Call for proposals: Application for implementing partner for civil society assessment in South Africa


The legal, regulatory, and policy environment in which Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) operate is key to their ability to register, operate, access resources, and effectively engage in advocacy, all of which are key to civil society’s ability to flourish and be successful. Moreover, the laws and regulations that govern CSOs and the ways in which they are implemented, which form part of civil society’s enabling environment, potentially shape a host of other significant factors as well: a CSO’s ability to communicate and associate with others, to engage in peaceful assembly, to seek tax exemptions, to engage in philanthropy, and to access information. All of these factors, as well as the relationship between CSOs and their government, help to define the nature of civil society’s enabling environment within a particular country. Importantly, these factors, when taken together, significantly affect the public’s receptivity, the lifeblood of a well-functioning civil society, to the important work performed by CSOs.

In order to improve and strengthen a country’s civil society sector, it is crucial to first assess the current health of its enabling environment in an accurate and objective way. The Enabling Environment National Assessments (EENAs), developed jointly by CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, were designed to provide a step-by-step guide to thoroughly characterise the nature of the enabling environment for civil society at the national level. These national assessments are meant to be locally-driven, rooted in primary data collected at the grassroots level, and validated by a consensus based, multi-stakeholder process. Ultimately, the EENAs are intended to operate as springboards for local actors to improve the legal and enabling environments for CSOs. By empowering local partners to successfully advocate for the rights of CSOs, the EENAs will facilitate the strengthening of civil society and the improving of CSO-government relations.

The EENA is part of the Civic Space Initiative implemented by CIVICUS in partnership with the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, ARTICLE19, and the World Movement for Democracy, with support from the Government of Sweden.

Organisations operating in South Africa are invited to apply for this grant.

•    Familiarity and experience with research methodology design, legal research, research publication writing and production;
•    Experience in authoring high quality publications;
•    Strong connections with a range of national civil society organisations;
•    Outreach capacity beyond non-capital cities, rural and grassroots environments.

•    Country report assessing the operating environment for civil society in South Africa;
•    Advocacy report;
•    Multi-stakeholder dialogue.

The project partner will follow the methodological research guide, which provides a step-by-step guide to implement the EENA. More specifically:
•    The project partner will assemble an Expert Advisory Panel  and a Research Team;
•    The Research Team will conduct desk research and interviews and convene focus group discussions with civil society stakeholders;
•    The Research Team will develop a preliminary Country Report to be presented at the multi-stakeholder dialogue;
•    The project partner will organise and assemble a multi-stakeholder dialogue;
•    The Research Team adjust and finalise the Country Report;
•    The project partner will draft and finalise an Advocacy Plan.

6 Mandatory Dimensions:
(1) Formation of CSOs
(2) Operation of CSOs
(3) CSO access to resources
(4) Freedom of Expression
(5) Freedom of Peaceful Assembly
(6) Government-CSO Relations
4 Optional Dimensions:
(1) Internet Freedom
(2) CSO Cooperation and Coalition
(3) Taxation
(4) Access to Information

This work is expected to take place between October 2014 and March 2015.

12,000USD is offered for the implementation of the project.
To apply, submit a letter of motivation, breakdown of the budget, the CV of the lead researcher and 3 references to before the close of business on 15 October 2014 at 17:30 in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

Pre-submission requests for information should be sent by e-mail to .

Only short listed applicants will be contacted.  For more about CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, refer to


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