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Overcoming Development Aid Fatigue, Deciding Together and Shifting Power to Communities in Africa

February 5, 2021

The growing economic gap between countries in the global south and the global north has dominated international relations and diplomacy for a long time. This gap has led to constant capital inflows and investment from the global north to the global south, including Africa, intended to reduce the gap. However, there is evidence that over the last 50 years, development aid has done little in changing the destinies of many African states, only very few Least Developed Countries (LDC) have graduated out of the status. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been given to African governments in the form of grants. In addition, even more, billions were lent to these same governments. Yet the state of development in Africa is not significantly better today. Per capita incomes, for most African countries, is either stagnant or declining. This suggests to some extent that there is more to the African challenge than just responding with money as this is not likely to turn things around. Therefore, the global community is challenged to try something different to produce different results.

Elevating your Organisational Effectiveness

May 1, 2020

The outbreak of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges to the organisational health of community-based organisations (CBOs) especially in the global south. CBOs are important public health system stakeholders as they provide numerous, often highly valued COVID-19 response services to the members of their communities. The Coronavirus pandemic has broadened and increased the complexities related to the operations and strategic focus for most CBOs. Therefore, concerns about CBOs' capacity for sustainability have become essential as it has significant implications for achieving the sustainable development goals.

10 Social Impact Tips for Start-up CSOs

April 14, 2020

The phrase 'back to the basics' is a stark reminder of the importance of enhancing capacity. Capacity strengthening is the basic foundational pillar that ensures the viability of an organisation. Interestingly, we often must be reminded of the importance of building our organisation's capacity.Just like in the business sphere, CSOs are formed with the intention of operating successfully and sustainably. The only difference is that the formation of CSOs is often driven by a social need or a community problem instead of a profit motive. Therefore, capacity development is essential to ensure that CSOs do not only survive but also thrive.

7 Feasible Ways to Expand Civic Space in West Africa in 2020

January 28, 2020

The effective implementation of WACSI's interventions is dependent on civil society's contributions and feedback on the Institute's work in promoting an open, safe and prosperous West Africa. WACSI's interventions are guided and inspired by the critical voices from key stakeholders and engagement by different communities and groups across West Africa. At WACSI, we are conscious that civic space affects everything civil society does and everything civil society does affects civic space.  A safe, open, free and enabling space for all to form and voice opinions, debate, be heard and peacefully protest, is also an essential prerequisite for achieving the ECOWAS Vision 2020. Civic freedoms including the freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, safe environments and effective participation are therefore essential. This Op-Ed critically assesses the civic space environment in 2019, predictions for 2020 and issues that need more introspection and collective action.

Advancing The Financial Sustainability of Civil Society in Africa

February 1, 2019

Civil society in Africa is facing financial sustainability challenges. In this article, we share valuable lessons from a Shared Learning Convening on Alternative Funding Models for Civil Society Organisations. It explores ideas towards creating more financial sustainability and effective civil society space in Africa. This Op-Ed enforces the idea that civil society organisations can only be sustainable if they become more relevant to their constituencies, so that they could fund them. 

Effective Board Governance for Civil Society Organisations

July 31, 2017

A key driver of operational resilience and sustainability is the capability of civil society organisations (CSOs) to establish and cultivate effective boards. Board governance is an important ingredient to securing the evolution, scale and impact of a CSO. A colleague and I recently had an engaging conversation about the various stages of board development and the potential pathways to diagnose the health of a CSO board. This conversation centred on the patterns of evolution of CSO boards and whether there was a sequential transition from one phase to another. This led to the development of this article, which focuses on the life cycle of CSO boards within the African context based on our engagement and thought leadership in the sector.