Methodology

Methodology

The Civil Society Risk Matrix includes survey responses from sector experts and secondary data on NGO legislation. Click on the quick links under Highlights to skip ahead to other sections.

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The Civil Society Risk Matrix incorporates a variety of primary and secondary sources, including an internal survey of KPMG CSO experts, and data tracking of NGO legislation worldwide. Countries are plotted on the Matrix against variables indicating the amount of government activity in terms of recently enacted or forthcoming legislation or regulations, and its significance for CSOs operating in those countries. The final results represent KPMG’s assessment of the civil society environment in countries around the world.

Country selection

Forty countries were included in the CSO Risk Matrix selected based on a variety of factors including:

  • presence of organizations which fund CSOs
  • proposed and forthcoming regulations
  • reports by CSOs and media on activity aimed at CSOs made by governmental authorities
  • level of in-country engagement KPMG professionals have with NGOs, civil society groups, and philanthropic organizations

Data sources

Primary survey

KPMG surveyed 40 CSO experts from June to August 2015 to gain insight into the current challenges facing civil society and the potential risks posed by government action. In April 2016, the United States and Canada were added to the risk matrix, and China’s risk was reassessed due to the NGO management law enacted in April. Survey participants were KPMG member firm partners and employees and were selected for their in-country experience working with CSO organizations as well as their specialized knowledge of the legal, regulatory, and political challenges facing the sector. 

Secondary data

Relevant Indices

KPMG selected data from relevant indices that reflect the ability of CSOs worldwide to operate in a given country. These indices include the Fundamental Rights and Open Government components of the 2015 World Justice Project, Reporters without Borders Press Freedom Index, and the People and Civil Society component of the KPMG 2015 Change Readiness Index.

Index Component Features
World Justice Project 2015 Rule of Law Index Open Government Survey data that assesses the accessibility of a country’s basic laws and public spending in terms of timeliness of publication, language, and a citizen’s right to information; the extent to which the government respects media freedom; the right to petition; the extent of freedom of association; and the right to voice complaints about public services. 
World Justice Project 2015 Rule of Law Index  Fundamental Rights

Survey data that measures the impact of socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity, religion, nationality, and sexual orientation on access to basic rights; the right to due process, privacy, legal assistance, and freedom of expression; as well as the freedom of the media, labor organizations, civil society, and political organizations.
Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index Overall Score Survey data that measures the degree to which opinions are represented in the media and the degree to which media are able to function independently without external influence; assesses the environment in which journalists and other news and information providers operate; analyzes the impact of the legislative framework governing news and information activities; measures transparency of the institutions and procedures that affect the production of news and information; measures the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information; and measures the level of violence and harassment during the period assessed.
KPMG Change Readiness Index  Civil Society Sub-Indicator Includes primary and secondary data that measures the extent to which governments provide an open environment for civil society. 

 

Open-source Media Analysis and Reviews of Existing Reports
and Legislation

KPMG also tracked and reviewed news coverage from local and global media outlets, pending legislation targeting the sector, and reports and data sets provided by organizations that advocate a free and open operating environment for civil society globally. These resources include:

International Center for Non Profit Law  National Endowment for Democracy Freedom House Civicus

Calculating the scores

Amount of government activity

The amount of government activity score represents KPMG’s assessment of the current challenges facing CSOs in terms of recently enacted, pending, or forthcoming legislation or regulation. The score is based on the internal KPMG in-country CSO expert survey and an open-source media analysis. The open-source media analysis covered existing reports on the state of CSOs, pending and recently enacted legislation, and various data sets provided by organizations that advocate a free and open operating environment for civil society.The scoring table below provides additional detail on the scores and corresponding assessments.

Score Amount of Government Activity
5 Little to no additional action or scrutiny taking place against CSOs.  
4 Some additional action or scrutiny taking place against CSOs.
3 Moderate additional action or scrutiny taking place against CSOs.
2 Very significant additional action or scrutiny taking place against CSOs.
1 Extensive additional action or scrutiny taking place against CSOs.

Significance of the amount of government activity

To calculate the significance of government activity for CSOs in select countries and the potential risks they pose on their respective operating environment, KPMG first obtained the scores of the inputs below for each country.

  • Open Government indicator, 2015 World Justice Project Index
  • Fundamental Rights score, 2015 World Justice Project Index
  • People and Civil Society component of the KPMG 2015 Change Readiness Index
  • Reporters without Borders Press Freedom Index

KPMG also analyzed responses to its internal CSO expert survey, open-source media content, existing reports and legislation, and various data sets provided by organizations that advocate a free and open operating environment for CSOs. Based on this analysis, KPMG assigned each country a sub-score on a scale ranging from 0-1.

All of these scores were then normalized on a scale ranging from 0-1 to create index sub scores.

The mean of all sub-scores was then used to create a composite score that was then converted to a final 1-5 score based on the assessment levels below.

Significance of Government Activity Score Assessment Level
5 Little to no significance for CSO operating environment. Existing legislation conducive to vibrant civil society space. CSOs able to operate without fear of government intervention.
4 Some significance for CSO operating environment. CSOs still largely free to operate without fear of government intervention. Some restrictions on programs.
3 Moderate significance for CSO operating environment. Means of recourse to address restrictions still available. CSOs may choose to adapt programs to conform to new operating environment. Moderate restrictions on programs.
2 Very significant for CSO operating environment. Limited recourse to address restrictions. Increasing self-censorship to conform to new operating environment. Programs significantly altered, may be forced to suspend operations.
1 CSOs closed down, permanently forced to suspend operations and forced to leave country.

Plotting the scores on the Risk Matrix

Final scores for the “Amount of Government Activity” and “Significance of the Amount of Government Activity” of each country were then plotted on the Risk Matrix to produce the results.

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