USAID’s Civil Society Organization Sustainability Index (the Index or CSOSI) reports annually on the strength and overall viability of CSO sectors in more than 70 countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia (E&E), Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and Mexico. By analyzing seven dimensions that are critical to sectoral sustainability, the Index highlights both strengths and constraints in CSO development. The Index allows for comparisons both across countries and over time. Since its development in 1997 for Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia, the CSOSI has served as a valued tool for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), governments, donors, academics and others to better understand the sustainability of the civil society sector.
USAID is continually striving to ensure the cross-national comparability of the Index scores by improving the reliability and validity of measurements and standardizing units and definitions. In addition, USAID and its partners are working to increase local ownership of the Index, the transparency of the process through which the Index is compiled, the representativeness of the panels proposing the scores.
The Index assesses the strength and viability of civil society sectors in countries around the world, providing local CSOs, governments, donors, and researchers in think tanks and academia with a better understanding of the dynamics affecting CSO sectors over time, both in individual countries and across countries and regions. The Index:
- Allows other donor agencies to measure the success of civil society programming and inform strategic planning
- Provides capacity building service providers with a description of CSO capacity needs
- Helps advocacy organizations pinpoint and publicize issues in the legal/institutional environment that hinder CSOs' work
Click here to learn more about CSOSI's methodology.
Since 2017, FHI 360 and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) have managed the process of developing the regional CSOSI reports.
FHI 360 provides small grants to local CSOs to implement the CSOSI methodology in EACHcountry, while ICNL is primarily responsible for working with the local partners to edit the reports. Senior staff members from both FHI 360 and ICNL services on the Editorial Committee (EC), along with one or more senior USAID/Washington officials.
Implementing Partners (IPs) - local CSOs with a combination of research, convening, and advocacy skills - play an essential role in developing the CSOSI. The CSOSI currently works with more than 70 IPs in Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia, Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America (Mexico).