BANGKOK, Thailand -- On 4 March 2019, Manushya Foundation convened a meeting with experts from diverse Civil Society Organizations (CSO) to discuss the sustainability of the CSO sector in Thailand, covering the year 2018. The meeting was a unique opportunity for Thai CSOs to examine and assess the strength and overall viability of the CSO sector, and to determine whether CSOs' sustainability has improved or deteriorated since the previous year.
The experts were chosen among a broad spectrum of CSO actors, such as academics, both local and international human rights organizations, advocacy groups, business and media associations, informal organizations, and more; covering sectors such as the environment, LGBTI rights, women’s rights, health, safe abortion, freedom of expression, migrants’ rights, land rights, indigenous peoples and others. The CSO experts were invited to assess the sustainability of the Thai CSO sector through a scoring system, developed by USAID, that looks at seven dimensions: legal environment, organizational capacity, financial viability, advocacy, service provision, sectoral infrastructure, and public image of CSOs.
Throughout the discussion, the experts were able to share their point of view about the situation of CSOs as well as their organization’s own experience regarding improvements and/or deteriorations of the CSO sector’s sustainability.
The input and observations of experts will inform the 2018 Civil Society Organization Sustainability Index (CSOSI) Report for Thailand, being developed by Manushya Foundation. The report, highlighting both the deteriorations and positive changes faced by the civil society sector from the year 2017 to 2018, will be disseminated to relevant actors throughout the country. It will serve as a basis to identify the needs of Thai CSOs, in order to build their capacities and defend their civic space. The CSOSI will provide donors, academics, governments and CSOs themselves the data to promote the strength and determination of the CSO sector and to build partnerships for greater sustainability.
This activity is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through a grant from the Civil Society Organization Sustainability Index project implemented by FHI 360, with Manushya Foundation as country partner.
Access pictures of the event here.