Perspectiva Cívica Regional: A study on Latin America and the Caribbean from Latin America and the Caribbean

The Argentine Network for International Cooperation (RACI) is developing the regional version of its initiative “Civic Perspective, Taking the Pulse of Civil Society”.  

Civic Perspective is a periodic study carried out by RACI that seeks to identify the conditions in which Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) work and develop. It is based on a survey of individual perceptions of leaders of Social Organizations and their working teams, who give their view on the general state of the Social Sector – the main concerns for the future, strengths, weaknesses, and needs of CSOs, etc. 

The most recent study was ” Civic Perspective, Research for Advocacy in times of Covid-19″, a qualitative-quantitative analysis that explores the role played by Argentine Social Organizations during the hardest months of social confinement in 2020. This study sought, firstly, to highlight social organizations as supporting agents of numerous vulnerable communities during social confinement Secondly, the study sought to analyze, based on data generated in the field, the impact of the pandemic on CSOs and their capacity to respond to the needs posed by the situation. Finally, it aimed to provide a relevant perspective to reflect on the future scenarios for the Social Sector in Argentina. 

In this opportunity, Civic Perspective has decided to focus on a deeper understanding of Social Organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean – their conditions of emergence and possibilities, their main challenges and strengths. 

The study, whose conceptualization was the product of numerous conversations and brainstorming meetings with key actors – leaders and working teams of CSOs and CSO networks from numerous countries in the region, regional and international networks, representatives of international NGOs with a strong presence in the region, donors, researchers and specialists in the Social Sector, among others – is based on the epistemological premise of expressing a view that is rooted in the reality of the Global South. The proposal is for this to be a study on Latin America and Caribbean Latin America and the Caribbean. 

We know that, in the process of professionalization of Social Organizations, many of their working teams have acquired tools/approaches that are global or prevalent in the Global North on the Social Sector, and in this sense we want to recover here an approach from the Epistemologies of the South.  

We proceed from the premise that ours is a region plagued by inequality, inequity, and informality. We also understand that despite these difficulties, our region has significant strengths when it comes to building links and networks, ingenuity in the use of available resources, and a great working and creative capacity. And we want to observe how all these aspects are reflected in social organizations. 

In this proposal we adopted a mixed qualitative-quantitative methodological strategy, generating data from in-depth interviews and focus groups with key informants, as well as from a semi-structured survey that we will soon distribute among CSO leaders and working teams in the region and for whose dissemination we hope to count on all of you.