CIVICUS Civil Society Index

An international action-research project by and for civil society

Archive for November, 2009

Goodbye and Good Luck to a CSI staff member

Posted by civilsocietyindex on November 30, 2009

The CSI Secretariat in Johannesburg would like to say a fond farewell and good luck to Bilal Aurang Zeb, who has left the CIVICUS to pursue an M&E position with the UNDP in Sudan.

Bilal joined the CSI in June 2009, and contributed a great deal to the programme and to CIVICUS. His lively and positive personality, as well as his professionalism and M&E expertise, will be greatly missed. We would like to thank him for all of his contributions, and wish him all the best in his new endeavour.

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Research seminar held in Russia on CSI findings

Posted by civilsocietyindex on November 27, 2009

On November 18 2009, the Civil Society Index national coordinating organisation in Russia – the State University Higher School of Economics Centre for Civil Society Studies – convened a research seminar entitled “The Civil Society Index in Russia: Methodology and Research Results”.

Director of the Centre, Ms Irena Mersiyanova

Led by Director of the Centre Irina Mersiyanova and project coordinator Liliana Proskuryakova, the seminar discussed the methodology used, the initial quantitative data so far collected and the 67 indicators about the state of civil society derived from this data. Participants also discussed how the methodology used in the CSI project had changed since implementation of the project during the first phase in 2003-2006, as well as how future changes to the methodology at the end of this phase might better enable international comparability.

Participants in discussion during the seminar

The seminar, participated in by researchers, students, civil society representatives, donors and government authorities, forms part of  an active communication and engagement strategy by the SU-HSE – a key component of implementing the CSI project at the national level.

The SU-HSE will now move onwards towards completion of the project implementation and is due to convene its full National Workshop on December 11 2009, where a wide range of actors will engage with the findings and look to take forward their recommendations by developing concrete action plans.

To read more about the research seminar (Russian only), click here.

To visit the SU-HSE website, click here.

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CIVICUS Media Track Project

Posted by civilsocietyindex on November 26, 2009

Dear CSI Partners,

Do you sometimes think that your civil society organisation would have been able to shed some light on the latest news story – if only you’d been asked? Do you want to make the expertise of your organisation more accessible to the media? If yes, you’ll want to take part in this initiative.

CIVICUS, in collaboration with the Inter Press Service (IPS), is developing a database to facilitate the relationship between civil society and the media. This database will contain the names and contact details for civil society organisations as well as their fields of expertise and the regions in which they work. The database will allow the media to quickly and easily find sources for their stories within civil society on a wide variety of themes.

If you would like to be part of this database, please complete the form. If you have any questions, please email us at



Estimado Socio ISC,

¿Algunas veces piensa que su organización de la sociedad civil podría haber echado luz sobre las últimas historias de las noticias, si sólo le hubiesen preguntado? ¿Quiere hacer que la expertise de su organización sea más accesible a los medios de comunicación? Si es así, querrá tomar parte en esta iniciativa.

CIVICUS, en colaboración con el Inter Press Service (IPS), está desarrollando una base de datos para facilitar la relación entre la sociedad civil y los medios. Esta base de datos contendrá los nombres y datos de contacto de las organizaciones de la sociedad civil así como sus campos de expertise y las regiones en las que trabajan. La base de datos le permitirá a los medios de comunicación encontrar, rápido y fácilmente, fuentes para sus historias dentro de la sociedad civil sobre una amplia variedad de temas.

Si quiere ser parte de esta base de datos, por favor complete el formulario (en ingles). Si tiene alguna pregunta, envíenos un email a



Cher Partenaire ISC,

Vous arrive-t-il de vous dire que votre organisation aurait pu apporter un complément d’information intéressant sur telle ou telle actualité – si seulement on vous l’avait demandé ? Souhaitez-vous que le savoir et l’expérience de votre organisation soit plus accessible aux médias ? Si oui, cette nouvelle initiative va vous intéresser.

CIVICUS, en collaboration avec Inter Press Service (IPS) est entrain de constituer une banque de données pour faciliter les relations entre la société civile et les médias. Elle contiendra les noms et les coordonnées des organisations de la société civile, ainsi que leurs domaines de compétences et les régions dans lesquelles elles opèrent. Elle permettra aux médias de trouver facilement et rapidement les bonnes sources.

Si vous souhaitez figurer dans cette banque de données, il suffit de remplir le formulaire. Pour toute question, n’hésitez-pas à nous envoyer un e-mail à


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CSI-Chile obtains Bicentenary Commission’s sponsorship

Posted by civilsocietyindex on November 19, 2009

The CIVICUS Civil Society Index Project in Chile, coordinated by the Fundación Soles, obtained the sponsorship of the Bicentenary Commission on 13th October 2009. With this recognition, information about the events and activities of the CSI-Chile will also be shared through the communication channels of this governmental committee.

The Bicentenary Commission is the consultant entity that advises the Presidency of the Republic about initiatives which allow the country to achieve the objectives of the commemoration of the 200 years of republican history. The Bicentenary Commission also supports organisations oriented to improving and deepening democracy in Chile.

With this award, the CSI in Chile has therefore been acknowledged as a relevant initiative that strongly supports democratic conditions, citizens’ liberties and social dialogue, in order to advance to a more integrated and just country.

Sponsored by: 

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National Workshop convened in Uruguay

Posted by civilsocietyindex on November 16, 2009

On Thursday 29 October, the Instituto de Comunicación y Desarrollo (ICD) held their CSI National Workshop in Montevideo, Uruguay. The meeting brought together over 60 actors from civil society, government institutions, the media, the donor community and academia to discuss the findings of the CSI and to identify initiatives for strengthening civil society.


Some of the most relevant results so far include the finding that the level of participation in Uruguay is growing, although the levels of individual activism on political questions is at the same time very low. The results also highlighted an environment and socio-political context which is highly conducive for civil society, with over 80% of civil society organisations claiming not to have encountered restrictions from government, and with 50% believing that current legislation is enabling.



Uruguay is only the second country to hold its National Workshop, following Turkey earlier this year. The Civil Society Index in Uruguay is being developed within the framework of a project called “Strengthening of Civil Society in Uruguay”, which is a joint programme between the government and the United Nations.


To read more about the implementation of the CSI National Workshop in Uruguay (Spanish only), click here.

Posted in Americas, Country News, General Information | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

First Advisory Committee meeting in Macedonia

Posted by civilsocietyindex on November 13, 2009

MCIC logoAfter a delayed start due to funding constraints, the Macedonian CSI Advisory Committee held its first meeting at November 4, 2009. Please see below for some pictures of the event. And to follow the CSI implementation in the country, please click here or visit the link to MCICs CSI implementation pages in the right-hand sidebar of this blog.

At the AC meeting, the members of the Committee had the opportunity to acquire information about this action-research project which assesses the state of civil society in different countries around the world. The thorough discussion allowed them to determine the main social and political issues in Macedonia, the topics for case studies as well as the key persons that will be interviewed during the later phases of the research.

Part of the discussion was dedicated to the definition of civil society that will be used for the purposes of the research and to the categories of civil organizations.

The members of the Advisory Committee made the preliminary assessment of the civil society by evaluating the sub-dimensions: civil engagement, level of organization, practicing values, perceived impact and the external environment.

The CSI project was successfully implemented in Macedonia for the first time during the period 2003-2006 phase of implementation. The result of the project was the most comprehensive research of the civil society in Macedonia that has ever been conducted. The use of standard methodology allowed comparing civil societies around the world which apply the Index.

The Macedonian Center for International Cooperation is the national coordinating organisation of the project for Macedonia. It is expected that the new research will be completed by July next year.

Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCIC)
PO Box 55, 1060 Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
Phone: + 389 (0)2 3065-381 ext. 138/139
Fax: + 389 (0)2 3065-298


Business  CS  MP and Media identify  priority issues

AC members identifying the key thematic issues in Macedonia


Discussion of the civil society definition in Macedonia

MP  Trade Union identify themes for case studies

Identifying case study topics


Posted in Europe | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Saying goodbye to a CSI staff member

Posted by civilsocietyindex on November 12, 2009

good luckThe CSI team would like to share a sincere thank you and good luck to Dr. Federico Silva, who officially finished working with CIVICUS on November 1, 2009.

Dr. Silva started his career with CIVICUS and the CSI programme in September 2007, and in his two years with the organization, he made invaluable contributions to the CSI programme.  We would like to wish him best of luck in his new position and thank him for his consistent professional and personal dedication to the programme during his time at the CSI Secretariat in Johannesburg.

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Sharing the CSI paper and photos from the ISTR conference in Taipei

Posted by civilsocietyindex on November 10, 2009

Below are some more pictures from Tracy and Jacob from the CSI research team, who recently presented at the Regional ISTR Conference in Taipei, Taiwan.

We would also welcome interested parties to download the paper that the CSI team presented about CSO accountability with findings from the ten Asia Pacific countries that implemented in the 2003-2006 phase.  You can get a copy of The State of Civil Society Accountability in the Asia Pacific Region: Insights from the CIVICUS Civil Society Index here.


CSI panel_group shot

Group shot: seated are Tracy Anderson, Jacob Mati, Abalika Kutty, Naoto Yamauchi; standing are Midori Matsushima and Naoko Okuyama


Jacob presenting at the event

CSI panel: midori

Midori talking about the prelimiary findings of the CSI surveys in Japan

Ambalika and Tracy

Ambalika and Tracy relaxing in Taipei


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Help CIVICUS Plan for 2010

Posted by civilsocietyindex on November 6, 2009

Is there a theme close to your heart?

A special day that represents the change you want to see in the world?

An international meeting that you think has the potential to affect our lives and the lives of people around the world?

Do you think CIVICUS needs to make it a priority for 2010?


Help us plan for the year ahead by identifying the TOP 5 events and TOP 5 Global meetings that you think we will need to focus on in 2010. Please complete this short survey by 12 November and make sure your voice is heard in our planning process!

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Report from CSI participation in Regional ISTR Conference in Taipei

Posted by civilsocietyindex on November 6, 2009

Two members of the CSI research team were joined by partners at the 6th ISTR Asia and Pacific Regional Conference from November 1-4, 2009 in Taipei, Taiwan. Papers by Jacob Mati and Tracy Anderson of CSI, Ambalika Kutty (formerly from FCOSS in Fiji), and Naoto Yamauchi, Midori Matsushima, and Naoko Okuyama of OSIPP in Japan were presented in a panel session on the Civil Society Index.

The CSI and Fiji papers presented findings based on the 2003-2006 CSI phase, while Japan offered an intriguing teaser of the data they have compiled so far for the current 2008-2010 phase of CSI implementation. The presentations were a great success and provoked thoughtful questions from the audience regarding changes in the methodology, comparisons with the John Hopkins civil society methodology and Japan’s media review study.

Other panels and presentations at this conference covered a wide range of civil society topics related to the theme of the conference: Changes, Challenges, and New Opportunities for the Third Sector. For example, panels were held on the environmental crises and the Third Sector, the economic recession and the Third Sector, globalization, poverty alleviation, transparency and accountability, and fund raising.

The Conference was organized by the Center for the Third Sector, National Chengchi University and they have put on a professional and exciting event,  right down to the little details. The location of the conference, at the Howard International House, Taipei is a spectacular venue replete with comfortable conference facilities.

CSI would like to thank the ISTR for the opportunity to present at their regional conference, and would also like to thank Ambalika Kutty, Naoto Yamauchi, Midori Matsushima, and Naoko Okuyama for joining us on this panel.

CSI Presentation

ISTR Panel


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