CSO Sustainability Index 2020: Sri Lanka Country Report

The Civil Society Organization Sustainability Index (CSOSI) assesses the sustainability of the CSO sector across several countries in different regions around the world.

Since its inception in 1997, it has expanded from covering 18 countries in the Europe and Eurasia Region, to covering a total of 73 countries in 2019, in regions including the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. By using standard indicators and collecting data each year, the CSOSI enables users to track developments and identify trends in the CSO sector over time while allowing for cross-country and cross-region comparison. It is used by CSO advocates, development partners, and academics to assess international and regional trends in the civil society sector and to identify common obstacles impeding the sector’s sustainability, such as the legal environment, organizational capacity, and financial viability.

The pandemic amplified the hardships CSOs were already facing, and the constitutional changes together with several other policies posed unprecedented challenges for CSOs in Sri Lanka. Overall CSO sustainability underwent moderate deterioration in 2020, with all dimensions experiencing some level of backsliding.

This is the seventh time Sri Lanka is participating in the index. Verité Research is the local implementing partner for this initiative.