Guiding Principles

The core mission of CIVICUS is to strengthen citizen action and civil society throughout the world. Consistent with this, the CIVICUS Monitor is built by civil society for civil society and is guided by four core principles:


We publish our methodology and approach on this website, and demonstrate where we draw information from and how we arrive at our ratings. While information from activists working in very dangerous circumstances is protected, as a general rule we will ensure that as much data as possible is published in its original form. This reflects our longstanding commitment to promoting legitimacy, transparency and accountability within civil society.


Perhaps the most important innovation of the CIVICUS Monitor is its attempt to incorporate directly the voices and views of local civil society organisations into an international measurement of civic space. We have developed multiple methods for prioritising the views of local groups in our analysis and ratings. We believe this will ensure a broad ownership which, as internet connectivity continues to increase, can be further enhanced over time. Further, we are making every effort possible to receive and analyse content in major world languages.


The CIVICUS Monitor is being developed through an intentionally iterative process of conversations with experts and civil society groups from all over the world. As its development and roll out continues, we will continue to seek feedback and shape our approach in line with comments and advice received from a growing cohort of users. While our primary focus is on generating an international dataset to monitor global trends, we also know we need to be flexible and ensure that the data is useful at the country level, where civil society groups may wish to use evidence from the CIVICUS Monitor to further their advocacy initiatives. In this, we will strive to remain flexible, listen to our membership and partners and strike a balance between the competing priorities of all users.


We want the data shared through the CIVICUS Monitor to be used to improve the quality and effectiveness of civic space and activism everywhere. We believe strongly that a robust measurement of civic space, truly owned by civil society, will be an invaluable new tool in the hands of activists across the globe. We will work hand in hand with our members to promote the growing ownership and use of this platform for campaigns, further research and monitoring of the performance of governments against their international commitments.

If you have ideas about how we can improve any aspect of the CIVICUS Monitor, we would love to hear from you. Feel free to use the form below to send us a message and we'll get back to you to start a conversation.