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Write for Rights 2021 Campaign Report

April 12, 2022

In 2021 Write for Rights (W4R) was 20 years old. Beginning as grassroots activism in Poland, the campaign now sees over 70 Amnesty entities taking part and people in 120 countries around the world taking action either in person or online.Covid-19 continued to impact campaigning for Write for Rights, with many countries still imposing strict rules around group gatherings. There was however light at the end of the tunnel for some national entities, who did manage to hold in person events. For those who couldn't, the innovations and 'outside the box' thinking continued, with creativity and technology helping make restrictions less restrictive!As we rapidly head into planning for Write for Rights 2022, now is the time to reflect on what we all did together and the amazing ways we worked for positive human rights change in the lives of 10 individuals and communities at risk. 

Forgotten by Funders

December 1, 2021

This report highlights the underfunding of work with and for imprisoned and formerly imprisoned women and girls,  alongside a worrying increase in the global female prison population. The report draws from the survey responses of 34 organisations, most of which are based in the Global South and have women with lived experience of the justice system involved with or leading their work. Calling to donors that fund human rights, women's rights and/or access to justice, the report concludes that this heavily gendered area of human rights tends to fall through the cracks of donor strategies, including recent Gender Equality Forum pledges. 

Localisation Agenda, Shift the Power and African Philanthropic Models in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal

October 19, 2021

This report presents the findings from a qualitative empirical research undertaken by the West Africa Civil Society Institute and Global Fund for Community Philanthropy aimed at understanding localisation agenda and shift the power as mechanisms to strengthen power and resource flow to local and local civil society organisations (CSOs) working in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal. The report also seeks to develop a better understanding of how African CSOs including philanthropic organisations understand localisation agenda and shift the power, and to support growing efforts to build a future of increased localised humanitarian action and a balanced power where there is equal opportunities and well-balanced resource between donors and CSOs in the humanitarian aid system. The report further examines the role of African philanthropic organisations and the added value and challenges of pooled or intermediary funding mechanisms in promoting the localisation agenda and shift the power.This report draws on data from semi-structured interviews conducted with sixteen participants who are experts and professionals working within the development and humanitarian aid sectors. The participants were drawn from CSOs including philanthropic organisations at three geographical levels: Global, Africa and West Africa. 

True Value: Revealing the Positive Impacts of Food Systems Transformation

October 14, 2021

This report True Value: Revealing the Positive Impacts of Food Systems Transformation presents powerful and compelling evidence that food systems transformation is possible and having an impact now. Conducted by TMG Think Tank for Sustainability, an inclusive and true cost evaluation approach is applied to six food systems initiatives featured in the Beacons of Hope series to understand the breadth and depth of their positive impacts. True Cost Accounting (TCA) is an innovative tool that provides a holistic understanding of the relationships between agriculture, food, the environment, and human well-being.Using TCA enables us to see the significant monetary and non-monetary benefits sustainable food systems have on issues like public health, biodiversity conservation, climate, workers' rights, cultural diversity, and gender empowerment. It also demonstrates how TCA can be used for a variety of organizations -- from businesses, farmer cooperatives, food banks, research facilities, and more -- as a systemic approach to assess, measure, and value the positive and negative impacts of food systems. 

The meatification and re-meatification of diets: The unequal burdens of animal flesh and the urgency of plant-meat alternatives

October 1, 2021

* This report reviews the trajectories of meat consumption shifting from the periphery to the center of human diets (i.e. "meatification") in six countries (two high-income - U.S., Germany; two upper middle-income - Brazil, China; two lower middle-income - India, Nigeria). It also suggests that plant-based ingredients that resemble meat (i.e. "plant-meats") could play an crucial role in reversing meatification although they should not be seen as a silver bullet.* These six countries are chosen as case studies to illuminate the highly uneven character of global livestock production and meat consumption. This unevenness indicates the need to prioritize certain countries in efforts to address the negative impacts of meatification.* The report also draws attention to some critically important points to bear in mind when trying to address meat consumption and production concerns: 1) A handful of huge transnational corporations dominate livestock slaughter and processing, and exert significant influence over meat production and consumption on a world scale. 2) The rise in global meat consumption is not only influenced by consumer preferences and demand, but also affected by agrarian changes and powerful actors in the agro-food system seeking to expand livestock production and absorb chronic grain and oilseed surpluses. 3) Meatification has triggered serious environmental problems.

A Synthesised Report on the Impact of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic on Civil Society Organisations in West Africa

July 5, 2021

This report presents a synthesis of the findings on the impact of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic on civil society organisations (CSOs) in West Africa, with particular focus on Cameroon, The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. In particular, the report document show the COVID-19 pandemic has affected CSOs' operations, funding prospects and relationships with donors and stakeholders. Given that CSOs are agile actors with an agency, this report further analyses' strategic responses for mitigating the effects of the pandemic in ensuring their short-term survival and long-term sustainability. The findings, therefore, present data-based evidence to inform stakeholders' engagement with West African CSOs.The implications of the findings for policy and practice are further discussed.The findings in this study are informed by a sequential explanatory mixed-method design which involves first collecting and analysing the quantitative data followed by qualitative data. As part of the quantitative phase of this study, a survey questionnaire was administered to 313 CSOs across the six countries (i.e., Cameroon – 36 CSOs; The Gambia-16 CSOs; Ghana-86CSOs; Liberia-27 CSOs; Nigeria-80 CSOs; and SierraLeone-68 CSOs) between June and July 2020. Following the quantitative data administration and analysis,6 focus group discussions were conducted with 48 CSOs who first participated in the quantitative phase between July and September 2020. Additional, key informant interviews were conducted as part of the data collection in each country. The final analysis in this report integrated the quantitative and qualitative data, which provided nuanced perspectives on the impact of COVID-19 on CSOs' in West Africa. 

Beacons of Hope: Stories of Food Systems Transformation During COVID-19

May 26, 2021

Drawn from different countries around the world, each initiative profiled in Beacons of Hope: Stories of Food Systems Transformation During COVID-19 intervenes at a different point in the food system and responds to the pandemic with creativity, adaptability, and resilience.Led by community groups, innovative policymakers, progressive private sector players, social entrepreneurs, and others, their stories reveal why food systems need to change, while also serving to push back against popular narratives that maintain the status quo and dominate thinking about the future of food.

Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria

March 30, 2021

The outbreak and protraction of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), now a global pandemic, has crippled the activities of many civil society organisations (CSOs) across Africa, including Nigeria. In order to ameliorate the effects, facilitate their recovery and guarantee survival in post-pandemic Nigeria, responses must reflect empirical realities; which justifies the timeliness and relevance of this study.Informed by the preceding, the aim of this study was to document the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on CSOs' operations. It further sought to identify areas where CSOs need to shore up their capacities and how to go about it. Also, the study explores how WACSI can facilitate support to CSOs as well as specific areas where CSOs themselves need to internally reform.

Youth and the News in Five Charts

February 3, 2021

In the rapidly changing news ecosystems of emerging economies, news outlets are struggling to remain relevant and build loyal relationships with youth audiences (18 to 35 years old). As youth populations continue to grow in low-and-middle income countries, it is critical for independent media organizations to understand and respond to the changing news habits of younger generations. A snapshot of youth news consumption habits in Colombia, Ghana, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, and Thailand highlights that the predominance of smartphones, and increasing access to the internet and social media, is fundamentally altering how youth access, interact with, and value independent news.Youth audiences tend to access news through their smartphone, relying more on social media algorithms and news aggregators than loyalty to particular news brands.Youth generally do not feel that the traditional, mainstream news media reports on issues that are important to them, preferring to access a wider variety of news alongside other kinds of information and entertainment.Despite relying on social media for news, youth are wary about whether the information they see on the internet is true. There is a tension between the convenience social media provides for accessing news and its propensity to amplify misinformation and increase political polarization.

The Displacement Continuum: The Relationship Between Internal Displacement and Cross-border Movement in Seven Countries

June 1, 2020

The twentieth of June is World Refugee Day, dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees. There are nearly twice as many internally displaced people (IDPs) as there are refugees, but there is no International Day of Internal Displacement.To bring attention to the invisible majority of displaced people, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) is investigating the relationship between internal displacement and cross-border movement. Based on primary research conducted with refugees, returning refugees and IDPs from Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Myanmar, Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen, we arrive at the following key findings:Cross-border movements are often a symptom of the failure to protect and assist IDPs in their country of origin. More than half of the refugees and returning refugees surveyed were internally displaced before leaving their country of origin. Many suffered multiple internal displacements and were unable to find safety in their country of origin.Restrictive migration policies combine with the high cost of irregular migration to limit opportunities for IDPs seeking refuge abroad. Instead, IDPs are exposed to repeated incidents of internal displacement. Nearly 47 per cent of IDPs surveyed were displaced multiple times. Border closures resulting from COVID-19 act as a further barrier to international protection.Difficult conditions abroad can push refugees to return prematurely to their countries of origin. Family reunification is the most powerful motivation behind returns, but refugees who are unable to make ends meet in their host country may feel they have no choice but to return to insecurity in their country of origin. Under such circumstances, return assistance runs the risk of encouraging premature returns.Refugees who return prematurely to their country of origin often find themselves in situations of internal displacement. Over three-quarters of returning refugees surveyed were living outside their area of origin, often because of continued insecurity and housing destruction. Returning refugees and IDPs face similar challenges in terms of accessing durable solutions to their displacement.

The Catalytic Effect of CSOs on the Nigerian Economy

May 31, 2020

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are major drivers of socio-economic transformation in both the industrialised and developing world. According to estimates by the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), they make up over 90% of business globally, 60% of global employment, and half of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of any economy. In Sub-Saharan Africa, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises account for over 95% of all business.. In Nigeria, many privately-run businesses are MSMEs. According to a recent national survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), there are a total of 41.5 million MSMEs in the country that provide 59.6 million Nigerians with employment – thereby making up over 85% of the national workforce. Citizens majorly drive these MSMEs at the bottom of the economic pyramid – many of whom start these enterprises as a means of survival. The rising unemployment rates in the country has further created a situation of rising inflation as well as the downsising of major corporations. As a result, the number of people going into business – mainly small and micro businesses as a means of survival continues to rise.

On Nigeria Big Bet: 2019 Evaluation Report

February 28, 2020

Since 2015, the MacArthur Foundation's On Nigeria strategy has sought to reduce corruption by supporting Nigerian-led efforts that strengthen accountability, transparency, and participation. Its theory of change builds on Jonathan Fox's "sandwich theory," which leverages the interplay between a push from below, by which citizens demand change ("voice"), and a squeeze from above to encourage public and private institutions to develop and enforce laws and regulations ("teeth").As of January 2020, the On Nigeria strategy has made 138 grants (totaling $66.8 million) that are a proving ground to develop and test a range of tactics and entry points for addressing corruption. Corruption is complex and ever-evolving, and progress toward the goal of reducing it will most certainly not be linear nor simple. Thus, On Nigeria reflects a multilayered strategy, comprising five areas of targeted programming, or modules—the Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) Program, the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Intervention Fund, Electricity Distribution, Criminal Justice, and Media and Journalism; and three cross-cutting areas—behavior and social norm change, civil society pressure for government accountability, and election-related efforts.The goal of this paper is to provide the latest information from the ongoing evaluation of On Nigeria, facilitate learning, and serve as one input to determine the next stage of programming. The evidence presented explores the strategy's progress to date, the validity of its theory of change, and status of windows of opportunity in the strategy's landscape.