchange. It exists as an expression of Nicaraguan civil society, whose identity is constructed through a permanent process of interaction around the basic principles and values that have been agreed to by their 54 members.

The Nicaragua Network for Democracy and Local Development (NNDLD) is an autonomous platform made up of civil society organizations and individuals who are working to inclusively and concretely promote local development in the country. This work is done with attention to gender equity and equal representation of all social groups, and in a way that is participative and decentralized.

Website: http://www.redlocalnicaragua.org

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REMINDER: CSI Essay Contest deadline fast approaching!

Posted by civilsocietyindex on October 26, 2009

This is a quick post to remind all of those interested that the CSI Essay Contest deadline is October 31, 2009.

CSI essay contest reminder

For more information on the contest (including the 500$ USD prize) please see our essay flyer (which can be downloaded from this link: CIVICUS_CSI_Essay Contest), and if you have any questions, feel free to contact the CSI team at index@civicus.org

We look forward to recieving your submissions!

 

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Sign of Impact of the Week: Indonesia

Posted by civilsocietyindex on October 23, 2009

Yappika: District Level CSI in Indonesia

CIVICUS’ country partner in Indonesia for the 2003-2006 phase of implementation was Yappika. Its vision is a “democratic and independent civil society that fights for its rights,” and its mission is to:

  1. Develop Yappika as a vehicle for lifelong democracy learning based on first-hand experiences
  2. Strengthen the capacities and capabilities of civil society organisations to build their independence and enable them to influence public policy at various levels
  3. Perform human rights policy advocacy, including advocacy for policy that promotes development of healthy civil society organisations
  4. Promote the growth of synergy among civil society organisations in the fight for democracy and human rights.

Lili Hasanuddin is the Executive Director, and Fransisca Fitri Kurnia Sri currently serves as the Deputy Director. Yappika implemented the CSI between October 2005 and August 2006.

After implementing the CSI, Yappika realized that progress towards civil-society strengthening would be difficult at the national level since the concerns of CSOs were so diverse. Consequently, Yappika decided to bring the CSI to the district level because key stakeholders knew each other better, civil society concerns were more similar, and there was more power to strengthen civil society and engage with the local government.

To conduct CSI at the district level, Yappika somewhat modified the methodology. Instead of using many surveys, Yappika conducted more qualitative research in the form of focus group discussions and interviews. Local CSOs and community members would have the opportunity to discuss the findings and make recommendations at workshops. Yappika also wrote reports for each district that were similar to the national CSI report, and included data for indicators and the results of workshop discussions.

The district-level CSI projects began in 2004 with eight districts. Yappika re-implemented the modified CSI in those same districts in 2007. In 2009, Yappika began conducting the district-level CSI in eight new districts in Indonesia.

For more information about Yappika, please visit their website at http://www.yappika.or.id

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Partner Profile of the Week: ZCSD in Zambia

Posted by civilsocietyindex on October 22, 2009

Congratulations to our partners, the Zambian Council for Social Development (ZCSD), who have been enjoying great successes in implementing the CSI in Zambia. Below their profile, you can find some pictures from recent CSI activities undertaken in the country.

zcsd logo

The ZCSD is an umbrella organisation of more than 100 civil society organisations whose main goal is to promote vibrant, independent and well coordinated civil society organisations in the country.

Mission
The mission for ZCSD is to promote and facilitate sustainable, social-economic development through collaboration and networking among Non Governmental Organisations, Community based organisations, strategic partners and stakeholders.

Vision
The vision for ZCSD is to improve lives for the vulnerable where people are healthy, educated, motivated and empowered to make informed choices.

Since its formation in 1974, ZCSD has aimed at giving support to civil society organisation, networking and strengthening member linkages, advocating and policy work as well as internal capacity building.
To live up to its mission, ZCSD has undertaken activities mainly focused on:

  •  providing relevant information, resources and support to CSOs. The special emphasis on this area is placed on youth and women organisations concerning their rights and ability to effectively and freely operate.
  • Collaboration with CSOs and CBOs. Its emphasis is placed on youth and women organisations in Zambia and in the region. This area has paved way to provide institutional and technical support the Zambia Social Forum and other Social Movements.
  • Building capacity of key CSOs including youth and women organisations in the nine provinces of Zambia to understand and advocate on key policy issues affecting them; and strengthen ZCSD research, popularisation, dissemination and advocacy on relevant policies.
  • As well as well as ensuring that the organisation is recognised as a credible and independent advocacy civil society organisation amongst the national CSOs, INGOs and donors as well as ensuring a professional and competent ZCSD secretariat in terms of staffing, offices and management systems.

On a regional level, ZCSD as a national umbrella body represents Zambian civil society in a number of international and regional bodies most notably the SADC Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (SADC CNGO), lobbying for greater influence for civil society, and tackling important issues such as Human Rights and Good Governance on a regional and national level.

In the field of research, ZCSD is currently conducting a research on the Civil Society Index Project to assess the state of civil society organisations in Zambia through CIVICUS.

Contact information
No 11 Azikiwe Cresent Northmead.
P: Box 32997 Lusaka Zambia
Telefax: +260 211 236219
Email: mail@zcsd.org.zm
Website: www.zcsd.org.zm
CSI contacts: Chimfweembe Mweenge (mweenge.chimfwembe@zcsd.org.zm), Lois Kayumba (lois.kayumba@zcsd.org.zm)

 

Focus groups

At a CSI regional focus group meeting

group photo for the mansa FGM

Group shot of the focus group meeting in Mansa

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Welcome to a new CSI staff member

Posted by civilsocietyindex on October 21, 2009

welcomeThe CSI team would like to welcome our new Programme Officer, Mark Nowottny, to the CSI Secretariat in Johannesburg. He will be bringing his skills and experience to provide country support and contribute to the communications needs of the team.

Mark is a UK citizen who joined CIVICUS in October 2009. With an academic background in politics, he holds a BA in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge and an MA in Latin American Politics from the Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London. Prior to joining CIVICUS, Mark worked as Project Officer for the Commonwealth Foundation’s Culture Programme, where he facilitated research and advocacy on the connections between culture and development. He has also worked for the Independent Jamaican Council for Human Rights, and maintains a particular interest in Caribbean civil society.

You can find more information and profiles of the CSI Team members on the CSI Team tab on this blog.

Welcome Mark!

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Impact of the Week: Uruguay: Additional Research about Accountability in Uruguay and the Region

Posted by civilsocietyindex on October 15, 2009

CIVICUS’ country partner in Uruguay during the 2003-2006 phase was the Instituto de Comunicación y Desarrollo or the Institute for Communication and Development (ICD).  Its mission is to “produce knowledge and promote actions that contribute to greater citizen participation in democratic life, in the processes of national development and in regional integration.”  Anabel Cruz and Fernando Barreiro serve as ICD’s directors, and Analía Bettoni is the organisation’s project coordinator.  ICD began implementing the first phase of the Civil Society Index in June of 2003 and completed the project in December 2005.  ICD is also currently re-implementing the CSI in the 2008-2009 phase.

One of the findings of the 2003-2006 CSI report in Uruguay was that accountability and transparency were weak in the civil society sector.  Based on this information, ICD began projects for follow-up research.

The first project was about accountability and civil society in 10 Ibero-American countries. It began in June of 2006 and lasted two years. The project was coordinated from Uruguay by ICD with the support of the Kellogg Foundation.  In addition to ICD in Uruguay, organisations from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Paraguay, and Spain participated in this research.  The goals were to inform and create a discussion at different levels (national, regional, and global) about accountability and financial transparency as a factor for the legitimacy of the civil society sector, to promote sharing lessons learned about this topic throughout Latin America, and to create better capacity, tool kits, and resources to improve transparency in civil society.    Their research led to the publication of a book entitled Vers a Través: Poder, rendición de cuentas y sociedad civil, which can be found on ICD’s website.  The organisations involved in this project also presented the findings at several international seminars.

Related to this Ibero-American project was additional research done only in Uruguay with the support of the World Bank.  ICD made diagnoses regarding accountability and transparency of about one hundred organisations in the National Association of NGOs.  To conduct this research, ICD analysed their webpages and reports and made conclusions based on what they discovered.

For more information on ICD and their research projects, please visit ICD’s website: http://www.lasociedadcivil.org/.

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