CIVICUS Civil Society Index

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Invitación a la presentación del libro “La Sociedad Civil Argentina en el Bicentenario

Posted by civilsocietyindex on April 5, 2011

 Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We are pleased to invite you to participate at the presentation of the book “The Civil Society in Argentina in the Bicentennial” on April 6th 2011 from 17:00 to 19:00. The book is a result of the implementation of the CIVICUS Civil Society Index in the country. The event will take place in the Hall Building 204 San Jose de la UCA (Alicia Moreau de Justo 1600).

Participants in the presentation table: Eva Álvarez (AECI), Mariela Ceva (Universidad Nacional de Luján), Alicia Cytrynblum (Journalism Social), Luciana Gineste (Cláritas Foundation) and José María Poirier (Criterion magazine), who debated with project coordinators on inputs (Beatriz Balian, Elida Cecconi, and Cristian Cao)
The study presents the knowledge of civil society in the country.

Estimados amigos y colegas,

Tenemos el agrado de invitarlos a participar el día 6 de abril de la presentación del libro La Sociedad Civil Argentina
en el Bicentenario
, resultado de la aplicación del Índice CIVICUS de la Sociedad Civil en el país. El evento tendrá
lugar en el Aula 204 del Edificio San José de la UCA (
Alicia Moreau de Justo 1600 ) en el horario de 17 a 19 hs.

Participarán de la mesa de presentación: Eva Álvarez (AECID), Mariela Ceva (Universidad Nacional de Luján), Alicia Cytrynblum (Periodismo Social), Luciana Gineste (Fundación Cláritas) y José María Poirier (Revista Criterio), quienes debatirán junto a los coordinadores del proyecto (Beatriz Balian, Élida Cecconi, y Cristian Cao) acerca de los aportes
que el estudio hace al conocimiento de la sociedad civil en el país.

Se ruega realizar inscripción previa haciendo clic aquí  o en la imagen de arriba*
Se entregarán ejemplares de la publicación.

El Índice CIVICUS de la Sociedad Civil  (ISC) es un proyecto internacional de investigación-acción que intenta evaluar el estado de la sociedad civil en más de 40 países del mundo y dar impulso a actividades que potencien su desarrollo e impacto. A través de una combinación de procedimientos de investigación y debate inter-sectorial, el Índice  genera una evaluación sobre cinco dimensiones fundamentales de la sociedad civil, que incluyen:
   • El compromiso cívico,
   • El desarrollo institucional de las organizaciones,
   • Los valores que la sociedad civil practica y promueve,
   • El impacto de sus acciones y
   • El contexto político, económico y sociocultural en el que la sociedad civil se desarrolla.

El ISC es coordinado a nivel mundial por la organización internacional CIVICUS, Alianza Mundial para la Participación Ciudadana ( ). En Argentina, el proyecto fue implementado por un consorcio conformado por la Asociación Civil GADIS y el Departamento de Sociología de la Universidad Católica Argentina.
Agradecemos la difusión de esta invitación entre sus contactos.

Informes o consultas:   Tel. 4702-7713  

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CIVICUS World Assembly: Call For Activity Proposals

Posted by civilsocietyindex on March 29, 2011

In 2011, the call for World Assembly workshop proposals is extended to other activity formats. All World Assembly participants, CIVICUS members, partners or individuals wanting to join the discussions on the World Assembly themes are welcome to submit an activity proposal until 11 April 2011 included.

You can submit an activity proposal online by reading the following theme descriptions and application guidelines, and by filling the standard submission form that corresponds to your choice of activity format.

Application Guidelines

2011 World Assembly focus theme

The 2011 World Assembly theme is Civil Society and Global Decision-Making: Doing It Better

The 2011 World assembly builds on the overarching theme of “Acting Together for a Just World” by focussing on Civil Society and Global Decision-Making: Doing it Better.

The impact of issues like human rights, climate justice, development effectiveness, women’s rights and labour rights is felt at the local level. Yet, more and more frequently, policy decisions are being made at the global level. Populated by governments, multi-lateral institutions, multinational corporations and large international NGOs and civil society organisations, there are voices missing from this decision-making arena: those of the local people and grassroots organisations who most need to be heard.

In 2011, the CIVICUS World Assembly will bring together representatives from civil society – Northern and Southern, large and small, global and grassroots – to talk about civil society’s impact on 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 aim to find ways to ensure that the voices of the people are heard in current and emerging forums of global decision making.

Programme Tracks

Read more…

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Posted by civilsocietyindex on March 3, 2011

By Abubacarr Saidykhan, Dakar- Senegal

At the 11th Edition of the World Social Forum in Dakar- Senegal, within the campus of Cheikh Anta Diop University and at the section responsible for the faculty of Science- Economy, a civil society organisation, CIVICUS, an International alliance dedicated to strengthening citizens’ action and civil society throughout the world organised a workshop for civil society members to discuss the way forward for the civil society and human right Defenders in all African countries.

In a presentation during the gathering, it was informed that the last few years and especially in 2009 and 2010 have been particularly hard for civil society and human right defenders. It is said that negative global trends that began soon after 9/11 have come to a head as governments continued to encroach on fundamental freedoms through harsh security measures and other legal and policy restrictions.

As highlighted by the civil society watchdog groups in the session, the UN human rights bodies and other close observers confirmed that the trend began soon after the 9/11 when the UN Security Council Resolution 1373 call on all UN member states to take concrete steps to tackle terrorism. The delegates believe that the intention behind the resolution to protect innocent civilians and state structures from mindless acts of terrorism may have been sound, but the negative consequences on fundamental freedoms, including the rights of civil society actors have been devastating as governments used the climate of fear to dilute civil liberties, reduce personal privacy, lower trial standard and restrict the free movement of people across borders. Moreover, the delegates believed that the ability of citizens and civil society to express democratic dissent has been severely curtailed through a clampdown on the freedoms of expression, association and assembly in the global north as well as the south.

Speaking on behalf of his organisation, David Kode, the Policy Officer for CIVICUS: World Alliance For Citizen Participation in South Africa, who gave an overview of the whole discussion said, CIVICUS has experienced a trend over the years which is dangerous. She said there is an attack on civil society organisations in many ways in Africa. He said there are six major ways in which Governments attack on civil organisations in their promulgations of laws and regulations. He said intimidation and harassment of human right activists was one of the ways used by governments to get rid of civil society organisations. He said the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon also assured them of the importance of the role played by civil society organisations despite the threats involved.

Megan MacGarry Convening Officer for CIVICUS International in Johannesburg South Africa noted that many things are getting worse for civil society members in Africa. She said there are lots of evidence that clearly show the difficulties encountered by civil society activists. She said in India the fundamental rights of her people are controlled by the Government; adding that they need real laws to make their work smooth.

Bhekinkosi Moyo the Program Director of Trust Africa from South Africa and base in Senegal, who talked about the Civil Society Role in Africa , said the main role of the civil societies is to see the issues of democratic governance. He said as civil society campaigners, they understand the whole issues of harassment before starting the campaign. He said the attack on the civil organisation is not only done by government, but also private society. He said it is unfortunate that our brothers as our own government officials used most of these undemocratic intimidations against us in our own countries.

He said right to association, assembly and to expression are all rights that need not to be registered before operations, noting that having an open society in any country is of a paramount interest. He said the role of journalists, Human right Defenders is to call on government to be accountable and also to be transparent in issues that are directly dealing with the lives of the people. He said many governments see the civil society as a threat to government functions; noting that there should be always dialogue between these two groups.


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Posted by civilsocietyindex on December 10, 2010


Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa

23-27 August 2011


Theme: Civil Spaces in Africa: Past, Present and Future


Past and present narratives of civil society in Africa have been, by and large, about ‘space’ – political, material and symbolic. Inspired by stirring Eastern European examples of anti-state mobilization, the earliest discourses focused on the modalities of reclaiming space for civic agency from authoritarian state forces.  Hence the interest, variously, in thematics such as ‘expanding’, ‘opening up’ or ‘liberating’ ‘democratic space’. In these early, even heady, articulations, the goal of civil society was envisaged as a simple one: to contest and open up the public arena (one that, until then, the state had largely monopolized) as a way of embedding modes of participation crucial for civic renewal and political regeneration. In a sense, the history of civil society agitation and organizing in Africa over the past three decades is in fact the unfolding of this particular struggle.  It invited an inevitable reaction by state elements reluctant to relinquish many of the advantages carried over from colonial governmentality.

Yet, contestations for space are, by definition, always ongoing. Thus, gains and losses are hardly ever permanent, with strategic positionality always subject to the thrust and parry of local, regional and, increasingly, transnational political, cultural and economic forces. Current developments in various parts of Africa provide a vivid illustration of this complex. They create a backdrop for much needed reflection on the current history of space, spaces and space-making in African contexts. Moreover, because of the external normative characteristics of much research on the continent, they also invite a more careful examination of the endogenous nature of civil society and civic agency. 

It is against this background that we invite papers that attempt to deepen scholarly understanding of African civil spaces in their cultural, social, demographic, economic and political pluralities and particularities. Original, conceptual or empirically-grounded contributions are welcome from a variety of social-oriented disciplines – including, but not limited to: history, sociology, economics, demography, geography, cultural studies, literature, and political science.

Papers may be guided by the following questions, though creative subversions are strongly encouraged:  What characterizes civil spaces in Africa?  What, if anything, is distinctive about such spaces?  How have spaces metamorphosed within globalizing geo-political movements and dominant economic processes? How have these forces encouraged or thwarted the production of governable and/or ungovernable spaces across the continent? How can we understand fundamental and emergent forms of civic mobilizing – in primary associational life, in social movements, in mutuality, in charity, in philanthropy?  How do we measure their presence and effectiveness on the social landscape? What are forms and contours of the new spaces of assertion dominated by anti-state forces? How do we account for their emergence against the background of state retrenchment? In what ways do virtual and material spaces interact, and how do they reinforce or contradict one another? What are the implications of the virtualization of politics for the understanding of state praxis and citizenship? What roles are women, underprivileged and oppressed groups playing in the marking and delimitation of new socio-economic and political spaces? How do new forms of sociality enable us to comprehend the distinctions between private and public spaces, and how tenable are those distinctions?


Paper abstracts (maximum 500 words) should be sent to:

 Prof Ebenezer Obadare

Department of Sociology

Kansas University 

Please also provide contact details (at least an email address and telephone number) and your institutional affiliation.

 DEADLINE:  28 February 2011

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ESRA Conference 2011 Call for Paper Proposals

Posted by civilsocietyindex on December 9, 2010

The Department of Sociology (University of Heidelberg), the Centre for Social Investment (Heidelberg), and CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Partizipation (Johannesburg) are organizing a panel on:

 “The Civil Society Index as a tool for cross-national comparisons.

Methodological issues and substantive applications”

within the context of the 4th Conference of the European Survey Research Association (ESRA), which will take place in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 18-22 July 2011.

The proposed panel will focus on the CIVICUS Civil Society Index (CSI) as one specific tool for assessing civil society cross-nationally. Between 2003 and 2006, the CSI was implemented in over 50 countries worldwide. In 2008 the project’s methodology was further strengthened to allow for comparative analysis, and data from the current project phase (2008-2010) is available for 21 countries. The CSI uses a multilevel and multimethod approach, combining various tools to measure different dimensions (Civic Engagement, Level of Organisation, Practice of Values, Perceived Impact, External Environment) and levels of civil society engagement (micro, meso, macro). A population survey assesses the extent and the intensity of engagement of individuals in civil society. An organizational survey analyzes the structure, policies and practices of NGOs and other organized expressions of civil society. An expert survey, combined with a series of in-depth interviews with government officials, the media and other stakeholders, aims to get an external assessment on the impact of civil society in society at large. Currently, CIVICUS is developing a database to publish the data of the CSI on the Internet.

We are inviting papers presenting substantive applications of the CSI from different world regions as well as analyses of innovative methodological approaches and challenges. The aim of the session is to assess the current state of measurement applications based on the CSI and to discuss potential improvements. The best papers will be featured in one of the upcoming volumes of the “CIVICUS Study of Civil Society around the World” book series, which we are currently establishing. For scholars with a promising outline, we will be able to provide exclusive access to the full CSI data (currently under embargo).

For more information on the CSI and its methodology see the CSI Blog or the CSI webpage

A full description of the panel can be found here

Information on the Conference is available from the ESRA website

To be considered for inclusion in the scientific programme of ESRA 2011, please submit an abstract of your paper containing no more than 250 words via this ESRA website. To submit a presentation, you must sign up or log in to the ESRA website. After logging in with your account, click “Propose a new presentation” to start submitting.

 The closing date for submission of paper proposals is 14 January 2011.

We are looking forward to receiving your interesting abstract!

Michael Hoelscher & Helmut Anheier

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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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From Poverty to Decent Work – Bridging the gap for the youth

Posted by civilsocietyindex on October 19, 2010

Each year, October 17 is a new occasion to highlight the issues behind poverty in the world. As the ‘International Day for the Eradication of Poverty’, it stressed once again this year the emergency of the situation, as almost half the world population – over three billion people – live on less than $2.50 a day (World Bank Development Indicators 2008).

Yesterday October 18, United Nations officials, member States and representatives of non-governmental organizations met at the UN headquarters to commemorate the theme for 2010, “From Poverty to Decent Work: Bridging the Gap”.

At this occasion, the agenda was to explore practical measures to alleviate the disproportionate burden of unemployment on young people and inadequate opportunities for decent work. Indeed the International Labour Organisation (LTO) reported recently in its annual Global Employment Trends that the global unemployment rate increased by 0.9 per cent between 2007 and 2009, to reach 6.6 per cent. Over the same period, the unemployment rate of young people rose from 11.8 per cent to 13.4 per cent.

The probability for young people to be unemployed is three times higher than for adults, bringing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to raise awareness about their situation. “Last year, more than 81 million young people were unemployed, the highest on record. One of the best ways for youth to see a future of hope is through the prism of a decent job” he said on Sunday.

Symbols of hope for a better tomorrow, young people need a future where the role they play is recognized and encouraged rather than overlooked and dismissed. To guarantee their voices are heard, participation is of paramount importance, whether through their involvement in civil society organisations, elections or youth networks.

In order to better understand the challenges faced by youth, and identify how governments, civil society and young people themselves can tackle these challenges, it is crucial to bridge the information gap by developing platforms for dialogue, knowledge sharing, project development and capacity building within the youth but also between the youth and the rest of the society. As part of its action-oriented assessment of the state of civil society, the Civil Society Index analyzes the extent, depth and diversity of civic engagement. It notably enables to get a better understanding of the youth engagement, its scope and nature, and identify the areas of potential improvement.

YOUTH METRO is the youth institute of the People for Change Foundation

The People for Change Foundation – the CSI partner in Malta, has conceived a specific project dedicated to youth capacity building. Created in early 2007, YOUTH METRO intends to provide resources and empowerment tools for young people, young workers and academics focusing on this area. Covering 17 areas, it stands as a starting point for thought and cooperation, and as such offers a chance to make improvements towards the ultimate goal of poverty eradication, by empowering the youth and making their voices heard by decision-makers and the private sector.

Find out more about YOUTH METRO on their website.

Please follow the CSI in Malta here.

Read more about all the projects of the People for Change Foundation in Malta here.

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Evaluating the CSI at the national level

Posted by civilsocietyindex on October 11, 2010

The current 2008-2010 phase of the Civil Society Index project is now drawing to a close, and, as a consequence, it will soon be time for the end of project national evaluations to be completed. There will be numerous stakeholders involved in this process: both from within CIVICUS and the country partners. These will include those directly involved in the implementation process of the project throughout the duration of the phase.

The main intention of the national evaluations is to assess whether the project was successful in achieving the objectives that it initially set out to achieve. First and foremost, these were to capture an accurate reflection of the state of civil society in the country and to create an empirical body of knowledge about civil society. Therefore we want to answer the following principal questions:

  • Did CSI as a project achieve what it set out to do?
  • Did the CIVICUS team assist in achieving this?
  • What were the experiences along the way?
  • What are the positive lessons learned?
  • What were the negative experiences?
  • Where are the areas for future project improvement?
  • What were the problems in implementation?
  • What were the problems in project design?
  • Are there any suggestions for the future CSI?
  • How did the project affect and impact on your organization, country, government and civil society?

Marking the end of a two-year participatory process, the evaluation reports aim to provide an accurate record of the demanding and challenging journey completed by all CSI implementing countries. As such, they will help CIVICUS and country partners reflect on lessons learned for the future.

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Posted by civilsocietyindex on October 7, 2010

CIVICUS CSI would like to welcome our newest member to the team, Olga Kononykhina.

Olga is a Russian citizen who joined CIVICUS in 2010 as a research intern. Olga’s background includes bachelor’s degree in Applied Sociology as well as master degree in Applied Mathematics and Informational Science. She is currently studying at the PhD program in Applied Mathematics and focuses on mathematical models of civic engagement and quality of life. She is also a Junior Researcher at the Center for Study of Civil Society and the Non-profit Sector (Russian CIVICUS partner at the Civil Society Index project) and teaches part-time at the State University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia.

Welcome Olga!!

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