Bangladesh civil society organizations’ strength declines for 5 straight years

Bangladesh has slipped in the Civil Society Organizations Sustainability Index (CSOSI) for five straight years in 2020, reaching a score of 4.0 from 3.5 in 2015.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and other elements led to negative growth in six out of the seven dimensions in Bangladesh in 2020, in six out of seven dimensions of the index in 2020 according to the global report on the Civil Society Organizations Sustainability Index (CSOSI) launched recently.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been producing global reports on CSOSI since 1997. In 2020, seventy-three countries of Africa, Asia, Europe & Eurasia, the Middle East & North Africa, Latin America & the Caribbean were covered in the global index. The Family Health International (FHI360) and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) led the 2020 reporting processes.

Media, communication and research-based organization SoMaSHTe is an implementing partner of FHI360 for the 2020 report.

Based on publicly available information and data, an expert panel examined the trends and patterns within the CSO sector and suggested the scores for each country. A US-based editorial committee finalized the scores and produced the report.

The CSOSI measures civil society sectors’ strength and overall viability based on seven dimensions: legal environment, organizational capacity, financial viability, advocacy, service provision, infrastructure, and public image. It uses a seven-point scale from 1 to 7. Lower numbers indicate more robust levels of CSO sustainability. The levels of sustainability are organized into three broad clusters as Sustainability Enhanced (1.0 to 3.0), Sustainability Evolving (3.1 to 5.0), and Sustainability Impeded (5.1 to 7.0).

CSO sector includes self-governing formal and informal organizations, usually of non-profit nature, such as non-governmental organizations, social movements, community-based organizations and faith-based organizations, trade unions, women’s groups, youth groups, research institutes and think tanks, professional associations, cultural institutions, social enterprises, and informal movements, networks, and campaigns, etc. CSOs’ active roles are important for a healthy democratic environment and human rights.

Bangladesh was first included in this global index in 2014 and still staying in the evolving sustainability cluster. The country got the highest score in 2014 and 2015, 3.5, and lost 0.5 points in the following five years.

The global report and the data can be accessed from