Civil Society Index Project

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Information about Civil Society Index Project

Published on November 23, 2007

Author: Javier


Tools to Assess CS Legal Framework: The Civil Society Index Project :  Tools to Assess CS Legal Framework: The Civil Society Index Project Filiz Bikmen, TUSEV CIVICUS CSI Overview:  CIVICUS CSI Overview Action-research project that aims to assess the state of civil society countries around the world The main objectives of the international project CIVICUS Index on Civil Society are: To increase knowledge, understanding and awareness of civil society through reflecting on and assessing the strength, health and impact of the sector; To empower civil society stakeholders through promoting dialogue, alliances and networks among them; To develop visions of mechanisms to achieve stronger civil society through providing an agenda- and goal setting tool to help foster positive behavioural change. TUSEV aims for CSI:  TUSEV aims for CSI A comprehensive picture Understanding of regional differences Explaining this to the government!! Take stock on existing literature on civil society and refresh interpretation and identify areas that merit separate research Facilitate linkages between civil society, government and business Identify impediments Set specific agendas and goals for civil society enhancement Open up new vistas of research especially in areas that have received little attention List of CSI 2003/04 countries :  List of CSI 2003/04 countries Sub-Sahara Africa: Botswana South Africa Malawi Uganda Nigeria  Gambia  Burkina Faso Sierra Leone Ghana  Mauritius Ethiopia Democratic Republic of Congo Congo-Brazzaville Asia-Pacific: Fiji Nepal South Korea Bangladesh   China Hong Kong Indonesia East Timor Australia List of CSI 2003/04 countries :  List of CSI 2003/04 countries C&E Europe and NIS: Romania Croatia Bosnia and Herzegovina Serbia Macedonia Slovenia Bulgaria Czech Republic Poland Russia Armenia Azerbaijan Uzbekistan Ukraine Turkey Latin America & Caribbean: Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Costa Rica Ecuador Grenada Guatemala Honduras Jamaica Mexico Puerto Rico Uruguay List of CSI 2003/04 countries :  List of CSI 2003/04 countries Western Europe & North America: Germany Italy England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland Canada South Carolina (US) Middle East & North Africa: Jordan Egypt  Lebanon Palestine Conceptual Framework:  Conceptual Framework CIVICUS Civil Society Diamond:  CIVICUS Civil Society Diamond The CIVICUS Civil Society Diamond tool : Offers a basic description of civil society along different dimensions; Serves as an assessment tool – the Diamond makes it possible to explore critical areas of civil society and highlight its strengths and weaknesses; Lends itself to intuitive and useful interpretations; Can be useful for applications at national, regional and local levels; Provides the basis for comparisons within and across countries. Four Dimensions of the Diamond:  Four Dimensions of the Diamond Structure – How large civil society is in economic, social and organisational terms; Environment – What legal and political “space” civil society occupies within the regulatory environment it operates; Values – What values, norms and cultural expectations civil society represents and advocates; Impact – What the contributions of civil society are. Environment Dimensions:  Environment Dimensions (1) Political context – The political context in any given country defines the overall backdrop and establishes important parameters for civil society’s activities. This sub-dimension explores various aspects of the political situation in the country and its impact on civil society. Individual indicators include: citizen’s political rights, the extent of political competition (single v. multi-party systems), rule of law, corruption, state effectiveness and decentralisation. (2) Socio-economic context – This sub-dimension assesses the socio-economic situation in the country and its impact on civil society. It does this by determining how many of a range of conditions considered seriously disabling to civil society (e.g. widespread poverty, civil war or conflict, severe economic or social crisis, severe socio-economic inequity, pervasive adult illiteracy) are present in a country context. (3) Socio-cultural context - While civic norms (such as trust) are often regarded as a key component of social capital (Putnam 1993) and sometimes as a component of civil society (Bratton 1994: 2), the CSI considers these norms as an important social resource for civil society to draw on and, therefore, as part of civil society’s external environment. This sub-dimension looks at levels of trust, tolerance and public spiritedness among members of society in order to assess to what extent socio-cultural norms and attitudes are conducive to civil society. Slide11:  (5) Legal environment - This sub-dimension assesses the extent to which the existing legal environment is enabling or disabling to civil society. The specific indicators for this sub-dimension include an assessment of CSO registration procedures, legal constraints on CSO advocacy activities, CSO tax exemptions and tax benefits to promote philanthropy. (6) State-civil society relations –This sub-dimension seeks to assess the nature and quality of state-civil society by looking at issues of CSO autonomy, state-civil society dialogue and cooperation/support. (7) Private sector-civil society relations –This sub-dimension assesses private sector attitudes towards civil society as well as levels of corporate social responsibility and corporate philanthropy. (4) Basic freedoms & rights - This sub-dimension looks at those constitutional rights which directly relate to the functioning of civil society, namely: basic civil liberties (freedoms of expression, assembly & association), information rights and freedoms of the press. It assesses to what extent these freedoms and rights are ensured by law and in practice. Civil Society Definition :  Civil Society Definition The arena, outside of family, the state, and the market where people associate to advance common interests Research Activities :  Research Activities Overview Report Review of existing literature (Turkish) and data Review of existing literature (English/International) and data Snapshot of the ‘as-is’ and aims to identify where the gaps in research are Primary Research Regional Stakeholder Consultations At least 6, with 20 participants each Respond to questionnaire then participate in one day long meetings Community Sample Research Media Review Gather information on civil society activities, attitudes and values expressed by civil society and other public actors and establish the media image of civil society Fact Finding Assemble info/data about civil society that already exists but that is not necessarily published or publicly disseminated Guiding Principles:  Guiding Principles Draw on all relevant valid information Use participatory research methods and processes Promote stakeholder learning and action Create local ownership Ensure global relevance & applicability Actors:  Actors CIVICUS National Index Team Civil Society Expert Participatory Researcher National Coordinating Organisation Civil Society Stakeholders National Advisory Group Slide16:  CSI Process 1 Secondary Data Review & Overview Report 2 Training of National Index Teams 5 Data Analysis & Scoring Identifcation of Civil Society Strengthening Initiatives Country Report 3 Meeting of National Advisory Group 4 Primary Research (Reg. Stake-holder consul-tations; media review, etc.) Slide17:  Media review Community sample Fact finding Reg. stakeholder consultations Secondary data Data sources Indicator Scores Subdimensional scores Dimensional Scores CSI Diamond NAG Scoring Exercise Averaging Averaging Plotting Major Outputs:  Comprehensive Toolkit on how to assess civil society Series of country reports on the state of civil society generated by 2003/2004 implementation phase Specific civil society strengthening strategies and initiatives identified through the CSI Series of consultations among civil society stakeholders on state of civil society Global report & conference on the state of civil society Major Outputs Major Outcomes:  A body of relevant and useful knowledge on the state of civil society and civil society strengthening practices at national and cross-national level Sharing of knowledge on the state of civil society within the participating countries as well as internationally Agreement among civil society stakeholders on strategies for strengthening civil society Common understanding of the state of civil society among a broad range of stakeholders Improved dialogue among civil society stakeholders on the state of civil society Major Outcomes

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