In line with our mandate to capacitate civil society actors in the sub-region, WACSI organised 5-day training on Evidence-Based Advocacy from 23-27 July 2018 in Accra, Ghana. The training which was held at WACSI’s training centre attracted the participation of 12 civil society practitioners from countries including Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Ghana, Zimbabwe and the Gambia.
The training introduced the participants to the concept of evidence-based advocacy; deepening their knowledge of policy-making processes and building their capacity to conduct policy research. Some of the topics covered included the risk and benefits of advocacy; advocacy strategies, tools and tactics; policymaking process; gathering evidence for advocacy; policy research methodology; research report writing; policy brief writing; designing advocacy campaigns; and advocacy monitoring and evaluation.
The facilitator, Mary Tobin Osei, employed an adult-centred learning methodology based on WACSI’s facilitation standards and tools. She leveraged on the experiences of participants using practical exercises, role-playing, mini-lectures and group presentations. Ms Tobbin-Osei made the training very practical drawing on real-life examples which enriched and facilitated participants’ ease of grasping the concepts.
The training also provided opportunities for external resource persons to share their practical experiences in conducting policy research and engaging with the legislature. During a session on engaging with parliament, Gilbert Boyefio, Project Manager at Parliamentary News Africa (PNAfrica), provided participants with an in-depth understanding of legislative processes and how to better engage with parliament as part of their advocacy. Likewise, Dr Franklin Oduro from the Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), also shared with participants his organisation’s experiences in conducting policy research and implementing advocacy campaigns.
At the end of the five-day training, participants expressed satisfaction with the course content and highlighted that the training was well-tailored to address their learning needs and expectations.