CIVICUS is an international alliance dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society around the world. The organization focuses on three main areas:
- Protecting the rights of civil society;
- Strengthening civil society good practices; and
- Increasing the influence of civil society.
CIVICUS undertakes a variety of projects in each of the aforementioned areas including the creation and implementation of the Civil Society Index (CSI). The CSI is a participatory needs assessment and action planning tool for civil society around the world, with an aim of creating a knowledge base and momentum for civil society strengthening initiatives.
Within the CSI, states of civil society in their national context are assessed along four basic dimensions using a structured methodology:
- The structure of civil society;
- The external environment in which civil society exists and functions;
- The values practiced and promoted in the civil society arena; and
- The impact of activities pursued by civil society actors.
These four dimensions can be represented graphically as the Civil Society Diamond. To learn more about the CSI and/or CIVICUS, check out their website, follow them on Twitter @CIVICUSalliance, and Like them on Facebook.