“Africa is poor! This is the biggest lie ever told in the 21st century. The truth is that Africa is the richest continent in the world in terms of resources. As a matter of fact, Africa is resourceful enough to independently champion its own development.
African communities are resourceful. With the right skills and strategies, NGOs can advocate for change and mobilise resources to champion the change they want in their communities without the dominant influence or assistance from international partners and donors.
Leveraging on the latter, there is a wind of change blowing across the civic space of Africa. The Change the Game Academy (CtGA) is a timely tool for accelerating this change by providing non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in West Africa with the necessary skills and tools to engage their resourceful communities in advocating for change and raising funds locally to contribute to their community’s development.
Eighteen participants convened in the Garden City of Ghana-Kumasi to attend the Change the Game Academy course from 06 – 08 October 2021.
This is a 5-year programme that was initiated by Wilde Ganzen with the West Africa Civil Society Institute as the implementing partner for NGOs across West Africa to advocate for change, mobilise resources, and raise funds locally.
This course has two main modules: Mobilising Support and Local fundraising Modules. The former focuses on how NGOs can use legal instruments and stakeholders to hold duty bearers accountable in advocacy and mobilise support, while the latter focuses on strategies NGOs can use to raise funds locally for community development.
Kippo Alex Soale, Director of Computer Access and Development Center, Ghana a participant in the just ended Mobilising Support attested to the importance of this training to the work his organisation does. “This new approach, Theory of Change, where we can hold duty bearers and stakeholders accountable in advocacy and influence policy making at the local level, is the most important thing I have learnt from this workshop,” he said.
The training was truly an impactful and landmark event for most organisations who attended. The various learning sessions were impeccably delivered by WACSI’s team to enhance the approaches participants deploy when advocating for change.
From improving their knowledge on how they can identify a problem, to how they can analyse a problem and find a solution. How to identify their stakeholders and use the “CLASP” principle (Credibility, Legitimacy, Accountability, Service – Oriented, Power-Based) in mobilising support and advocating for change. You can never be able to advocate for people if you have little knowledge of the legal instruments and actors influencing that issue, and how all these aspects can influence policy making and implementation.
Communication and negotiation are very crucial elements in mobilising support. Participants learned the fundamentals of communication, from active listening, to how to write a complaint letter, to the importance of incorporating a media advocacy plan into their advocacy and mobilising support efforts. These were just a few of the themes that was discussed during this workshop.
To cap off this extraordinary experience, participants developed their own Mobilising Support Plans, based on the knowledge they gained from the insightful sessions. This enabled them to logically present how they will advocate for change and mobilise support in their communities.
“This is the most practical workshop I have attended. The lessons and exercises were spot on,” Eric Acheampong, Executive Director of Rhema Tidings, Ghana said after the training.