The Civil Society Organization Sustainability Index

How Sustainable is Civil Society? Enabling Environment, Capacity Building and the CSO Sustainability Index

Local non-state actors can make important contributions to national development, as highlighted by the Busan framework agreements on aid effectiveness. But an effective, sustainable civil society organization (CSO) sector hinges on the readiness of a national government to provide an enabling enviornment of policy, legal and regulatory measures. Building capacity for individual organizations is important, but is more likely to succeed in a setting where CSOs can operate freely and are viewed by governments as vital participants in development.

InterAction hosted a panel for a discussion of the interplay between NGO operating environments, capacity building of local organizations and sustainability. With the recently published 2011 CSO Sustainability Index (CSOSI) for Sub-Saharan Africa as a touchstone, presenters considered ways that governments, donors and INGOs can better support local CSOs given differing country contexts, challenges and lessons learned.


2011 Africa CSO Sustainability Index
Lisa Slifer-Mbacke, Management Systems International

Civil Society Enabling Environment
Cathy Shea, International Center for Not-for-Profit Law

Local Partner Capacity Building
Sarah Ford, Catholic Relief Services