The Leadership Challenge in Civil Society: A Call for Concern

The Leadership Challenge in Civil Society: A Call for Concern

It is has become more evident that there are serious leadership challenges within civil society.

“Managing people is a challenge within civil society …There is a big gap in leadership [within the civil society sector]”, said Ambassador Elkanah Odembo, Country Director of Care in Ghana.

He made this pronouncement during a working visit to WACSI on August 21, 2015. The Executive Director of WACSI, Nana Afadzinu and her team played host to the new Country Director who expressed delight in knowing that an Institute like WACSI exists to address the gruesome capacity challenges facing civil society in West Africa.

The meeting enabled him to understand WACSI’s role in strengthening civil society and identify possible areas of collaboration to strengthen the capacity of staff and partners of Care in Ghana and West Africa.

The Ambassador has worked in Ghana for three months only. This has enabled him to quickly spot the leadership gap in the sector.

“People are in leadership positions but they have not internalised what that means”, he said.

This got him thinking of how his organisation can contribute towards addressing this challenge. In his search for a solution, he learnt about a leading capacity building organisation – WACSI – that works to address the leadership and other capacity challenges that undermine civil society’s potential to influence durable change in West Africa.

“I’m delighted to be at WACSI”, he said.

During the three hour meeting, discussions focused on WACSI’s key areas of work – research, capacity building and policy advocacy – and how Care in Ghana can leverage on WACSI’s existence, experience and expertise to provide tailor-made capacity building programmes for its staff and partners.

“We want to focus on capacity building”, said the Ambassador. “Our focus is on strengthening local NGOs”, he firmly added.

This will see his organisation working closely with WACSI to design and deliver programmes that will empower civil society practitioners and organisations in Ghana with the relevant skills to boost their efficiency.

He said Care in Ghana is highly committed to work closely with local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and support them to make significant changes in their communities.

“International NGOs such as Care should bring their brand, networks and capacities to support the work of local NGOs”, Ambassador Odembo noted.

Watch this video to learn more about tailored leadership programme for civil society in West Africa. Supported by the Ford Foundation.

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