How it works

The CIVICUS Monitor is a cutting edge research tool built by civil society. We aim to share reliable, up-to-date data on the state of civil society freedoms in all countries. Our interactive world map allows you to access live updates from civil society around the world, track threats to civil society and learn about the ways in which our right to participate is being realised or challenged.

In a globalised world with an unprecedented ability to share information, it might be expected that those who restrict civic space have nowhere to hide. Yet clearly more must be done to shed light on the practices of those, including governments and private companies, that restrict civic space, and force them to adhere to domestic and international commitments to uphold human rights. CIVICUS believes that part of the answer lies in the creation of a new, robust and frequently updated tool to collect, curate and communicate the many strands of information about civic space. 

The CIVICUS Monitor does not intend to duplicate the valuable work of existing resources on civic space. There are annually-updated international indexes of democracy and key human rights indicators, while traditional and social media report numerous stories of disrupted protests and imprisoned journalists. Many civil society organisations do a courageous job of calling attention to abuse in their countries. Yet these sources of information are not triangulated, and the voices of local groups are often missing from prominent international indexes. Information provided at the international level is often months, if not years, out of date, even though the conditions for civil society are volatile and can change rapidly. Advocacy to defend civil society and civic space is thus not as well-informed as it could be, and less effective than it strives to be. We believe that the CIVICUS Monitor can help fill this gap by offering well-informed, frequently-updated reports and analysis on civic space developments, available on a global scale.

The CIVICUS Monitor will offer:

  • Ratings of the state of civic space in every country of the world, based on several sources of constantly-updated data.
  • News of latest developments in each country, no matter how big or small.
  • Updates that reflect the voices of local people and civil society organisations.
  • Analysis that takes into account the vast differences between country contexts.
  • Information and news that is credible and has undergone a thorough verification process.
  • Comparisons between countries and across time.

We know that the fight to uphold the rights of civil society is challenging and continuous. We know that the CIVICUS Monitor alone will not cause governments and corporations to stop violating citizens’ rights nor compel the international community into action. What we aim to do is provide civil society, the media and decision-makers with a reliable, updated portrayal of the reality of civic space. This, we hope, will enable stronger, more concerted action to open up civic space, and challenge those that seek to close it.