Empowering Communities Through Transformative Development Language

In the realm of development work, the language we use plays a pivotal role in shaping our engagement with local communities and achieving meaningful impact. However, the current language employed …

Technology and Local Giving Practices in West Africa

One of the most remarkable footprints of technology on local giving practices in Africa has been the increase in access to giving platforms. Most CSOs, especially in West Africa over …

Financing Development in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities of Local Giving

In this article, I refer to ‘local giving’ as ‘people helping each other by sharing resources for the common good.’ This is based on the premise that communities have their …

Strengthening CSOs Digital Security and Safety

As civil society organisations (CSOs) increasingly rely on digital tools to communicate, fundraise, and operate, the risk of digital attacks and data breaches has also increased. Therefore, it is essential …

Embracing Technology to Enable More Effective Advocacy

Civil society organisations (CSOs) play a vital role in promoting social, economic, and political change in Africa through advocacy. While they continue to impact the world, research has shown that …

Social Impact Investment Model

John Hailey and Mark Salway defined Social Impact Investment (SII) model as the use of repayable finance to deliver social impact as well as financial return. In their paper on …

The Value of Strategic Thinking in Restricted Communities

Within the context of closing civic spaces, conventional thinking offers limited opportunities as improvements are mostly incremental or in most cases almost non-existent. Conventional thinking tends to lead to conforming …

An Overview of the Asset Based Community Development Model and the Opportunities it Presents for Civil Society in Africa

In 1993 an alternative model called the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) Model was devised by Jody Kretzmann and John McKnight of the ABCD Institute at Northwestern University in Chicago. …

The Importance of Strategic Thinking for Grassroots Organising in Africa

Grassroots organising has become an indispensable catalyst for social change in Africa. Political organising continues to fail to deliver development dividends citizens are therefore, more than ever eager to invest …

Personal Branding: The Why & How of Building a Professional Online Presence

When the word brand is mentioned, the mind often regurgitates brand identity elements, such as: logo, colour palette, design, website, and the like; or we think of the general business …

Nigeria: A Country or A Nation

Nigeria is destined to be prosperous, and despite the odds, Nigerians will get her to prosperity because millions will rise and re-establish her. The problem is not Nigeria; it is …

Events in Afghanistan and their implications on Women and Children in Central Africa

The Taliban entered Kabul, capital of Afghanistan on Sunday August 15th, 2021, two weeks before the United States of America (USA) was set to complete its troops withdrawal, forcing President …

Building your Personal Brand: 7 Tips to Consider

You own a brand called, “You.” In other words, we all own a personal brand, whether you like it or not, or are aware of it or not. That is …

Why International Development Projects Fail in Africa and What We Can Do Differently

Sub-Saharan Africa is a graveyard of numerous development projects. While some of these projects failed structurally, others failed functionally. An example was a library stocked with English-language books in a …

Pursuit of an Ideal Nigerian Society in the Post-Covid-19 Era

Early ideologies that birthed socialism began with great minds like Henri de Saint Simon, and morphed through the inputs of the likes of Karl Marx who was the proponent of …

Personal Branding: Pathway to a Successful Career

Before consciousness about the essence of personal branding was raised by Tom Peters some two decades ago, the power and potential of branding was mostly utilised by corporate organs, evidently …

Community As A Response: Communities Organizing for their Development

In March 2021, the World Communities Forum brought together organizations working with local communities to reflect on the past year and how Covid-19 has impacted the work that they do. TrustAfrica hosted …

Branding Tips for Civil Society Organisations

There is no gainsaying that branding plays a central role in ensuring the success of any corporate organ, its product(s) and/or service(s) in any market milieu, notwithstanding the challenges. When …

How CSOs Can Set Up and Sustain an M&E System: An Introduction for Development Practitioners

Most civil society organisations (CSOs) grapple with the difficulty of measuring and demonstrating impact. While many factors account for this, the inability of CSOs to institutionalise and make monitoring and …

Access to Public Information: Between Obstacles & Opportunities Towards Open Government in Benin

Open government in Benin has been on the agenda of politicians and civil society for the past five years. The concept aims at effective governance through transparency and accountability of …

COVID-19 and it’s Impact on Youth Participation in Development in West Africa

The coronavirus health crisis has exacerbated the challenges of youth participation and inclusion in development in West Africa. The impact of this crisis has been twofold. On one hand, it …

Protecting the Rights of Air Passengers in West Africa

While it is undeniable that air transport in Africa presents a rather disappointing image today, its future seems promising with the various initiatives taken here and there by States and, …

A Critical Conception of Democracy in Facilitating Development in Africa

In the last few years, studies to understand democracy in Africa have intensified with an objective to comprehend firstly if it is a contextually, culturally relevant and appropriate system of …

Leadership Development: Fixing a Flat Tire, or Re-inventing the Wheel

The paper argues that many of the forms of leadership development performed by international actors targeting youth in civil society become a futile attempt to reinvent the wheel if they …

The Third Sector in West Africa – Maimed by COVID-19

One sector in West Africa that has found itself crippled on many levels by COVID 19 is the third sector and specifically non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and community-based organisations (CBOs). The …

Digital Transformation: Meaning and Relevance

Technology has invaded our daily lives and has changed the way we go about work. However, technology seems to have changed more significantly the way individuals interact than the extent …

COVID-19 and Democracy

The world is today confronted with a new threat; the novel Coronavirus infection (Covid-19). The virus first broke in China in November 2019, and has since swept across countries, overwhelmed …

COVID-19 Pandemic and Adolescent Girls

These times are not normal times! We are in difficult times! This too shall pass! We are all in this together! These are recurring assuring statements made by governments to …

The Catalytic Effect of CSOs on the Nigerian Economy

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are major drivers of socio-economic transformation in both the industrialised and developing world. According to estimates by the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), …

CSOs as Accountability Agents

From the Niger Delta in Nigeria to the southern part of Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa is blessed with a vast array of natural resources. To paint a more vivid picture, …

Elevating your Organisational Effectiveness

The outbreak of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges to the organisational health of community-based organisations (CBOs) especially in the global south. CBOs are important public health system …

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Contain COVID-19 in Sierra Leone

On April 11, the Republic of Sierra Leone marked the start of a fourteen days inter-district lockdown (from 11 to 24 April 2020) to combat the spread of the COVID-19 …

Social Movement: A Vital Instrument for Social Accountability in Africa

Social accountability is an approach towards building accountability that relies on civic engagement in which citizens participate directly or indirectly in demanding accountability from service providers and public officials. It …

Impact of Social Media on African Youth

In contemporary society, social media has made access to information easier. Social media has the potential to fundamentally change the character of our social lives, both on an interpersonal and …

7 Feasible Ways to Expand Civic Space in West Africa in 2020

The effective implementation of WACSI’s interventions is dependent on civil society’s contributions and feedback on the Institute’s work in promoting an open, safe and prosperous West Africa. WACSI’s interventions are …

Enhancing Digital Security Awareness for CSOs in Africa

Over the last two decades, technology tools available for civil society actors in Africa have tremendously evolved.  Journalists and activists relied mostly on print media to call out dictators and …

Legal Practices & Regulatory Frameworks

In the last two decades, civil society has made significant strides in giving communities a voice to challenge governments and be involved in governance processes. The 2011 Arab-Spring, a by-product …

4 Common Reasons why CSOs Struggle with M&E

Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) are two separate but complementary functions, that together form part of an emerging development practice within the civil society sector. M&E is defined as “a process …

Analysis of the DDR processes of Women ex-combatants

The DDR process is a vital program in the phase of rebuilding lasting peace. In Africa, many states weakened by civil wars have experienced it. The result of these experiences …

Social Movements and Social Change in Africa

The last decade saw an apparent resurgence of social movements in Africa, especially in the aftermath of the 2011 “Arab Spring” in North Africa. This article presents key characteristics, challenges …

Demystifying the Concept of Social Accountability

Citizen’s voices are increasingly being shut down. Their rights are equally being violated and worst so, by representatives of institutions created by the state to protect the rights of citizens. …

One Too Many Child Marriages: Time To Act Is Now!

Across the world, a girl becomes a child-wife every two (2) seconds. Annually, 15 million girls marry before the age of 18, making 41,000 girls a day. It has been …

Advancing The Financial Sustainability of Civil Society in Africa

Civil society in Africa is facing financial sustainability challenges. In this article, we share valuable lessons from a Shared Learning Convening on Alternative Funding Models for Civil Society Organisations. It …

4 Critical Ways to Support the Women’s Movement in West Africa

Forty women from diverse walks of life have stressed the need for stakeholders, especially decision-makers in Africa to take necessary actions that will create equal opportunities for women on the …

Media Reporting on Substance Use: Magnifying or Reducing the Harm?

Over the past four months, phrases such as “sweet, sweet codeine” and “end tramadol abuse now” have become very popular in Ghana and Nigeria. These terms emanated from a title …


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


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


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


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 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 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 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.


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 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 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, 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 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, 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 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 is a development practitioner and advocacy strategist with over 15 years of progressive experience in development programming targeted at strengthening civil society in West Africa.

She joined WACSI in November 2009 as a Regional Advocacy Consultant and later became the first Policy Advocacy Officer of the Institute in 2010.

She was promoted to Head of the Policy Influencing and Advocacy (PIA) Unit in 2015. As the Head of the PIA unit, Omolara offers strategic direction to the Institutes’ ambitions to connect and convene groups of organised 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, and civil society accountability.

Previously, Omolara served as a Programmes Associate with the Women in Peace and Security Network-Africa (WIPSEN-Africa), where she worked with her team to design and implement pan-African programmes on—multidimensional peace support operations and gender mainstreaming in security sector reform in Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.

She also 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.

Omolara is a social justice advocate, a network weaver, and a convener. She has a postgraduate degree in Peace and Conflict Studies; a degree in International Relations and History, from the University of Ibadan and Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria respectively.

She also holds executive certificates in Behavioral Science in Public Policy from Harvard University Executive Education in Cambridge and in Citizen Advocacy from the Coady International Institute, St Francis Xavier University in Canada.


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 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 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.