CIVICUS Civil Society Index

An international action-research project by and for civil society

Archive for December, 2009

Taking a break

Posted by civilsocietyindex on December 21, 2009

The CSI team will be taking a break over the holiday season (it’s hard-earned, we promise…) so this will be the last blog posting until early January.

The CIVICUS office in Johannesburg is closed from 24 December until it re-opens again on the 4th January, and we look forward to reconnecting soon after! Until then, we wish all our followers and partners the very best for the holiday season.

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CIVICUS Deputy Secretary General addresses Russian CSI stakeholders

Posted by civilsocietyindex on December 17, 2009

On Friday 11 December 2009, Katsuji Imata, Deputy Secretary General responsible for Programmes at CIVICUS, addressed CSI stakeholders in Moscow, Russia. Mr Imata spoke as part of a wider discussion of an enlarged advisory council meeting for comparative civil society projects (the CIVICUS Civil Society Index (CSI) and the John Hopkins project).

The session, organised by the Center for Studies of Civil Society and Nonprofit Sector (CSCSNS) of the State University – Higher School of Economics, was held as part of a larger conference on Social Partnership and Development of Civil Society Organisations – Experience of Russia’s Regions and Municipalities.

The three hour advisory council meeting was attended by about 40 participants, including representatives from national and regional governments, nongovernmental organisations and researchers and students. During the meeting, Director of CSCSNS Irina Mersiyanova presented the findings of the Civil Society Index in Russia, discussing each dimension of the CSI diamond and introducing comparisons with other countries such as Armenia, Turkey and Zambia.

 

As part of the session, Mr Imata spoke on the role of CIVICUS in facilitating implementation of the Civil Society Index. In the lively discussion that followed, he went on to outline the importance of such spaces for reflection and discussion among different stakeholders, and suggested that there is a continued need to create an enabling environment for the sector. With international comparability one of the components of the CSI, Mr Imata stressed the value of comparing among countries the many common challenges faced by organisations in the sector, despite operating within very different political and social contexts.

Click here to visit the website of the CSI implementing partner in Russia, the Center for Studies of Civil Society and Nonprofit Sector (CSCSNS).

Click here and here to read the news stories about the AC meeting at the national conference (Russian only).

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Belarus delegation visits Cyprus CSI

Posted by civilsocietyindex on December 14, 2009

From October 24 to October 28 2009, a delegation of Belarusian government representatives, parliamentarians and civil society representatives involved in implementation of the Civil Society Index visited the Republic of Cyprus to exchange experiences and learning with Cypriot implementers of the project and supporters of civil society. During the five day trip, the delegation worked with partners on plans for greater future collaboration.

Made possible with the support of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) office in Minsk and with the assistance of CIVICUS, the trip enabled project staff from the Support Centre for Associations and Foundations (SCAF) and members of the CSI Advisory Committee in Belarus to meet and exchange ideas with representatives from Cypriot government and the CSI implementers in Cyprus, the Management Centre of the Mediterranean and the NGO Support Centre.

Highlights of the trip for the Belarus delegation included a roundtable discussion with representatives from Cypriot NGOs  and Mr Constantinos Stylianou, Head of the Cyprus Youth Board. The roundtable explored best practices in youth work and possibilities for closer cooperation between youth NGOs in Cyprus and Belarus. By the end of the meeting, participants had committed to developing an Agreement of Cooperation between youth umbrella organisations in the two countries.

The Belarus delegation also had the opportunity to get practical tips on implementation of the Civil Society Index from Ms Lorraine Marriott, CSI project coordinator with the Management Centre of the Mediterranean, and Mr Michalis Avraam, Executive Director of the NGO Support Centre, as well as sharing their own perspectives.

The 5-member Belarusian delegation included:

  • Alexandr Yushkevich (Civil Society Index Advisory Committee): Member of the Belarus Parliament, Chairperson of the Belarus Association of Youth NGOs and member of the Civil Society Advisory Council to the Belarus Presidential Administration.
  • Yury Tsaryk (Civil Society Index Researcher): Information and Analytical Centre at the Presidential Administration
  • Oleg Slizhevsky (Civil Society Index Advisory Committee): Head of the NGO Department, Belarus Ministry of Justice
  • Iouri Zagoumennov (Civil Society Index Project Coordinator): Director of the Support Centre for Associations and Foundations (SCAF) and member of the Civil Society Advisory Council to the Belarus Presidential Administration.
  • Svetlana Senko (OSCE Office in Minsk)

 

Click here to visit the website of the Support Centre for Associations and Foundations (SCAF), CSI implementers in Belarus.

You can also visit the website of the Management Centre of the Mediterranean and the NGO Support Centre, CSI implementers in Cyprus.

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Looking back at the Civil Society Index in 2009

Posted by civilsocietyindex on December 11, 2009

Much has happened in 2009 in the implementation of the second phase of CIVICUS’ Civil Society Index. Now, as the year draws to a close, the CSI blog features a look back at some of the highlights and key moments in the project’s history during the last twelve months at CIVICUS including trainings, workshops and staff comings and goings.

Click here to visit the page on the CSI in 2009, or use the new tab at the top of the blog.

Do you have stories, feedback or news about the Civil Society Index or country to share from 2009? Let us know at index@civicus.org.

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Video updates on progress in Armenia CSI

Posted by civilsocietyindex on December 9, 2009

In past weeks, Counterpart International Armenia have been making significant progress in implementing the Civil Society Index in Armenia. Now, in a series of video updates, Lusine and Mane from Counterpart have been discussing and bringing to a wider audience some of the key findings.

In the video below, they discuss the findings of the case study on volunteerism in Armenia, as well as strategies for supporting volunteerism in the future.

Click here to watch other video updates from Counterpart International Armenia on the Civil Society Index.

An active dissemination and engagement strategy is a core component of implementing the Civil Society Index. Do you have multimedia or other materials you would like to be shared on the CSI blog? If so, please contact index@civicus.org.

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Research data flows in from around the world

Posted by civilsocietyindex on December 8, 2009

The Civil Society Index (CSI) team is pleased to report that, with 2010 looming on the horizon, research data from many of the countries implementing the CSI is starting to flow in.

Partners began project implementation in West Africa after the training workshop in Togo, November 2008

The second phase of the CSI project, which began in earnest with trainings of CSI partners in September 2008, is now thirteen months old. With CSI partners around the globe working to individual timelines and facing very different challenges in funding and research, the pace of implementation has varied. Nevertheless, the CSI secretariat has now received from partners: 

  • 21 analysed sets of population survey data
  • 11 analysed sets of organisational survey data
  • 11 analysed sets of external perceptions survey data
  • 9 completed case studies
  • 9 completed ‘diamonds’ (visual representations of the complete set of quantitative data)

Certain countries have raced far ahead with implementing the CSI. Both Turkey and Uruguay have already held their National Workshop, a later stage in the process in which partners launch their research to a wider national audience, encourage discussion around the findings and support the formulation of an action plan to strengthen civil society. Russia will hold their national workshop this coming Friday, 11 December 2009.

With the amount of received data expected to grow rapidly in the coming weeks, the CSI team is delighted with all the hard work and progress so far, and urges partners to continue working as energetically as they have been during this exciting phase of the project.

Posted in Africa, Americas, Asia, CIVICUS News, Country News, Europe, General Information, Oceania, Reports | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Final reminder: Win US$500 with the CSI Indicator Database!

Posted by civilsocietyindex on December 2, 2009

This is a final reminder to get in your entries to the Civil Society Index Essay Contest by 15 December 2009, in order to stand a chance of winning $500 USD.

The essay contest celebrates the launch of the Civil Society Index Indicator Database, a user-friendly way of accessing the findings and indicators from the 2003-2006 phase of the Civil Society Index project. Participants in the essay contest are asked to write on one specific indicator, bringing further life and depth to our understanding of one aspect of civil society.

The winning entry, due to be announced shortly after the 15 December deadline, will earn the participant $500 USD. Full guidelines, which all entrants should read, can be downloaded by clicking here.

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