In West Africa, CSOs have evolved and gained important recognition in public policy debates and contribution to democratic development. Civil society has contributed in varied ways to good governance and socio-economic development. Specifically, CSOs have intervened in elections and governance processes, conflict prevention and management, humanitarian crisis, health and sanitation challenges (Ebola outbreak in the region).
Even though CSOs are contributing significantly to development, very little has been highlighted and documented to demonstrate their achievements and contributions to the regions development.
This research report seeks to present a potpourri of existing and emerging issues on civil society's contribution to development in West Africa. Its sixteen chapters are written by civil society practitioners actively working in the field and represent perspectives of all the fifteen countries. The book has two main objectives: To identify, gather, document, and share civil society's contribution to development as well as effectively use the evidence to shape public policy making in the region. The main priority is to present evidence that strongly reflects issues on the ground that would challenge preconceptions while still maintaining a relevance to public policy and practice. What the authors have done is to individually capture the historical evolution of civil society, its contributions to development and propose concepts that will frame the development discourse in West Africa.
The overall aim of this research report is to move forward the documentation of the contributions of civil society to development across the region. It also seeks to open up the space for continuous discussions by showing the intrinsic value of civil society, using evidence drawn from each of the fifteen countries focusing on contributions to good governance, democracy, and sustainable development.