Civil society organizations (CSOs) make indispensable contributions to a more sustainable and solidary society in Austria and worldwide. On the one hand, they assist and improve the lives of people in difficult situations; on the other, they fight for environmental protection, democracy, human rights and international solidarity – to name but a few fields of action.

With the Civil Society Index – Rapid Assessment (CSI-RA), in 2014, IGO and the NPO & SE Competence Center, in cooperation with CIVICUS, have examined the climate and framework conditions for CSOs in Austria. Both supportive and inhibiting factors were assessed from the point of view of experts and stakeholders with the help of the internationally proven instrument CSI-RA. 2019 – five years later – IGO intends to establish what has changed since then in an updated version of the Index.


  • Description of the most important conditions for civic engagement in Austria in 2019.
  • Survey of significant changes in the framework for civil society engagement since 2014 by contrasting the status quo with the results of the Civil Society Index 2014.
  • Development of common strategies to improve the framework conditions with stakeholders.
  • Joint implementation of the developed strategies.

Project Responsibiltites

In an advisory and support body, whose members should be as representative as possible of Austrian civil society, the focal points and questions are defined and the project progress is monitored. IGO takes over the coordination, the NPO & SE competence center the scientific work.

The advisory and support group will be consulted in three stages:

  • To determine the research focus, so that the project treats the most burning issues for CSOs.
  • For feedback on the collected data and intermediate results. The panel should participate in the analysis of the data.
  • To review, review and release the results and recommendations of action.


The project is divided into four phases:

  1. Projektinitiation: Here the partners are identified, the financing secured and a first work plan and budget designed.
  2. Project adaptation: In this phase, the concrete research interest, the goals, the methods and indicators are determined. The concrete project plan and budget will be decided at this stage.
  3. Project implementation: Implementation of agreed research activities, analysis of data, preparation of the report, review and review of results and recommendations by stakeholders.
  4. Action Phase: publication of the results / report; Broad dialogue on possible activities to implement the project recommendations; Development and communication of a policy catalog;

In a first workshop in early June 2018, key stakeholders will discuss which topics are relevant to the Civil Society Index update.

In addition, lessons learned during the first CSI project in 2013 and 2014 will be collected and included in the planning for 2019.

What happens to the results?

With the CSI-RA, we will create a basis for negotiations with politicians and the private sector to improve conditions for CSOs in Austria and facilitate their work. Both the organizations and IGO serve as a multiplier.

For more information, please contact

Franz Neunteufl:

Dr Ruth Simsa: