CIVICUS Civil Society Index

An international action-research project by and for civil society

Posts Tagged ‘Impact Assessment’

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

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

CSI’s External Impact Assessment Report

Posted by civilsocietyindex on August 17, 2010

The CIVICUS Civil Society Index will soon officially launch both versions of the External Impact Assessment report, which highlight key positive impacts, challenges, and recommendations from the previous Phase 2003-2006. The entire CSI team has been actively working on these documents for the past year and is greatly looking forward to showcasing these pieces at the upcoming World Assembly taking place next week in Montreal from the 20-23 of August.

The Full External Report was completed by SKAT Management, an external Swiss Consultancy. This report consists of detailed content gathered from interviewees and focus group participants. The Full External Report provides an objective point of view to evaluate the CSI’s areas of positive impact and offer recommendations for overcoming challenges. You can access the full report by clicking here.

The more concise Summary Report, compiled by the CSI team, highlights key points from the Full External Report by pointing the reader towards the CSI’s positive impacts throughout Latin America, Mozambique, Turkey, and Indonesia in the areas of knowledge generation, transparency, coalition building between CSOs and local governments, and fruitful dialogue surrounding the definition of civil society. The Summary Report also provides the public with a sense of what the CSI’s current actions in response to the challenges identified in the Full Report and feedback from partners. Examples of current CSI initiatives include: ensuring the CSI is user-friendly, continuing to support NCOs through the implementation process, strengthening networks at the regional level, and supporting linguistic diversity by encouraging the production of country reports in local languages. You can access the summary report clicking here.

Developing these documents has been a challenging, yet rewarding process, allowing the CSI to effectively examine its real impacts on the state of civil society. The CSI has surely added value to initiatives which greatly impact the strengthening of civil society.

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

Armenia Case Study: Financial Sustainability

Posted by civilsocietyindex on August 12, 2010

The CIVICUS CSI implementing partners in Armenia, Counterpart International, have posted Youtube videos in which they speak about the case studies that they chose to undertake as part of the implementation of the index in Armenia. In the videos, Lusine Hakobyan (national coordinator for implemenation of CSI at Counterpart International) and Mane Tadevosyan (researcher) speak about the process of selecting the cases studies and the findings of the research that they conducted. They also speak to the implications of the findings and how they contribute to developing civil society in Armenia. Below is one of the video diaries on the case study on financial sustainability of civil society organisations in Armenia.

To read the full case study click here FIN-Eng_web

To read the Armenia Country Report from the 2003-2006 phase, click here

Posted in Asia, Country News, CSI Impact | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Civil Society Index: what difference does it make?

Posted by civilsocietyindex on January 19, 2010

The CIVICUS Civil Society Index (CSI), now in its tenth year and third project phase, is currently undergoing an external assessment of its impact. Commissioned in July 2009, the external impact assessment is exploring the changes which the Civil Society Index contributed to as a result of implementation between 2003-2006.

The impact assessment, being carried out by Skat Management, an independent consultancy based in Switzerland, will evaluate the extent to which the Civil Society Index project has had a meaningful impact in a number of areas. The CSI impact is expected to be assessed in six key areas:

  • Impact on knowledge creation and sharing;
  • Impact on knowledge based actions;
  • Impact on sector collaboration;
  • Impact at regional level;
  • Impact on donor policies and programmes;
  • Impact on the National Coordinating Organisation (NCO) and other project participants.

The impact assessment is using a range of methodologies to analyse the extent of impact, including desk review, individual interviews, focus group discussions and a series of six field study assessments carried out by consultants in six countries implementing the CSI in 2003-2006: Bolivia, Indonesia, Italy, Turkey, Uganda and Ukraine.

Not all of the CSI's impact is easy to spot

Following an internal impact assessment carried out by the CSI project earlier in 2009, efforts to evaluate the CSI’s impact represent a significant new step towards enhancing the CSI project planning process, as well as ensuring that donors and civil society stakeholders can hold CIVICUS to account for project implementation.

The findings of the 2003-2006 external impact assessment, which will be made publicly available through CIVICUS early in 2010, will shape and guide the CSI methodology and strategic focus in future phases of implementation. In particular, the impact assessment will develop a set of recommendations for the most effective use of CSI findings in order to further improve the ‘action’ component of the CSI action-research project in future phases.

The CSI’s external impact assessment forms one component of a broader CIVICUS-wide commitment to impact analysis and better planning, implemented through its new Impact and Planning Learning Framework (IPLF), established in July 2009.

Do you have signs of impact or stories of change from the Civil Society Index project which you want to share? If so, let us know at

Check back here and on our website homepage at in the coming weeks for the findings of the external impact assessment.

Posted in CIVICUS News, CSI Impact, General Information | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Looking for the signs of impact

Posted by federicosilva on July 16, 2009

signsofimpactThe CSI Phase 2003-2006’s Impact Assessment is live and kicking! Now that three years have passed since the last phase of implementation, CIVICUS believes that it is appropriate that we learn more about the impact of the CSI programme. While we did contract an evaluation soon after the end of the last phase, that evaluation only captured short-term effects related to CIVICUS’ stated goals. In this assessment, we will look more broadly at all the changes-both intended and unintended as well as both positive and negative-that the CSI has inspired since implementation. We plan to use the knowledge that we gain from this impact assessment to analyse the results of the last phase of the CSI and to develop a set of best practices for the most effective use of CSI findings.

The impact assessment will take place in two main stages:
1. CIVICUS will conduct an internal impact assessment comprised primarily of questionnaires and follow-up phone interviews.
2. CIVICUS will employ an external evaluator to conduct a detailed third party assessment.

To help us in this endeavour, we ask our NCOs from the previous phase to please complete the questionnaire as part of our internal assessment as soon as possible. It is our intention that the results of this assessment will be helpful not only for CIVICUS but for your organisation as well.

Get in contact with Katherine Langer now at for further details.

Posted in General Information, Requests | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »