CIVICUS Civil Society Index

An international action-research project by and for civil society

Archive for November, 2010

Barefoot Against Poverty

Posted by civilsocietyindex on November 29, 2010

 International Human Rights day on the 10th of December 2010 marks the 62nd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This unique declaration, supported by the countries within the UN, sets out 30 common standards that all human beings – whoever they are and wherever they are – should have the right to. This year, we’re trying to put Human Rights day on the map by building a community of people who will take a simple action on the day and throughout the year.

Albie Sachs, human rights champion and former Constitutional Court Judge appointed by Nelson Mandela took time to talk about going Barefoot For Human Rights.

The Barefoot Campaign is coordinated by Every Human Has Rights but it’s a platform for everyone to use to help promote human rights issues. You can go barefoot for education, for peace, for the rights of indigenous people and much more.

1.4 billion People are still living in extreme poverty, their right to a healthy living free from want being denied. By going barefoot against poverty, you are taking a first step for human rights – thinking about people who barely have food to put on their table, let alone shoes to put on their feet.

Please take your first step for human rights and spread the word. You can take action by:

Spread the word:

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CSI Team Visit

Posted by civilsocietyindex on November 18, 2010

Last week, three former Civil Society Index staff returned to CIVICUS to share their experiences, perspectives and analysis of challenges with the current CSI project team. Janine Schall-Emden, Lorenzo Fioramonti and Wolfgang Dörner all played a critical role in the finalisation of the 2003- 2006 phase of the CSI project. Janine and Lorenzo are now married to each other!

From Left: Wolfgang Dorner; Lorenzo Fioramonti and Janine Schall-Emden


Janine Schall-Emden: Janine, a Venezuelan national, is currently Director for an international consultancy firm Beyond Development (, based in Bologna, Italy. She has worked on microfinance and decentralization in West Africa, as well as civil society strengthening in Latin America.

Janine is currently carrying out consultancy work for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) related to the implementation and support of the Civil Society Index project.

Lorenzo Fioramonti: Lorenzo Fioramonti is Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Bologna. When at CIVICUS, Lorenzo held the position of Senior Researcher on the Civil Society Index project, before taking on the position of Lecturer in European Studies at the University of Pretoria.

Wolfgang Dörner: Wolfgang, a German citizen, currently lives in Italy, where he is currently completing his Doctoral studies at the University of Siena. Wolfgang was involved in the finalisation of two comparative publications on the CSI data at the end of the 2003-2006 phase.

 Wolfgang is now working once again with CIVICUS as a consultant to oversee the successful delivery of a further two publications based on the CSI data, due for completion in 2011.

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CIVICUS Statement on the Civil Society Index in Belarus

Posted by civilsocietyindex on November 12, 2010

On 1 November 2010, CIVICUS reported through its Civil Society Index (CSI) blog at on the activities of the CIVICUS Civil Society Index partner in Belarus, the Support Centre for Associations and Foundations (SCAF). CIVICUS erroneously gave the impression that SCAF were creating a human rights platform as a part of the CIVICUS Civil Society Index project. CIVICUS would now appreciate the opportunity to apologise for any confusion caused, and to set the record straight through providing a clarification.

The CIVICUS Civil Society Index is a distinct project with a pre-defined methodology. This methodology is implemented in partnership between CIVICUS and partners in roughly 40 countries around the world. CIVICUS selects its partners carefully, drawing on a range of pre-determined criteria, and has generally good relationships with its partners. CIVICUS does not fund Civil Society Index implementing partners in implementation of the project, except in rare cases through the management of external seed grant funds. CIVICUS does not currently provide funding to SCAF.

The CSI methodology implemented by partner organisations involves, towards the end of the project, a National Workshop. At this National Workshop, CSI partners are asked to convene a process ensuring that there is geographic and inclusive representation. The objectives of the national workshop are (1) to reflect upon the CSI findings at the national level and (2) to begin to plan actions geared towards strengthening civil society. CIVICUS asks as part of the CSI project that it is involved from an early stage in providing feedback on the design of the agenda and workshop to ensure that it meets key methodological principles and standards.

On 9 November 2010, the CIVICUS CSI team learned for the first time from SCAF that the National Workshop was due to be hosted on 14 November 2010. Despite regular communication with partners, CIVICUS had not by 12 November 2010 been able to ascertain the exact nature of this workshop, nor the participants, agenda, or whether there would be sufficient CSI findings available to achieve the two key objectives. CIVICUS hopes and expects that by 14 November 2010, these will have been established in full alignment with the CSI project.    

Although the Civil Society Index is an action research project, the project stops short of involvement in the follow-up actions themselves. It does usually encourage the development of these, however, it is very rarely involved in their design or implementation. CIVICUS is therefore not currently involved in any follow-up activities or projects with SCAF in Belarus, aside from the Civil Society Index. Specifically, CIVICUS is not involved in the design or implementation of a human rights platform with SCAF, and is pleased to be able to clear up any associated confusion.

CIVICUS appreciates the significant difficulties inherent in convening successful and inclusive multi-stakeholder processes in challenging environments in which civil society may be divided. CIVICUS highly values its diverse existing partnerships and relationships, and continues to seek to play, as far as possible, a positive and constructive bridging role. Finally, CIVICUS would like to reaffirm its commitment to the successful implementation of the CSI project, including a constructive and inclusive National Workshop.

For any further queries, please contact Mark Nowottny, CIVICUS Civil Society Index Project Coordinator, at

Click on the links below to access original statements and reactions from Belarusian civil society.

Statement 1

Statement 2

Statement 3

Statement 4

Response to original CIVICUS CSI blog post

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