The SCS Global LWA strengthens civil society and independent media organizations around the world and infuses participatory approaches, social inclusion, transparency and accountability principles in all development sectors.


The SCS Global Leader Award manages a Research and Learning Agenda to identify and test effective interventions and tools to strengthen civil society and independent media and to create evidence-based resources for development practitioners. SCS Global Associate Awards provide support to USAID missions and operating units on projects that, for example:

  • Enhance civil society and CSO effectiveness in any sector;
  • Strengthen civic advocacy and citizen engagement;
  • Promote independent media and access to information;
  • Integrate participatory approaches, social inclusion, transparency, and accountability in all sectors.

Research and Learning Agenda

At the beginning of the project, SCS Global used a modified version of Rand’s Delphi technique to build consensus as to the most critical and timely topics facing civil society and independent media. By engaging 167 experts from all regions of the world with varied expertise, SCS Global crafted a Research and Learning Agenda on five thematic areas:


  • Operating in Environments where Government is Hostile to Civil Society  
  • Responding to Propaganda and Press Repression 
  • Technology, Social Media, Citizen Journalism and Media Literacy 
  • Informal Organizations and Online Activism 
  • Community Resilience to Violent Extremism  


SCS Global has been developing tools and knowledge products based on the five topic areas, the first of which became available early in 2019. These include:


  1. Protecting Civic Space from Excessive Financial Regulation — The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) conducted research on protecting civic space from excessive financial regulation and completed tools to help civil society organizations ease excessive financial restrictions imposed as a response to Financial Action Task Force (FATF) anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) ratings. These resources will assist stakeholders to:


    1. Understand FATF standards, procedures, timelines, and options for engagement;
    2. Map relevant laws and actors;
    3. Evaluate their country’s AML-CTF laws, regulations, and other measures; and
    4. Develop advocacy strategies to anticipate and counter government arguments premised on inaccurate characterizations of FATF’s revised standards.


  1. Civic I.D.E.A. Youth Media Literacy Toolkit — Emerson College’s Engagement Lab worked with SCS Global to develop a Civic I.D.E.A. Media Literacy Toolkit, which will provide a program for facilitators to build capacity of youth to inform themselves, think critically, and take civic action online. The Civic I.D.E.A. Framework is designed to help youth move from the point of critical inquiry to practicing media literacy that prioritizes active engagement and participation in daily civic life.


  1. Civil Society CVE Programming Reference Guide — FHI 360 is producing a reference guide for local civil society organizations designing and implementing programs to prevent or counter violent extremism (CVE) in their communities. The guide will consolidate relevant resources and tools that can assist civil society organizations in different stages of their work in preventing or countering violent extremism.


  1. Youth Programming Self Assessment (YPSA) Tool for Youth-Serving Organizations — FHI 360 developed a tool which supports youth-serving civil society organizations (YSOs) in reflecting on their own practices, evaluating how their programming performs against best practices in youth programming, and identifying areas of improvement. The YPSA tool can complement commonly used organizational capacity assessments that focus on institutional capacities to focus specifically on YSOs’ implementation of youth programming best practices. The tool includes the Youth Programming Self-Assessment, a youth feedback form, a YPSA overview and directions for the assessment, and a facilitator guide.