CIVICUS Civil Society Index

An international action-research project by and for civil society

Posts Tagged ‘CSI team’

The Contemporary Jordanian Civil Society: Characteristics, Challenges and Tasks

Posted by civilsocietyindex on March 31, 2011

CIVICUS is pleased to announce the publication of the Civil Society Index Analytical Country Report from Jordan. The Project was implemented through the collaboration of Foundation for the Future, Al-Urdun Al Jadid Research Center (UJRC-Jordan), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and CIVICUS.


The report finds that the political openness which Jordan has seen since 1989, despite fluctuations, has led to a better environment for the growth of CSOs in which they have been able to practice their activities more freely. Increased political openness also bolstered international attention in Jordan’s civil society and granted it important sources of support.

Jordanian civil society has a diverse structure and is mostly independent, both financially and administratively. The majority of civil society reports that it enjoys acceptable infrastructure and communication capacities, with the exception of organisations working in rural and remote areas. In addition, CSOs tend to have capacity to work with the media.

As for weaknesses, the general environment CSOs operate in is seen to be politically conservative and biased in favour of the state playing an interventionist role in civil society’s affairs, which in turn weakens potential for impact. The majority of CSOs have poor practices of leadership turnover and limited financial transparency, while negative perceptions of foreign funding affect public confidence in CSOs. Civil society’s collective capability to launch a dialogue with the state, the private sector and foreign donors is weakened in the absence of a holistic national action strategy. Challenges for civil society have been exacerbated by the recent economic downturn which has exposed some structural weaknesses in Jordan’s economy, bringing high rates of poverty and unemployment, and income inequality particularly affecting women.

Amongst recommendations made by the report are the setting up of a new good governance and leadership institute for civil society; developing incentives to attract people into volunteering, particularly young people and women; prioritising women’s empowerment projects by civil society; and encouraging the study of civil society’s contribution to GDP. They also call on the government to establish an independent commission for Jordanian civil society.

To read the full report, click here

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Deepening democracy: civil society in Chile

Posted by civilsocietyindex on March 31, 2011

CIVICUS is pleased to announce the publication of the Civil Society Index Analytical Country Report from our partner in Chile. The project was implemented in Chile by Fundacion Soles, with sponsorship from the Bicentennial Commission.

In general terms, the CSI Diamond for Chile’s civil society showed moderate values for most of the ‘internal’ dimensions (Civic Engagement, Level of Organisation, Practice of Values and Perception of Impact), corresponding to a medium level of development. The score for the External Environment, on the other hand, suggests a more favorable arena for the advancement of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

Chile reports that it seems now to have passed the stage of democratic transition, and has strengthened mechanisms for formal elections and internal auditing. In general terms, it is an organised state with levels of corruption under control. Despite the weaknesses that remain from the previous coup d‘état and a dictatorship, civil society has had relative success in the process of associative reconstruction. New organisations, many of them based on information and communication technologies, have opened new spaces of citizen participation. However, the internal inequality of Chile’s civil society is one of the greatest challenges to the consolidation of a sustainable civil society and, in turn, a more profound and deeper democracy. To the degree to which it is possible, Chile’s civil society is looking for a space in general society, and is trying to create alliance mechanisms with the state and the market, without ceasing to offer an authentic, autonomous and credible voice.

In the regional and national workshops which formed part of the CSI project, participants discussed key strengths of Chilean civil society, which include diversity among CSOs, the high commitment of most civil society representatives, the creation of networks with the support of ICT and, especially, the local impact of CSOs. The main weaknesses identified by participants included civil society’s capacity to promote training, challenges associated with civic education for society at large, and limited capacity to implement competitive and sustainable projects or to improve external cohesion. Participants also formed a number of recommendations which are made in the report. For example, in order to improve external cohesion, one suggestion was to create a training space to help civil society leaders and representatives define themselves and the sector as a third party, deserving of conditions equal to those of the state and the private sphere.

To read the full report, click here

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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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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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Welcome to a new CSI staff member

Posted by civilsocietyindex on September 7, 2010

CSI would like to welcome a new staff member, Anaelle Planckaert. She is joining CIVICUS CSI Programme as an Intern in Communications and Outreach.

Anaelle is a French citizen. She previously worked in various NGOs promoting climate justice and social development in South Africa, and protecting the indigenous Indian populations in the Amazonian forest. She also worked in France in marketing and communications. Dedicated to developmental and environmental issues, Anaelle holds a Master in Management, completed partly in France, Canada, China and South Africa.

The CSI Team looks forward to the promising work to be achieved together, with new experience and energy brought to CIVICUS and the CSI Programme.

For more information on the CSI Team, click here

Welcome Anaelle!!

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CSI welcomes new staff!!

Posted by civilsocietyindex on July 21, 2010

CSI is proud to announce the addition of new members to the CSI team.

Yosi Echeverry Burckhardt re-joined CIVICUS in June as a CSI Programme Officer after having worked with CIVICUS for a period in 2008. Ikechukwu (Ike) Nwokedi joins CIVICUS from July as a CSI Research Intern and is joined by Lerato Pagiwa who will be a Communications and Outreach Intern.

The entire team is excited with the growth of the CSI Team and looks forward to the valued experiences that the new staff bring to CIVICUS and the CSI programme.

For more information on the CSI Team, click here

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Farewell to a staff member

Posted by civilsocietyindex on May 28, 2010

Last month, the CIVICUS Civil Society Index (CSI) team bid an official farewell to Amy Bartlett. Amy, a Canadian citizen, first joined the CSI team in September 2007 as a CSI Programme Officer. During her two and a half years at CIVICUS, Amy helped oversee the initiation of the 2008-2010 phase of CSI implementation. As well as leading the programme’s communications and kickstarting the CSI blog, Amy provided country support to CSI implementing partners in Latin America and Eastern Europe, managed institutional partnerships, and played a pivotal role in motivating – and entertaining – the CSI team.

In April 2010, Amy left CIVICUS to take up an exciting position as Global Coordinator of the Open Forum on CSO Development Effectiveness, based at Concord: European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development. Amy will be sorely missed by the CSI team in Johannesburg.

Posted in CIVICUS News, General Information | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Welcome to a new CSI staff member

Posted by civilsocietyindex on May 13, 2010

The CSI team would like to welcome our new CSI Programme Officer, Mariano de Donatis, to the CIVICUS CSI secretariat in Johannesburg. Mariano, who joined in April 2010, brings his skills and experience to help support our implementing partners with the CSI project, as well as to help drive forward the CSI programme’s outreach and communications. 

Mariano is an Argentinean citizen who has lived and worked in Argentina, Ireland and United Kingdom. Mariano holds a Masters in Social Policy and Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science and B.A in Economics at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. Mariano has over six years experience working with NGOs in developed and developing countries where he obtained a very strong background in the dynamics and working conditions of civil society organizations in different contexts. Mariano had a previous professional career in multinational financial corporations. He maintains a particular interest in how to leverage CSO impact and make bottom-up development a reality.

You can find out more about the current members of the CSI team by clicking here.

Welcome Mariano!!

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Do blogs work?

Posted by civilsocietyindex on April 22, 2010

Let us know what you think of the CSI project blog on our quick and short online survey!

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Sinqobile Dube and Megan MacGarry talk about monitoring and evaluating the CSI project

Posted by civilsocietyindex on March 26, 2010

Below, Sinqobile Dube (Civil Society Index Support Officer) and Megan MacGarry (Civil Society Index Programme Officer), discuss some of the work being undertaken by the CSI project to better monitor and evaluate (M and E) the strengths and weaknesses of the project and of implementation.

Check back here in the next fortnight for the External Impact Assessment Report of the 2003-2006 phase of implementation, as well as for further video updates from different members of the CSI team.

Click here to find out more about CIVICUS’ monitoring and evaluation (M and E).

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