Growing Gap in Civil Society Sustainability in the Region: USAID Releases the 18th Edition of the Civil Society Organization Sustainability Index (CSOSI) for Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia.
Washington, D.C. – The Civil Society Organization (CSO) sectors in the twenty-nine countries covered in the CSO Sustainability Index for Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia continue to be highly diverse. On one end of the spectrum is Estonia, which records the highest level of sustainability of any country measured in all the regions covered by the CSO Sustainability Index. With a population of just 1.3 million, the more than 30,000 CSOs in the country continue to benefit from a supportive legal environment, infrastructure, and public image and are strong advocates and service providers. On the other end of the spectrum are countries where CSOs operate in highly restrictive legal environments, with limited access to funding and virtually no space for independent advocacy. This division occurs across countries—in terms of vastly different legal and operating environments—and within countries—where different CSOs are subject to different restrictions and benefits. CSOs also face several barriers to improving their public image and financial viability.
The CSOSI for Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia, produced by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) with partners in each participating country, assesses progress in the development of nonprofit, civil society organizations (CSO) in 29 countries of the region. This year’s edition covers developments in civil society during calendar year 2014. Now in its 18th year, the CSOSI examines the overall enabling environment for civil society, focusing on the legal environment, organizational capacity, financial viability, advocacy, service provision, infrastructure, and public image. The report describes and rates civil society development in each country and across the region as a whole.
Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organisations is pleased to partner with USAID to produce the CSOSI for Estonia.
The full report can be found at: http://www.usaid.gov/europe-eurasia-civil-society .