A number of studies supported by international development agencies have assessed the quality and vitality of civil society in Sierra Leone since the country’s first democratic transition elections in 1996. Several studies aimed to inform the next steps in democracy-building work. Among the major assessments was a National Scoping of Civil Society Activities in Sierra Leone carried out by DAI Europe Limited in 2006. This was undertaken for Enhancing the Interaction and Interface of Civil Society and the State to Improve Poor People’s Lives (ENCISS) programme supported by the UK Department for International Development (DfID). Assessment of civil society was also a critical component of the study of international democracy assistance to Sierra Leone, led by the Netherlands Institute of International Relations in 2005. The World Bank-supported some studies on social accountability and the civil society landscape in Sierra Leone between 2005 and 2007, and a CIVICUS Civil Society Index (CSI) was conducted in Sierra Leone in 2006. While this Civil Society Index-Rapid Assessment (CSI-RA) stands on its own as an assessment of the situation of civil society in Sierra Leone today, it acknowledges these previous reports as valuable baselines against which progress can be measured. Civil society is rapidly changing.
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