Policy Influencing and Advocacy

Programme Activities

Key programmes being implemented include:

Capacity Development and Support for UTZ/Rainforest Alliance in Policy Influencing and Advocacy:
WACSI continues to strengthen the capacity of UTZ/Rainforest Alliance partners in strengthening their capacity to influence governments’ decision on the cocoa sector in Cote D’Ivoire, specifically in generating advocacy data and evidences, designing effective advocacy campaigns, networking and alliance building strategies for a sustainable cocoa sector in Cote D’Ivoire.

Women on the Move Programme:
WACSI in partnership with CARE International provides technical support in strengthening the advocacy components and capacity of partners working on the Women on the Move Programme across West Africa. The programme which is part of the CARE’s Impact Growth Strategy seeks to enhance the economic empowerment of 15 million women and girls through the replication and scaling up of village savings and loan associations networks across 8 countries in West Africa including Chad.

Ending Child Marriage in West Africa:
As part of its strategic focus on women’s leadership and empowerment, WACSI collaborates with leading women and girls’ rights organisations such as Girls Not Bride to advocate for an end to child marriage in West Africa. Currently, WACSI, with support from Ford Foundation, is strengthening the advocacy and networking capacity of local civil society platforms/networks working to end child marriage in six (6) countries in West Africa. These include Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Capacity Strengthening in Policy Advocacy, Networking and Alliance Building:
WACSI regularly organises comprehensive trainings programmes in policy advocacy (introductory and advanced course); networking and alliance building, community mobilisation and advocacy campaign strategies, decision making and consensus building, negotiation skills, community engagement, grassroot mobilisation strategies among others. These training programmes are provided to civil society groups and development partners both on demand-driven and fee-paying basis annually.

NGO Bill Development in Ghana:
WACSI through its membership in the NGO Bill Steering Committee in Ghana, is supporting efforts to develop a new NGO Bill that seeks to promote a more enabling environment for civil society’s operations in Ghana.

Technical Support to Regional Networks/Alliances and Social Movements, and Participation on Global Policy Discourses:
WACSI provides technical support civil society networks, alliances and social movements working on diverse advocacy issues at national or regional levels. The Institute also hosts and/or actively participates in relevant global policy discourses such as on sustainable development goals, aids and development effectiveness, peace and security, regional integration, civil society regulations, and in selected United Nations dialogues.

Sustainable Development Goals:
WACSI’s focus as a capacity strengthening institution is centered on goal 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals). WACSI is committed to promoting elements of Goal 16 that runs in parallel with its vision for “a peaceful, inclusive, accountable, progressive and self-sufficient West Africa”. In this line, WACSI continues to collaborate with key stakeholders to create innovative avenues to promote civic expression and engagement on the different aspects of development encapsulated in the SDGs. This includes capacitating civil society with skills, knowledge and information to become, participatory, dynamic and strong institutions—capable of representing the interest of the larger West African citizenry.

WACSI’s role in diverse national CSOs platform on SDGs, membership of Transparency Accountability and Partnership (TAP) network, and Core Facilitating Member of the African CSO Working Group on SDGs are amongst other avenues through which the institute makes substantial contribution to local and global discourses and advancement of the core principle of the 2030 agenda of ‘leaving no one behind’.

Policy Forums on Topical Policy Issues:
WACSI’s hallmark West Africa Civil Society Policy Dialogue Series (WAC-PoDiS) serves as a tactical platform used to convene civil society actors and development partners including government officials and agencies, private sector representatives, regional economic bloc such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), donor agencies and the academia to debate, discuss, inform, guide and reach consensus on best practices and strategies to influence and monitor policy formulation and implementation processes on crosscutting development issues across the region.