[Accra- 2 January 2023] – The West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) is excited about the prospects of the Re-Imagining the Role of International Non- Governmental organisations (RINGO), a project which seeks to drive systems change in the global civil society.
RINGO is a global, cross-sectoral initiative which is thoroughly examining the purpose, structures, power, and positioning of international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) on a global scale. It will position INGOs as open and equitable vehicles for global solidarity.
WACSI is optimistic the initiative will build the resilience and strength of civil society in the global south – which aligns with its mission, Nana Afadzinu, Executive Director, said on Wednesday, 25 January in Accra.
Afadzinu was speaking on the sideline of a three-day strategic meeting held by the project partners at the Institute’s secretariat in Accra from 25 to 27 January 2023.
She underscored the need for initiatives like RINGO, to help shift more power and resources from the Global North to the Global South for a more equitable global civil society ecosystem.
As an implementation partner, she said the Institute was committed to working collaboratively with the RINGO team to scale up the impacts of the project.
“RINGO’s overall goal falls right within what we do as an Institute, and we are excited to be a part of it,” she noted.
The meeting was the first physical convening since the inception of the project, which created an opportunity for the partners to bond and advance discussions on important matters pertaining to the project’s roadmap.
“After 2 years of implementing RINGO, we are happy to meet physically to advance this cause. We have been meeting virtually since we started implementing it,” she said.
Afadzinu noted that RINGO is already gaining great momentum and it is prudent for the team to meet, share ideas and put in place plans that will expand its impact.
“It has been a learning process. One which is building solidarity globally. It has been very interesting, engaging, and a challenging process for a systemic change to address power imbalance within the international development system,” she added.
Deborah Doane, Convenor of the project noted that, the initiative is giving CSOs a sense of hope and has the potential to build a harmonised and transformed global civil society in the next ten years.
She admonished actors in the third sector to experiment with the prototypes RINGO has created and share their experiences.
“We want to see more impacts and better results in the next ten years.
“We want to see a more egalitarian relationship between international civil society and local civil society,” Doane said.
WACSI to lead RINGO Project Coordination Effective this Year
This next phase of the project will see WACSI leading the coordination of the processes and anchoring conversations on how to augment the project’s impact, the RINGO team confirmed this at the strategic meeting.
WACSI’s focus will be among other things, to drive systems change so that INGOs can work in a fair and inclusive manner with national civil society to redistribute power and resources, allowing those affected to have control over their use and strengthening civil society worldwide.
As an institution with a focus on strengthening civil society, Nana Afadzinu is confident it is well- positioned and ready to take up this challenge.
“WACSI’s expertise and experience in working with civil society groups in West Africa makes it well-suited to lead this important initiative,” she noted.
The RINGO project was initially led by Rights CoLab, a globally diverse team with a range of expertise working together in an open and collaborative manner to jointly develop innovative strategies to promote human rights.
WACSI finds the decision to lead the project’s processes an impressive one considering the important role it played during the first phase of implementation.