CIVICUS Civil Society Index

An international action-research project by and for civil society

Archive for February, 2011

Zambian Sectoral and Regional Distribution of Civil Society

Posted by civilsocietyindex on February 23, 2011

The case study on the Sectoral and Regional Distribution of Civil Society in Zambia was carried out in Zambia by the Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSD), the Civil Society Index (CSI) project partner in Zambia.

 The case study was aimed at identifying the sectoral and regional distribution of civil society in Zambia. It shows the different CSOs in Zambia and how they are distributed between sectors and regions. One of the hypotheses that the case study was based on was that civil society organisations operating in Zambia are fairly balanced in their distribution across regions and sectors.

 The study found that education, youth and child development organisation have the highest number of CSOs in Zambia at 43% and this could be attributed to the fact that these 3 areas are a key priority for donors at the moment. It was interesting to note that the Health and Nutrition, Gender, Agriculture, Land and Trade thematic Groups stood at less than 10% and this could have a lot to do with the criteria employed by the donors when allocating funds. The concentration of CSOs is high in the sectors that receive more funding.

The need for Apex NGOs and ZCSD to come up with a programme to promote vibrancy and migration of CSOs to regions outside the line of the railways was noted as one of the recommendations in the case study. Another recommendation was that there is a need for ZCSD to consider realigning its membership register to sectors and regions, so that it can be easy for any development player to make use of such a register to avoid duplication of interventions by others, especially when planning for activities.


The full case study can be accessed here

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Accountability in Zambian Civil Society

Posted by civilsocietyindex on February 22, 2011

The case study on the accountability of Zambian civil society was carried out in Zambia by the Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSD), the Civil Society Index (CSI) project partner in Zambia.

The case study on accountability sought to “generate information on the status of accountability in a selected sample of civil society organisations in Zambia. That is, its will investigate if there are any accountability mechanisms, how they are employed to enhance accountability among CSOs in Zambia, and what improvements are necessary to increase the practice of values.”

The study has shown that CSOs need both internal and external accountability mechanism for them to for fill their role as the third sector of government. Evidence shows that there are a number of accountability mechanisms in place. These include financial and administrative mechanism, policy and procedures manual, holding of AGMs and submitting of annual returns to the register of society. The CSOs have strived, even under difficult circumstances, to ensure accountability. However this cannot be said for all of them, as there are still pockets of CSOs that are still facing difficulties in this area. The study is of the view that the accountability process in Zambia have inbuilt weakness as there more inclined to saving the interest of the most influential and powerful interest groups such as donors. The study therefore concludes that there is need to look beyond technical managerial accountability mechanisms and focus more on enhancing participatory accountability processes with emphasis on empowering the beneficiaries.

Some of the recommendations from the report include: CSO self-accountability mechanisms and that from outside the sector should be supportive of each other; CSO self-accountability mechanisms should not only focus on financial and administrative processes of accountability, but more on enhancing participatory approaches, and that Accountability should enhance stakeholder participation in governance. Future programmes should focus on the root causes of weak accountability relationship between CSOs and the beneficiaries.

To read the full case study, click here

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The CIVICUS World Assembly is back!

Posted by civilsocietyindex on February 18, 2011

CIVICUS WORLD ASSEMBLY 2011: Register before 30 March and get 60% off

The CIVICUS World Assembly is back! It will take place in Montreal for the second consecutive year, on 10-12 September 2011. Through more interactive activities based on a  rich and participatory programme, the event will convene international keynote speakers as well as regional, national and local stakeholders and include an exceptional celebration marking the 10th edition of the World Assembly.

Under the overarching theme of “Acting Together for a Just World”, the annual theme of the 2011 World Assembly is Civil Society and Global Decision-Making: Doing it Better.

More and more frequently, policy decisions are being made at the global level yet have their real impact at the local level. Populated by governments, multi-lateral institutions, multinational corporations and large international NGOs, voices are missing from the global decision-making arena. The voices of the local people and grassroots organisations need to be heard at the global level, on issues including human rights, climate justice, development effectiveness and women’s rights, if we are going to achieve a more just world.

In 2011, the CIVICUS World Assembly will bring together civil society representatives, from the North and the South, from large and small organisations, to talk about civil society’s input into global decision-making and how we can do it better. By engaging all facets of civil society as well as representatives from other sectors in participative dialogue, we can explore how to ensure that the voices of the people are heard in global forums.

Don’t miss this key event. Register before 30 March and get 60% off the registration fee. Further discounts are also available for groups and for members of CIVICUS and the Institut du Nouveau Monde.

Take advantage of this deal, register today at


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From project implementation to influencing policies: Challenges of civil society in Uruguay

Posted by civilsocietyindex on February 16, 2011

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is pleased to announce the publication of the Civil Society Index (CSI) Uruguay Analytical Country Report, a third such report from the Institute for Communication and Development (ICD), the CSI implementing partner in Uruguay.

The three country reports completed by ICD present an exciting opportunity for Uruguay’s civil society to analyse and compare the changes they have gone through since the first assessment was done ten years ago. Although the CSI project has continually updated its methodology over its three phases, it is still possible to draw some comparisons from the different reports.


The 2010 diamond presents a view of Uruguayan civil society that has medium-level development, which operates in a highly favorable environment with a relatively high level of organisation, and whose actions are seen to have high impact. The areas that are of most concern are in people’s participation, where levels are low in Uruguay, and the  practice and promotion of values dimension, which shows that civil society in Uruguay could do more to model and practice strong values.

 In comparison to 2005, the report finds there has been an improvement in the external environment due to advances in the socio-political, socio-economic and socio-cultural context as a result of political change. There has also been an improvement in the impact that CSOs in Uruguay are experiencing, which can be seen to link to the improvement in the environment in which the CSOs operate. 


Some recommendations that have been highlighted in the report on how to strengthen the weaker areas include: promoting participation and voluntary work, including through developing recognition and information sharing initiatives; building regional exchange networks, to address disconnects between the capital and CSOs in remote regions; and lobbying for amendment to the legal framework to address bureaucratic and slow procedures for legal registration.

 The Civil Society Index (CSI) was implemented in Uruguay by the Institute for Communication and Development (ICD) in collaboration with the CIVICUS CSI team.

 Click here for the full report.

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Nicaragua Case Studies

Posted by civilsocietyindex on February 14, 2011

Our Nicaragua Civil Society Index partner, Red Nicaraguense por la Democracia y el Desarrollo Local (RNDDL), has completed the compilation of their five case studies for the 2008-2010 phase of the project. The case studies will contribute to the compilation the Nicaragua Analytical Country Report that is soon to be published.

To read the full case studies (in Spanish), please follow the links below:

“La Practica de la Transparencia en la Sociedad Civil Nicaragüense: La Experiencia de La Cuculmeca”

“La redes sociales en Nicaragua: La Experiencia Organizativa de La Red de Mujeres Contra la Violencia”

“El Voluntariado en Salud Comunitaria: La Experiencia de la Asociación de Promotores de Salud y Parteras Nueva Guinea”

“La Incidencia en Politicas Ambientales: La Experiencia del Centro Humboldt”

“El Comité de Desarrollo Municipal de Kubra Hill: Una Experiencia de Concertación entre el Estado y la Sociedad Civil”

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