CSI Reports Phase 1: 2003 - 2006
Revision of the CSI project framework – 2002
To gain a thorough understanding of the pilot phase’s achievements and challenges, an independent consultative evaluation study was conducted by Srilatha Batliwala Research Fellow with the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University, involving the country partners, CIVICUS staff and board members and external experts. The evaluation found that “the Index project is an innovative, contextually flexible, empowering and uniquely participatory tool for self-assessment by civil society stakeholders of the state of civil society in their countries. The Index as currently designed, however, has certain weaknesses in methodology that must be modified before it is further applied…[t]hese flaws are largely amenable to remedy and re-design.”
The CIVICUS Board of Directors formally adopted the recommendation of the evaluator to continue the project and address the project’s shortcomings, which was the focus of the subsequent re-design phase, in which CIVICUS contracted Carmen Malena as a Senior Research Consultant. From March to November 2002, the project methodology and framework were revisited and the project team made the proposed changes to improve the validity, comparability and action-orientation of the CSI project. The proposed framework was presented and discussed at a two-day workshop in July 2002, in Cape Town, South Africa, which brought together an international group of 20 civil society researchers and practitioners. The recommendations of the workshop led to the production of a final project framework, completed in October 2002, which provided the foundation for the development of a comprehensive project implementation toolkit.
In November 2002, with the revised project framework in place, CIVICUS issued a call for statements of interest from organizations to apply as country partners for the 2003-05 CSI implementation phase. During the next months, CIVICUS received over 90 applications from more than 70 countries. This was three times the expected number of applications. It gave an indication of the relevance and timeliness of the CSI tool for a wide range of countries, from the global South to post-communist to OECD-countries.
After a thorough desk and peer review, CIVICUS accepted applications from 68 organisations in 65 countries. To make the process more manageable and to accommodate the different timing preferences of the NCOs, the CSI implementation phase was broken up into three rounds, commencing in April, July and December 2003 respectively.
In 2004, CIVICUS developed the CIVICUS Civil Society Index – Shortened Assessment Tool (CSI-SAT), which was based on the original CSI design, but in a shorter, less extensive and less resource-intensive process to assess the state of civil society. The CSI-SAT was particularly relevant in countries where there was a substantive amount of secondary data available on civil society, and sometimes also served as a useful preparatory activity for a full CSI implementation at a later stage.
The phase spanned from 2003 to 2006, with the CSI being implemented in 53 countries worldwide. The CSI team worked with country partners to assist them in completing the project and in drafting country reports. In mid 2006 the country reports were compiled into the first volume of The Global Report on the State of Civil Society: Findings from the CIVICUS Civil Society Index Project. Launched in 2007, it provides concise and informative overviews of the state of civil society in participating countries. In Volume Two (The Global Report on the State of Civil Society: Comparative Perspectives), which was launched in 2008, readers can find a wide-ranging analysis of key issues facing civil society worldwide. You can find more information, including how to order a copy of these books, on the CSI Publications webpage.
Find out more about the full project description, implementation process and analytical framework of the Civil Society Index of Phase 1 (2003-2006) here: Assessing and Strengthening Civil Society Worldwide - A project description of the CIVICUS Civil Society Index. (Volkhart Finn Heinrich) Downloadable in pdf [669KB] (March 2004). Introduction available here [59KB]
Brief summary of the main features of the CSI’s conceptual framework and methodological approach: Summary of CSI Methodology and Conceptual Framework. Downloadable in pdf [93KB] (Published 2003)
Find out more about CSI publications during the Phase 1 on the CSI Publications page.
Country Partners (2003-2006)