Civil Society Resource Hub for West Africa

About the Civil Society Resource Hub (CSR-Hub)

The Civil Society Resource Hubsupported by Ford Foundation, is a resource centre dedicated to enhancing the effectiveness and resilience of civil society organizations operating in restricted circumstances and environments in the West African sub-region, especially in Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal.

The Hub’s four strategic pillars aim to build organizational resilience to push back against the shrinking civil society space in the following areas:

Governance

Under this pillar, the Hub will empower civil society organizations in West Africa to ward off governmental restrictions and targeted attacks from state and non-state actors by attaining significant improvements in regulatory compliance.

Series of group and personalized compliance clinics, trainings, learning exchanges and technical support services have been lined up under this pillar to enable non-compliant organizations overcome challenges associated with regulatory compliance.

At the end of the program, participating organizations would be able to constitute effective and inclusive boards, convene board meetings, install strong internal controls, obtain necessary registration certificates, and file annual returns with relevant regulatory bodies.

Digital Security

Capitalizing on the advancement in information and communication technologies, civic actors are increasingly, congregating online, taking advantage of the social media platforms and hashtags (#) to ask critical questions about democratic governance, campaigning for good governance, reforms, corporate accountability, and numerous causes.

With this growing transition to digital activism and online mass action, an equal need for digital security consciousness has become imperative.

Under this pillar, civic groups and organizations will benefit from group seminars and customized trainings designed to increase their capacity to confront digital and surveillance threats negatively impacting their work by implementing cybersecurity and data protection controls, and also learn from others’ experiences of preventing and mitigating cyberattacks.

Participants will benefit from these five areas of strategic focus:

  1. Online safety for bloggers, journalists, human rights defenders (HRDs)
  2. Data protection for civil society organizations
  3. Understanding/Mitigating risks of investigative journalism
  4. Whistleblowing safely
  5. Rapid response mechanisms in West Africa
  6. Social protection mechanisms in West Africa

Civic Space Protection

State-sanctioned clampdowns on the activities of civil society actors take the form of internet shut-downs, press censorship, online surveillance, arrests and detention of critics and dissenters, proscription of self-determination agitations, fines, office raids, equipment/device seizures, negative labelling and the propagation of unhealthy narratives about civil society groups and leaders.  Consequently, the civic space has consistently dangled between obstructed and repressed. Under this pillar, civic actors and organizations in the subregion operating in very restrictive conditions will find it easier to get help such as unhindered access to technical support, social protection, customized services, didactic convenings and peer mentoring. Not only that, sustained incident tracking, trends mapping and analysis, civic space outlooks and country rankings will give off early warning signals, resources and rapid response levers needed to confront the underlying drivers of shrinking civic space in the subregion.

Research and Knowledge-building

It is almost impossible to run an effective campaign to defend the civic space or for the accountability of natural resource wealth without data and evidence extracted from rigorous research. Borne out of the need to curate more home-grown data on the civic space and for extractive justice, this pillar focuses on building the capacity of civil society and grassroot organizations working in the subregion to conduct research and build solid evidence that can be trusted and acted upon by policymakers, governments and corporations. Group and personalized research clinics have been developed to mobilize strategic knowledge-sharing in a way that also builds capabilities and effectiveness among human rights agents.

Context

For many years, civil society organizations in West Africa have contended with the effects of an increasingly closed civic space either through legislative and policy actions or through the propagation of unhealthy and restrictive narratives.

Spaces for Change | S4C, with the support of Ford Foundation, is delighted to announce the launch of the West Africa Civil Society Resource Hub.

The Hub will deliver bespoke trainings, learning exchanges, digital protection, compliance guidance, civic space monitoring and capacity-building on specific subjects such as extractive justice and defending the civic space.

We are inviting applications from civil society organizations, human right defenders, media organizations and the academia interested in addressing specific organizational gaps and attaining measurable improvements in institutional performance in these areas.

The services offered by the West Africa Civil Society Resource Hub forms part of a broader strategy to push back against the growing repression on the civil society space by strengthening organizations to build organisational resilience, integrity, effectiveness and sustainability.

Selection Criteria

Organizations eligible to apply must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be operating in Nigeria, Ghana or Senegal
  • Must be an organization or network of organizations registered with a federal or state authority in their country of operation.
  • Must have a stable leadership and have a demonstrable commitment to change.
  • Must have been operating for the past 12 months, and has at least two staff /volunteers and a probability of success, following the Hub’s support.
  • Must be operating in an environment where civic space is narrow, obstructed or repressed.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Demonstrable need for any of the four learning pillars of the program.
  • Willingness to institutionalise learning outcomes in one year or less and present a letter of commitment to that effect if accepted into the program.
  • Willingness to mentor subsequent beneficiaries upon their exit from the program.

Join The Civil Society Resource Hub (CSR-Hub)

Submit your application below

FIIFI BOATENG

Fiifi is a Ghanaian and currently serves as Communications and Information Officer at the West Africa Civil Society Institute. He joined the Institute in December 2020.

NANCY KANKAM KUSI

Nancy is a Ghanaian and currently serves as Programme Officer in the Knowledge Management unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute. She joined the Institute in January 2021.

AGNES ADWOA ANIMA

Agnes is a Ghanaian and currently serves as Head of the Administration unit in the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in October 2021.

DORIS ODEI

Doris holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social sciences (Economics and Sociology) from the University of Cape Coast. She is passionate about impacting young lives hence co-founded Impart Foundation. A non-profit organization which seeks to empower young lives through education, technology and entrepreneurship.

PRINCE AKOWUAH

Prince Akowuah is a Ghanaian and currently the Programme Assistant in the Translation Unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in 2020.

MAXWELL APENTENG

Maxwell Apenteng is a Ghanaian and joined WACSI in September 2010. He provides gardening and janitorial services at the Institute.

GEORGE ADU-MINTAH

George Adu-Mintah is a Ghanaian and currently the Protocol Assistant/Driver at the West Africa Civil Society (WACSI). He joined the Institute in October 2006.

IBRAHIM KWAKU GBADAGO

Ibrahim Kwaku Gbadago is a Ghanaian. He joined the Institute in 2008 and provides janitorial services and assisting the institute's errands. Before joining the Institute, he worked at the Palestinian embassy in Accra, Ghana.

RUTH YAKANA

Ruth Yakana is from Cameroon and currently the Receptionist at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in 2020.

BETHEL KWAME BOATENG

Bethel is a Ghanaian. He provides technical and IT related support to the Institute. He joined the Institute in October 2006.

WHITNAY SEGNONNA

Whitnay Segnonna holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Management from the University of Benin. With 2 years of experience, she has a strong knowledge of organizational and project management. Combined with her bilingualism, she is very passionate about her work. She joined WACSI as Project Assistant on Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) for the Capacity Development Unit.

STELLA YAWA WOWOUI

Stella Yawa Wowoui holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Translation Studies. She has a perfect grasp of both French and English, as well as an intermediate level in Spanish. She is currently working as a Project Assistant on the Techsoup Project.

KWAME ASANTE

Kwame is an experienced IT Consultant/Software Developer. He is skilled in Web Applications Development, Digital Security, Database Management, Digital Marketing and Brand Management. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Information Technology and is a Microsoft Programme Alumni. He is currently serving as a Marketing and IT Officer on the Techsoup Project.

GRACE AKPENE ZIGGAH

Grace Akpene Ziggah is a Togolese and currently the Logistics Officer and also assists in administration duties at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in June 2009.

LILLIAN DAFEAMEKPOR

Lilian Dafeamekpor is a Ghanaian and currently the Assistant to the Executive Director at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in 2020.

JOHN P. FRINJUAH

John P. Frinjuah has expertise and interests in civil society, international development, democracy and governance, conflict, crisis, and security. He has extensive experience working with civil society and international development organizations where he supported and managed research, programmes, and provided technical assistance on a variety of themes around public policy, governance, and development. He is an alumnus of the University of Ghana and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy - Tufts University in the United States, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from two institutions respectively. John speaks English, French and several Ghanaian and regional West Africa languages.

GERVIN CHANASE

Gervin has extensive international development experience, including 5 years of policy advocacy and capacity building of grass root organisations. He has implemented over the years a combination of agriculture value chain, livelihood, food security and governance and rights programmes.
Prior to joining WACSI, Gervin worked on two USAID projects focusing on agriculture value chain development and governance in northern Ghana
Gervin holds a master’s degree in development & Governance from the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany as well as a Masters in Global Studies from the Universities of Vienna (Austria), Leipzig (Germany) and California (Santa Barbara), USA. He is passionate social justice and inclusion.

LEANDRE BANON

Leandre Banon, Beninese, joined WACSI in September 2014 as Capacity Development Programme Assistant. Since then, he has worked in various units within the Institute to support operational and institutional capacity strengthening programmes for civil society in the region. Currently serving as Capacity Development Programme Officer at WACSI, his main responsibilities involve designing, planning, implementing and monitoring capacity development programmes for civil society constituents and grouping across the West Africa. Leandre is a certified Change the Game Academy Programme Trainer. His background lies in the areas of economics and development planning.

SAMUEL APPIAH

Samuel Appiah is a Ghanaian and currently the Programme Officer in the Finance and Administrative Unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). He joined the Institute in May, 2016.

JIMM CHICK FOMUNJONG

Jimm Chick Fomunjong, Cameroonian, joined WACSI in May 2018 as the Head of the Knowledge Management and Communication Units of the Institute. He has over ten years’ experience as a journalist and a development communications expert. He has a vast experience in supporting African organisations to strengthen their internal and external communications, building and sustaining relationships with the media and, leveraging on the power of social media to promote their mission. He is also excellent at supporting organisations to set up and operationalise functional communications and knowledge management systems. He has a deep passion and expertise in supporting Africans and African civil society organisations to document their praxis, share and learn from experiences documented from the African civil society sector.

FRANCK A. SOMBO

Franck Sombo is a development practitioner with the drive to lead self and others to influence productivity and efficiency. His work involves supporting organisations to develop strategic plans, design monitoring and evaluation systems, develop and use relevant performance measurement tools to track progress, assess organizational growth and institutionalise learning. Franck has eight years of experience working with WACSI where he currently serves as the Head, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning. His academic qualifications include Masters in Organisations’ and Projects’ Management, and in Business Sciences and a High National Diploma in Finance and Accounting.

Franck is a Fellow of the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) and a graduate of the Graduate Training Institute (GTI) - Ghana with specialization in Strategic Management and Corporate Leadership. He has a rich experience in Project Management, Capacity Development, Strategic planning, Data Analytics, Monitoring and Evaluation, Training and Facilitation, Mentoring and Coaching among others.

OMOLARA T. BALOGUN

Omolara is a development practitioner and advocacy strategist with over 10 years progressive experience in development programming targeted at strengthening civil society in West Africa. She joined WACSI in November 2009 as an Advocacy Consultant. And later became the first Policy Advocacy Officer in 2010 and Head of Policy Influencing and Advocacy unit in 2015. As head, she offers strategic direction to the institutes’ ambitions to connect and convene groups of organized and organic civil society actors; and influence regional and global discourses on crosscutting policy issues including—civil society regulations, sustainable development goals, civic space and enabling environment, aid effectiveness, gender equality.


Previously, Omolara served as a Service Development Marshal at TVQ Consulting Group, a customer service firm focused on designing strategic customer relationship and business growth plans for private and public financial institutions in Nigeria. She also served as a Programmes Associate with the Women in Peace and Security Network-Africa where she teamed up to design and implement two programmes on—multidimensional peace support operations and gender mainstreaming in security sector reform in Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

KWABENA KRODUAH

Kwabena Kroduah is a Ghanaian and currently heads the Finance Unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). He joined the Institute in January 2008.

CHARLES KOJO VANDYCK

Charles currently serves as the Head of the Capacity Development Unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). Charles has over 10 years of experience working in international development and social justice issues in Africa. Charles has expertise in strengthening civil society and public agencies including the design and implementation of governance and leadership programmes, development of knowledge pieces and policy advice. Charles was the founding Board Chair of Innovation for Change (i4C)-Hub Afrique, as well as the founding member of the International Consortium on Closing Civic Space (iCon), an initiative of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC. Charles currently serves as the Member of the Governing Board (Coordination Collective) of Africans Rising. He is a Member of the Development Studies Association, United Kingdom. Charles is a 2017 Stanford University Fellow for Nonprofit Leaders and a certified Change the Game Resource Mobilisation Trainer.

NANA ASANTEWA AFADZINU

Nana Afadzinu is a Ghanaian and currently serves as the Executive Director of the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in October 2010.