Sustainability of the civil society sector remains a key challenge in Ghana. Although civil society plays a key role in contributing to the development of the country, dwindling funding, inadequate staff capacity, absence of enabling legislation to catalyse the work of civil society actors are some of the key challenges that are plaguing the sector in the country.
Recognising this need, the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI), with support from the Star-Ghana Foundation is organising a 3-day sustainability fellowship for 20 civil society organisations (CSOs) in Ghana.
This is a crucial component of a long-term sustainability programme for CSOs based in Ghana. This programme was initiated in 2015 with the commissioning of a research publication on ‘The State of Civil Society Organisations’ Sustainability in Ghana”, that throws light on how CSOs in Ghana are grappling with profound questions about their future, purpose and role in socio-economic development.
The research generated huge interest and stimulated nationwide discourse with regards to the way forward. CSOs and development partners alike considered ways through which they can support CSOs to be sustainable and capable of creating a durable impact in the country.
Building on the research, in 2018, WACSI and Star-Ghana consulted 106 CSOs from across the national territory. Four convenings were held across the country, which brought together some 106 CSOs from all regions of Ghana. These convenings generated concrete actions that would contribute to the sector’s long-term survival and continued impact.
Among others, participants recommended that there should be a national civil society platform (or network of non-governmental organisations) to guide, support and help coordinate operations within the sector. Also, CSOs recommended the need to be equipped on how to develop and drive their sustainability agendas.
From the CSO convening, a national civil society sustainability strategy was developed to serve as a resourceful tool to guide the sector towards self-sufficiency. In 2019, three subsequent national sustainability workshops were held in the Northern, Middle, and Southern belts of Ghana to support them develop and operationalise feasible sustainability strategies for their organisations.
Organisations took up the responsibility to develop action plans and organisational sustainability strategies. WACSI provided follow-on support to the organisations through virtual mentoring and coaching to support this process.
Subsequently, 20 organisations are being supported through this sustainability fellowship based on the commitment to drive their sustainability agenda. The sustainability fellowship is ongoing in Accra from Wednesday 9 October to Friday 11 October 2019.