Knowledge Management

Key Achievements

1. Civil Society Sustainability Index (CSSI)

WACSI has tested and validated the Civil Society Sustainability Index (CSSI), designed as a self-assessment tool for civil society organisations to review their state of sustainability and to diagnose relevant follow up action. The CSSI conceptualises sustainability to be comprised of 4 main components to assesses ‘state’ of sustainability including: identity, operational, interventions and financial. The tool acknowledges that civil society organisations vary in size, function, mission, vision and culture however, it can be used by organisations of any type or size. Its ease of use also allows other organisations to use the CSSI to support their implementing partners to assess their sustainability.

2. Next Generation Research Fellowship

Under the Next Generation Research Fellowship, three young researchers from Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone were commissioned to explore how to promote leadership and governance within the civil society sector in West Africa. The three fellows were supported to conduct research on a specific area of civil society leadership and governance while taking into cognisance practitioners’ experiences. The KM ensures that these Ph.D researchers, have the tools and basis to document best practices in Africa and help their communities to develop these practices.
Here, we had two research outputs published on:

  • Leadership Transitions and Governance within CSOs in Ghana;
  • Philanthropy in Nigeria.

3. West Africa Civil Society e-Directory

The Knowledge Management Unit coordinates the West Africa Civil Society E-Directory platform, a fully functional bilingual online platform mapping CSOs operating in 15 ECOWAS countries as well as Mauritania, Cameroon and Chad. The website aims to increase data generation and documentation of CSOs; boost their visibility and engagement; enhance CSOs’ networking and partnerships; and increase knowledge sharing and peer learning within the sector. The platform responds to the need for easily accessible and credible data on CSOs in the region. The platform has information of hundreds of registered and operational organisations working on various thematic areas in these countries.

4. WACSeries

This is an analytical periodic write-up on topical themes and issues relevant to West Africa. This provides experts, researchers and practitioners, a space to reflect, analyse and pose views and recommendations on emerging issues and debates. Since the Institute began operations in 2007, several issue papers have been published that addressed issues pertaining to elections, capacity building for CSOs, reforming drug laws.
In 2018, our key achievements are:

  • 2 Op-Eds published on ‘Media Reporting on Substance Use’ and ‘4 Innovative Ways to Support the Women’s Movement in West Africa’.
  • 3 Editorials published. Editorial on Board Governance was used as a learning tool for board governance training for 30 Regional Advisory Board Members of the Young Africa leadership Initiative and a learning resource for YALI Regional Learning Centre cohort 12 session.
  • Over 100 instructive blog articles published by different authors across West Africa that highlight key issues steered by or affecting CSOs in the region. Articles in relation to our themes such as technology, women’s leadership, enabling environment and civil society’s sustainability have been published and attracted a huge global readership.