Civil Society Index

Civil Society Index (CSI): assessing the state of Philippine civil society
The Caucus of Development NGO Networks and the University of the Philippines’ Center for Leadership, Citizenship and Democracy, is conducting a study on the state of Philippine Civil Society through the Civil Society Index project.  The Civil Society Index (CSI) is an action-research project that aims to assess the state of civil society in countries around the world. It has been developed and its implementation coordinated and supported by Civicus World Association for Citizen Participation. Between 2003 and 2006 the CSI was implemented in over 50 countries worldwide.
The Philippines is now included in this new round of CSI implementation. This round of CSI seeks to assess the state of Civil Society, measuring the following core dimensions: Civic Engagement, Level of Organization, Practice of Values, Perceived Impact and External Environment.
  1. Civic Engagement: The extent to which individuals engage in social and policy-related initiatives
  2. Level of Organisation: The degree of institutionalisation that characterises civil society (measured through an analysis of civil society organisations)
  3. Practice of Values: The extent to which civil society practices some core values
  4. Perceived Impact: The extent to which civil society is able to impact the social and policy arena, according to internal and external perceptions.
  5. External environment: The above four dimensions are analysed in the context of a fifth dimension that the CSI calls the ‘external environment’, which includes the conditions (e.g. socio-economic, political and cultural variables) within which civil society operates.

The Civil Society Diamond combines indicators to provide a visual display of different dimensions and their respective values in a common space, using the same or comparable metrics. The Diamond’s size seeks to portray an empirical picture of the state of civil society, covering structural and normative manifestations, but also encompassing the conditions that support or inhibit civil society’s development as well as the consequences of civil society’s activities for society at large.

Figure I.1: Civil Society Diamond



The implementation of the Civil Society Index research project in the Philippines is guided by an advisory committee composed of different representatives across different sectors and regions in the Philippines.