The CSO Sustainability Index (CSOSI) for Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia provides a comprehensive assessment of the capacity of civil society to serve as both a short-term partner in implementing development solutions and a long-term actor in ensuring development outcomes are sustained. The CSOSI empowers local civil society to collectively assess not only the environment in which they are operating, but also their own capacities to advocate, operate sustainably and communicate with citizens.This year’s Index reports on the state of CSO sectors in twenty-four countries in the region, from the Baltics in the north to the Caucasus in the south, and the Visegrad countries in the west to Russia, which stretches east to the Pacific Ocean. It addresses both advances and setbacks in seven key components or “dimensions” of the sustainability of the civil society sector: legal environment, organizational capacity, financial viability, advocacy, service provision, sectoral infrastructure, and public image. The Index is intended to be a useful source of information for local CSOs, governments, donors, academics, and others who want to better understand and monitor key aspects of sustainability in the CSO sector.
This Guide was developed to help program designers who work in any sector to envision and implement with CSO partners the CD support that will strengthen local systems and help CSOs achieve their missions. Program designers from both implementing partner and donor organizations who are working to build the capacity of CSOs can use this Guide to better distinguish among CD approaches, the processes involved in each, and potential impact of a chosen approach. By identifying organizational characteristics and areas of potential capacity growth, this Guide will enable program designers to better select the intervention necessary to achieve their desired goal. Although this Guide is designed to benefit CSOs, the approaches outlined can also be applied to community based organizations (CBOs) or local for-profit organizations. The approaches included in this Guide are designed to increase capacity regardless of the actual knowledge or skill targeted.