CIVICUS Civil Society Index

An international action-research project by and for civil society

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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