Call for proposals: Application for partners for pilot national civil society assessment in El Salvador, Georgia and Indonesia.



The Enabling Environment National Assessment (EENA), developed by CIVICUS and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), is a participatory, civil society-led and action-oriented research methodology.

Updated and revised in 2017, the EENA methodology now focuses on civil society monitoring of country progress under two targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): target 16.10 on fundamental freedoms and access to information and target 17.17 on effective civil society partnerships. It aims to assess how conducive national conditions are for civil society organisations (CSOs) to exist, function and act. In particular, the EENA explores how laws and regulations relating to fundamental civic freedoms are implemented in practice, and how they impact on civil society. It is intended to form the basis for country-level advocacy actions on the enabling environment for civil society, as they pertain to ongoing efforts to monitor and fulfil SDG commitments.

Against a background of increasing restrictions on civic space, in September 2015 UN member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which will guide development efforts until 2030. The Agenda explicitly recognises the importance of inclusive and peaceful societies for sustainable development, embodied in Goal 16 which aims at fostering accountable, inclusive and participatory governance and protecting fundamental freedoms. As a civil society-led research and advocacy tool, the EENA aims to help hold governments to account by monitoring their implementation of SDG targets, namely SDG 16.10 and 17.17, and providing a basis for further advocacy actions.

The current pilot methodology is an adaption of the previous round of Enabling Environment National Assessments (EENA), which focused on assessing how conducive national conditions were for civil society organisations (CSOs) to exist, function and act in 22 countries between 2013 and 2016.[1]

This call for proposals seeks applications from eligible organisations to conduct short-duration research and advocacy projects according to the EENA methodology.

The EENA is a project of the Civic Space Initiative, which is implemented by CIVICUS in partnership with ICNL, ARTICLE 19, and the World Movement for Democracy with support from the Government of Sweden.


Applicants must be non-profit national civil society organisations operating in either El Salvador, Georgia or Indonesia.


  • Familiarity and experience with research methodology design, legal research, primary research methods and report writing and publication;
  • Familiarity with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in particular with SDG targets 16.10 and 17.7, and the SDG structures and processes in place in the respective country;
  • Evidence of past research publication on topics including the enabling environment for civil society, civic space, or related topics will be considered an advantage;
  • Experience in conducting human rights advocacy and campaigning;
  • Strong connections with a diverse range of civil society organisations in the country, including NGOs, organisations supporting marginalised groups, human rights organisations, anti-corruption organisations, grassroots organisations, trade unions and social movements;
  • Demonstrable capacity to conduct outreach and research beyond the capital cities, to rural and grassroots environments.


  • Country report assessing the legal and policy environment for civil society, and its implementation in the country related to the freedom of association, expression, peaceful assembly, and freedom of information (SDG 16.10) and government-CSO relations (SDG 17.7);
  • Organisation of a multi-stakeholder dialogue, to validate the research findings, and discuss advocacy priorities and actions;
  • Advocacy report outlining advocacy activities to undertake after the EENA research.


The project partner will follow the EENA 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, interviews, surveys and 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 will adjust and finalise the Country Report;
  • The project partner will draft and finalise an Advocacy Plan, outlining advocacy priorities and actions to take based on the EENA research findings.

The project partner will also work closely with CIVICUS and ICNL in the implementation of the project.


  1. Freedom of association: the freedom to form and operate CSOs;
  2. Freedom of expression: the freedom to express oneself freely and criticise powerholders, including the freedom of the media;
  3. Access to Information: internet freedom and access to various kinds of information, including from public sources;
  4. Freedom of peaceful assembly: the freedom to assemble and protest freely;
  5. Effective civil society partnerships: the quality of state-civil society relations and involvement in decision making and public functions.


Activities are expected to take place between 1 September 2017 and 30 November 2017.


A modest amount of funding is available to cover the costs of the EENA research. Grants will be tailored to the costs of research in each country, which will vary depending on the country situation.


Interested organisations should submit a letter of application to before the close of business on 18 August 2017 at 17:30 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The letter should outline the following:

  1. A description of your organisation and its experience in conducting similar research and advocacy actions/campaigns in the past.
  2. Your understanding of the assignment and your proposed approach to connect this work to SDG mechanisms and processes in place in your country.
  3. Proposed advocacy actions that your organisation will/could take after the EENA is conducted; including in relation with the existing SDG mechanisms and processes in the country;
  4. A description of your experience with convening different sectors of civil society and conducting qualitative research.
  5. Proposed budget for the EENA research.

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

Only short listed applicants will be contacted.  For more about CIVICUS please visit

[1] The 22 countries are: Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Colombia, Honduras, India, Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Panama, the Philippines, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia. See: