Bežovan,G.;Matančević, J. (2011), Zagreb: CERANEO

CIVICUS Civil Society Index (CSI) has been implemented in Croatia three times: in 2001 as a pilot and in the following two research waves, from 2003 to 2005 and the last one, from 2008 to 2010. The CSI research project has significantly contributed to the knowledge base regarding civil society in Croatia, as well as to the promotion of civil society in academic work, university teaching and the wider public. Its findings have built on a rather scarce empirical knowledge of civil society in a recent Croatian history.

The particular relevance of the research outputs is seen in several aspects: the CSI has contributed to the understanding of the scope of civil society, specific factors and paths of its development, its social and policy impact, values, infrastructure, relations with other sectors and stakeholders, and socio-economic and cultural environment of its development. This research project and its outputs are of a particular relevance to the TSI FP7 project, as an important building block of the knowledge on civil society in Croatia. Importantly, the CSI has put on the agenda the question of conceptualization and definition of civil society and civil society organizations in the academic and policy community, and has promoted the concept of civil society in the general public.

It has also resulted in the empirical evidence of the impact that civil society organizations make, in terms of meeting social needs and well-being of citizens as well as impact on public policies. Based on the CSI research findings, a set of recommendations has been formulated, as a basis for advocating for a stronger role of civil society organizations in society.