Recent evaluations of the CSOSI identified shortcomings in its 20-year-old methodology, including an over-reliance on small groups of experts, its cost and time inefficiencies, and the unsustainability of the current model. However, the USAID funded appraisal reinforced that the Index remains a useful resource for donors, implementers, intermediary support organizations, and local CSOs. To enhance the Index’s utility, SCS Global is working with USAID and stakeholders to implement both quick fixes as well as larger reforms of the methodology to be piloted in the fall.
The annual CSOSI measures the civil society sector across seven dimensions that take account of the overall levels of development of the CSO sector as a whole rather than the sustainability of individual CSOs. In each of 71 countries, a local implementing partner convenes a panel of local experts to discuss and score indicators’ dimensions. Then the implementing partner drafts a country report based on an expert panel’s assessment, as well as outside knowledge of the sector. The country reports are then released in compendiums by region.
If you would like to offer suggestions for how the Index’s methodology might be improved, contact us at SCSGlobal@fhi360.org.