CIVICUS Civil Society Index

An international action-research project by and for civil society

The Civil Society Index: what difference does it make?

Posted by civilsocietyindex on January 19, 2010

The CIVICUS Civil Society Index (CSI), now in its tenth year and third project phase, is currently undergoing an external assessment of its impact. Commissioned in July 2009, the external impact assessment is exploring the changes which the Civil Society Index contributed to as a result of implementation between 2003-2006.

The impact assessment, being carried out by Skat Management, an independent consultancy based in Switzerland, will evaluate the extent to which the Civil Society Index project has had a meaningful impact in a number of areas. The CSI impact is expected to be assessed in six key areas:

  • Impact on knowledge creation and sharing;
  • Impact on knowledge based actions;
  • Impact on sector collaboration;
  • Impact at regional level;
  • Impact on donor policies and programmes;
  • Impact on the National Coordinating Organisation (NCO) and other project participants.

The impact assessment is using a range of methodologies to analyse the extent of impact, including desk review, individual interviews, focus group discussions and a series of six field study assessments carried out by consultants in six countries implementing the CSI in 2003-2006: Bolivia, Indonesia, Italy, Turkey, Uganda and Ukraine.

Not all of the CSI's impact is easy to spot

Following an internal impact assessment carried out by the CSI project earlier in 2009, efforts to evaluate the CSI’s impact represent a significant new step towards enhancing the CSI project planning process, as well as ensuring that donors and civil society stakeholders can hold CIVICUS to account for project implementation.

The findings of the 2003-2006 external impact assessment, which will be made publicly available through CIVICUS early in 2010, will shape and guide the CSI methodology and strategic focus in future phases of implementation. In particular, the impact assessment will develop a set of recommendations for the most effective use of CSI findings in order to further improve the ‘action’ component of the CSI action-research project in future phases.

The CSI’s external impact assessment forms one component of a broader CIVICUS-wide commitment to impact analysis and better planning, implemented through its new Impact and Planning Learning Framework (IPLF), established in July 2009.

Do you have signs of impact or stories of change from the Civil Society Index project which you want to share? If so, let us know at index@civicus.org.

Check back here and on our website homepage at www.civicus.org/csi in the coming weeks for the findings of the external impact assessment.

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