CSO Meter: A Compass to Conducive Environment and CSO Empowerment

Project duration

2021-2023

Budget

€888,888 ( EU Investment: €799 999 )

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Project Website

CSO Meter
CSO Meter

Brief Description

The project monitors and advocates for the improvement of the environment in which civil society organisations (CSOs) operate in the Eastern Partnership countries.

The CSO Meter measures law and practice in key areas that affect civil society, from freedom of association and assembly, through participation, to access to funding and right to privacy. Based on a set of standards and indicators, it then assesses the countries’ compliance under each area. The CSO Meter’s strength lies in the fact that it has been developed through a highly consultative and collaborative process. As such, is a result of a true local effort that covers issues that are indeed relevant in the country contexts.

The coming years will see an update of the tool with a scoring model to allow for a more nuanced comparison between areas, countries and years. It will also include new topics, such as AI or digital technologies, to assess their impact on civic groups. The project seeks to empower a broader group of CSOs and activists to exchange strategies, use the CSO Meter for monitoring, and apply its evidence for advocacy in their countries.

Objectives

The overall objective is to support monitoring and advocacy for a conducive environment for civil society that incorporates international standards and best practices and that responds to the needs and priorities of organisations, activists and the society.

1. The first specific objective is to widen and empower a critical mass of CSOs that can use the monitoring tool, exchange strategies and expertise and advocate for improving the environment in each country and across the region.

2. The second specific objective is to support CSOs to regularly generate evidence on the state of the environment where they operate through active monitoring, to identify emerging trends and propose solutions that are based on international standards and national realities.

Actions in brief

1. A core group of CSOs actively uses the monitoring tool and advocates for improvements in the environment for civil society. The tool will be shaped in such a way that it can provide meaningful input for EU policy dialogue with the Eastern Partnership countries.

2. CSOs regularly monitor the civil society environment at national and regional level, publish findings and recommendations relying on a monitoring tool that is timely and relevant to the issues and helps identify positive practices, threats and restrictions.

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