Civil Society

We strengthen civil society to facilitate citizens’ voices, to monitor governments and hold them accountable, and to improve access and quality of service provision.

Our programs address civil society organizations’ (CSOs’) legal environment, technical skills and organizational capacity to affect change, and long-term sustainability.

Our approach is inclusive, making diverse citizen groups and organizations stronger and more effective. We emphasize three elements in all programs based on decades of direct learning from our field work: 1) local ownership, 2) capacity development (including mentoring and coaching) and 3) development of networks and partnerships to accelerate cross-institution learning and ensure change.

We deploy tools such as our Advancing Policy and Institutional Reform Framework to help CSOs advocate for and monitor reforms and our Scaling Up Framework to take pilots to scale.

We work with networks of civil society actors in closed and closing environments to counter anti-democratic trends, negotiate space for citizen participation, improve security, and sustain their work. We work closely with civil society in post-conflict environments to promote stabilization and strengthen community resilience.

Examples of our work include support to civil society-government partnerships and increased citizen engagement to achieve reform results in Ukraine and Mexico. In Indonesia, we currently support CSOs to catalyze investigative reporting and run advocacy campaigns to improve government decision-making.

We also have done extensive analytic work, including implementing USAID’s CSO Sustainability Index in 60 countries for 14 years.


Gwendolyn Bevis

Aekta Desai

Lindsay McMahon

Kalinda Magloire

Jason Schwarz

Cecilia Real



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