CIVICUS Civil Society Index

An international action-research project by and for civil society

Posts Tagged ‘Conference’

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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Reviewing the Role of Civil Societies on Climate Change and Human Security Issues

Posted by civilsocietyindex on September 22, 2010

– Written by Ikechukwu Nwokedi, CSI Research Intern –

Civil society organizations (CSOs) globally, continue to achieve successes amidst the difficult environments in which they have been operating particularly at this period of economic uncertainties. Their strengths lie in their ability to influence state decisions, advocate for positive change and effectively represent concerned citizens on relevant issues. As such, their scope has widened from tackling regional problems to more global issues like climate change and globalization. This widening scope came as a result of the growing debate on climate change and the associated human security impacts like drought, flooding, etc. This is evident from recent climate change conferences and workshops (Climate Change Conference in Bolivia-2010, Copenhagen Climate Change Conference-2009, Civicus World Assembly-2010) where CSOs effectively engaged world leaders and stakeholders on human security issues. Similarly, a statement by Eduardo Giesen (Friends of the Earth) before the climate change conference held in Bolivia (April 2010) reads: “We are going with the expectation of the creation of a genuine social and popular movement that takes up the environmental questions – in this case the climate crisis – as a social and socio-political problem, and that it is constituted beyond the non-governmental environmental organizations”. [In article by Daniela Estrada]

This article reviews some of the successes of CSOs in influencing decisions affecting the society as a whole within the context of climate change. Climate change as a global phenomenon, affects human existence through a number of ways. Examples are the flooding experienced in Mozambique (2007) and drought spells in Kenya (2009). These events took their toll on the respective societies as livestock were lost, downstream dwellers had their villages destroyed and people lost their lives to drought. These issues briefly highlight the vulnerability of societies (particularly the poor) to climate change impacts.

[A family takes refuge on top of a mosque while awaiting rescue from flood waters in Sanawa, a town located in the Muzaffar Ghar district of Pakistan’s Punjab province – August 5, 2010. Reuters/Stringer]

The interest of CSOs on climate change issues came with a paradigm shift from the assessment of vulnerabilities and adaptation systems of societies to the evaluation of mitigation measures through a strong stakeholder engagement. Hence, various CSOs have contributed in the mainstreaming of environmental issues within developmental policies. Among the successes is the agreement by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAO) in Rome 2008 to engage CSOs/Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) on issues relating to biofuel/energy production from plants and the impacts on agriculture in an elevated climate change environment. Likewise, in the Capsian region (between the Caucasus and Central Asia, Russia and Iran), NGOs, through their concerted efforts, have continued to improve the level of public awareness on environmental issues and engaged authorities and corporations on the environmental impacts of an already full-scale pollution on the citizens. Other CSO’s successes can be recalled at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, where the public participation in environmental decision making was adopted. In Africa, the recent (May 2010) World Economic Forum in Tanzania, saw communities calling for emission reductions and investments in clean energy. This came as a result of the activities of companies on their society, as prolonged droughts and floods continue to impact agricultural produce.  The Nigerian CSI Country Report (2007) suggests that 90% of the NGOs within the Niger delta focus on environmental issues, and although there is recognition that CSOs activity had some positive impact on the society, their actions however are still drops of water in the ocean.

Having highlighted some of the achievements of CSOs in relation to climate change on a global context, there is still a huge gap between the actual engagement of stakeholders and the positive outcomes of those engagements. In essence, CSOs should focus not just on engaging stakeholders, but also on monitoring their progress through regular reviews towards finding ways to ensure that commitments made are followed up on. For instance, through the effective engagement with country partners, the CIVICUS CSI measures such stakeholder engagements and respective CSOs in those countries (particularly those involved in environmental issues) can utilize the available data for research and decision making. Using this index as a tool, the role of CSOs in advocating for environmental rights and sustainable practices can be effectively achieved.

Ikechukwu Nwokedi

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Discounted registration for the CIVICUS World Assembly!

Posted by civilsocietyindex on March 31, 2010

Registration for the CIVICUS World Assembly opened on 25 February, and there is now just one month left to get the discounted Early Bird Rate.

Read the press release about World Assembly registration by clicking here, or visit the World Assembly website to register by clicking here.

Posted in CIVICUS News | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Foundation for the Future: the CSI looks back

Posted by civilsocietyindex on January 25, 2010

On Thursday 28 January 2009, Jacob Mati, Research Officer with the CIVICUS Civil Society Index, will address a conference organised by the Foundation for the Future in Amman, Jordan, 26th – 28th January. The conference focuses specifically on improving the link between research, policy and action in the civil society environment in the Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) region, and marks the beginning of an ambitious new attempt to strengthen this link in the region.

During the two day conference, Jacob Mati will present a research paper entitled ‘Bridging research, policy and action in civil society strengthening initiatives: lessons from a decade of CIVICUS Civil Society Index implementation’, in which he will reflect on some of the challenges and opportunities faced by the CIVICUS CSI.

The regional conference also serves as an opportunity for the CSI team to identify next steps and partners in leveraging greater support for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. During the current 2008-2010 phase, Bahrain, Djibouti, Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco all targeted implementation of the CSI in their countries in the MENA region.

The paper presented by Jacob Mati will be posted on this blog later in the week.

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Research seminar held in Russia on CSI findings

Posted by civilsocietyindex on November 27, 2009

On November 18 2009, the Civil Society Index national coordinating organisation in Russia – the State University Higher School of Economics Centre for Civil Society Studies – convened a research seminar entitled “The Civil Society Index in Russia: Methodology and Research Results”.

Director of the Centre, Ms Irena Mersiyanova

Led by Director of the Centre Irina Mersiyanova and project coordinator Liliana Proskuryakova, the seminar discussed the methodology used, the initial quantitative data so far collected and the 67 indicators about the state of civil society derived from this data. Participants also discussed how the methodology used in the CSI project had changed since implementation of the project during the first phase in 2003-2006, as well as how future changes to the methodology at the end of this phase might better enable international comparability.

Participants in discussion during the seminar

The seminar, participated in by researchers, students, civil society representatives, donors and government authorities, forms part of  an active communication and engagement strategy by the SU-HSE – a key component of implementing the CSI project at the national level.

The SU-HSE will now move onwards towards completion of the project implementation and is due to convene its full National Workshop on December 11 2009, where a wide range of actors will engage with the findings and look to take forward their recommendations by developing concrete action plans.

To read more about the research seminar (Russian only), click here.

To visit the SU-HSE website, click here.

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Sharing the CSI paper and photos from the ISTR conference in Taipei

Posted by civilsocietyindex on November 10, 2009

Below are some more pictures from Tracy and Jacob from the CSI research team, who recently presented at the Regional ISTR Conference in Taipei, Taiwan.

We would also welcome interested parties to download the paper that the CSI team presented about CSO accountability with findings from the ten Asia Pacific countries that implemented in the 2003-2006 phase.  You can get a copy of The State of Civil Society Accountability in the Asia Pacific Region: Insights from the CIVICUS Civil Society Index here.

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CSI panel_group shot

Group shot: seated are Tracy Anderson, Jacob Mati, Abalika Kutty, Naoto Yamauchi; standing are Midori Matsushima and Naoko Okuyama

Presenting

Jacob presenting at the event

CSI panel: midori

Midori talking about the prelimiary findings of the CSI surveys in Japan

Ambalika and Tracy

Ambalika and Tracy relaxing in Taipei

 

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Report from CSI participation in Regional ISTR Conference in Taipei

Posted by civilsocietyindex on November 6, 2009

Two members of the CSI research team were joined by partners at the 6th ISTR Asia and Pacific Regional Conference from November 1-4, 2009 in Taipei, Taiwan. Papers by Jacob Mati and Tracy Anderson of CSI, Ambalika Kutty (formerly from FCOSS in Fiji), and Naoto Yamauchi, Midori Matsushima, and Naoko Okuyama of OSIPP in Japan were presented in a panel session on the Civil Society Index.

The CSI and Fiji papers presented findings based on the 2003-2006 CSI phase, while Japan offered an intriguing teaser of the data they have compiled so far for the current 2008-2010 phase of CSI implementation. The presentations were a great success and provoked thoughtful questions from the audience regarding changes in the methodology, comparisons with the John Hopkins civil society methodology and Japan’s media review study.

Other panels and presentations at this conference covered a wide range of civil society topics related to the theme of the conference: Changes, Challenges, and New Opportunities for the Third Sector. For example, panels were held on the environmental crises and the Third Sector, the economic recession and the Third Sector, globalization, poverty alleviation, transparency and accountability, and fund raising.

The Conference was organized by the Center for the Third Sector, National Chengchi University and they have put on a professional and exciting event,  right down to the little details. The location of the conference, at the Howard International House, Taipei is a spectacular venue replete with comfortable conference facilities.

CSI would like to thank the ISTR for the opportunity to present at their regional conference, and would also like to thank Ambalika Kutty, Naoto Yamauchi, Midori Matsushima, and Naoko Okuyama for joining us on this panel.

CSI Presentation

ISTR Panel

 

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CSI at the 6th Annual ISTR Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Taipei

Posted by civilsocietyindex on October 2, 2009

ISTR

The CSI team, along with several CSI Asia Pacific regional partners, will be attending the upcoming 6th Annual ISTR Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Taipei this November. They will be hosting a panel on CSI data collected from both the previous (2003-2006) and current (2008-2010) phase of implementation.

In terms of specific CSI activities at the event, Ambalika Kutty will present a paper on findings from Fiji’s implementation in the 2003-2006 phase; a team from CENPRI in Japan will present their findings from the current phase of implementation; and Jacob Mati from the CSI Secretariat will present a paper on CSO accountability with findings from the ten Asia Pacific countries that implemented in the 2003-2006 phase.

The titles and authors of the papers are as follows:

Paper 1: The State of Civil Society Accountability in the Asia Pacific Region: Insights from the CIVICUS Civil Society Index.
Author(s): Jacob M. Mati and Tracy Anderson (CIVICUS Civil Society Index)

Paper 2: Challenges for Civil Society in Japan: Findings from CIVICUS CSI Project
Author(s): Naoto Yamauchi (Professor, Osaka University, Japan); Midori Matsushima (Researcher, Center for NPO Research and Information, Osaka University); Naoko Okuyama (Ph.D Candidate, Osaka University)

Paper 3: Civil Society Challenges in Leadership and Governance in the context of Development: Insights from CIVICUS Civil Society Index Project in Fiji.
Author: Ambalika D Kutty, (Former Programme Director, Fiji Council of Social Services)

The conference is being held at the Howard International House in Taipei, Taiwan from November 1-4, 2009. Keep your eye out for the CSI display table for brochures and update newsletters for the region.

For more information on the conference, or to attend, please visit: http://333.nccu.edu.tw/istr/index.html

We look forward to interacting with CSI partners and stakeholders in Taipei!

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Pictures from ISTR conference in Mexico

Posted by civilsocietyindex on July 20, 2009

As previously posted on this blog, the Civil Society Index held a workshop at the Regional ISTR Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Mexico City from the 1 to 3 of July 2009. You can check out some pictures from the event below!

Opening plenary

Opening Plenary of the Conference

CSI poster

CSI poster

Participants looking over the CSI posters during the poster exhibit

Lorena

Lorena Cortez talking about the CSI implementation in Mexico during the CSI workshop

Luis

Luis Serra from our partner RNNDL in Nicaragua presenting at the CSI workshop

Anabel

Anabel Cruz (who is also the Chair of the Board of CIVICUS) talking about ICD‘s implementation of the CSI in Uruguay at the CSI workshop

Thank you to all of our partners who participated in the CSI event, and we look forward to the next ISTR conference!

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CSI represented at Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Network Meeting

Posted by civilsocietyindex on July 10, 2009

istr The CSI Officer, Amy Bartlett and CSI NCOs in the regions of Latin America and the Caribbean    represented CSI at the ISTR LAC Regional Conference in Mexico held on July 1-3, 2009. The theme of the conference was “Civil society and inter‐sector cooperation in Latin America: Challenges of the environment”. The CSI team organized a panel discussion to discuss the current status of CSI and the challenges in its implementation. This is a step to enhance intraregional cooperation and learning to discuss proposals to make CSI more effective. Amy also prepared a Newsletter (Latin American Edition) and put up a stall with CSI brochures, posters and other material. Way to go Amy!! 🙂

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