Mapping of Civil Society Organizations in the Governance Sector in the Maldives


Mapping of Civil Society Organizations in the Governance Sector in the Maldives was commissioned by The Asia Foundation’s South Asia Grants Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for South and Central Asian Affairs. Riyan Pvt. Ltd. conducted the research, which examined the operational landscape of civil society organizations (CSOs) working in the governance sector in the Maldives. There are 1,204 CSOs registered in the Maldives, with around six percent classified as working in the governance sector. The research utilized mixed methods, including a desk review, qualitative analysis of focus group discussions and key informant interviews, and quantitative surveys.

The study examined the regulatory environment and operations of CSOs in the Maldives to better understand their activities, capacities, funding, governance, challenges, and opportunities. The study revealed that most Maldivian CSOs in the governance sector are registered in Malé and work at a regional, national, or international level rather than the community level. The majority of these CSOs encompassed multiple focus areas, indicating the ability to respond to communities’ diverse and changing needs. However, this also suggests that CSOs may lack expertise in specific focus areas, hindering their ability to work in the governance space. Challenges included capacity, funding, information dissemination, collaboration, and public perception misconceptions about CSOs. Based on the study’s findings, key recommendations for addressing challenges facing governance-focused CSOs were identified in relation to organizational structures, networking and capacity building, access to CSO services, funding structures, state-CSO partnerships, and public awareness and perception.

Posted February 20, 2024
Related programs: Good Governance
Related topics: Maldives