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Civicus: World Alliance for Citizen Participation was established in 1993 with its headquater in Johannesburg, South Africa and other offices in Washington D.C., United States and Geneva, Switzerland. Civicus is an international alliance consisting of about 450 members among them 110 countries, civil society networks and organisations; trade unions; faith-based networks; professional associations; NGO’s, businesses; and social responsibility programmes. CIVICUS works for strengthen citizen action and civil society throughout the world, “with the focus on areas were democracy and citizens’ freedom of association are threatened.” [1] The Alliance operates in conjunction with the belief that “the health of societies exists in direct proportion to the degree of balance between the state, the private sector, and civil society.” [2]



Justice and Equality – CIVICUS believes in the equality and dignity of every person, and that all people should be free to exercise their rights as citizens as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Reciprocity – CIVICUS exists to ensure that people treat one another with the respect with which they themselves wish to be treated. Civil society cannot thrive without mutual respect.

Knowledge – CIVICUS recognises that to increase its global awareness of civil society and before it can assist or take action, it needs to form alliances with other concerned bodies to increase its influence and knowledge.

Vision – CIVICUS is realistic about conflict in today’s world, but remains optimistic that most people, organisations, governments and businesses will work together for the benefit of all.

Principled Courage – CIVICUS will always promote civil justice and pledges to act in a manner that honours the principles of democratic civil society.



“To strengthen global citizen action and civil society throughout the world.”[3]



“A worldwide community of informed, inspired, committed citizens engaged in confronting challenges facing humanity.”

“CIVICUS seeks to amplify the voices and opinions of ordinary people. It recognizes that for effective and sustainable civic participation to occur, citizens must enjoy rights of free association and be able to engage all sectors of society.”[4]



Civic Existence – to promote the rights of citizens to organize and act collectively towards defined goals for the public good.

Civic Expression – to increase the effectiveness and improve the governance of civil society organizations, as well as their capacity to set and achieve their individual and collective goals.

Civic Engagement – to foster interaction between civil society and other institutions in order to increase the voice of citizens in public life.


Progress Initiatives:

Civil Society Index

Developed the civil society index in 2000 to measure the state of the civil society in the different countries. The index includes civic engagement, level of organisation, practice of values, perceived impact of the civil society as well as looking at the external environment within which civil society operates.


Katsuji Imata, Deputy Secretary talks about the Civil Society Index



  1. Website
  3. Mission Statement


See also


External Links


Progess Papers and Publications