WACSI envisions a peaceful and prosperous West Africa, and is dedicated to contributing to the development of the region by pursuing an enabling environment for civil society; supporting civil society to be self-sustaining; empowering youth and women leaders; and harnessing the power of technology for the betterment of civil society and the region.
WACSI seeks to be a thought leader, resource hub and capacity strengthening institution for civil society organisations across West Africa, Mauritania, Chad, and Cameroon. Primarily working with civil society organisations, WACSI seeks to bridge the gap between all sectors, public and private, to make civil society a viable and valuable partner in the development of the region. Through its interventions, WACSI capacitates, connects, convenes and curates knowledge to facilitate learning within and among civil society and development partners. It lends its voice to the cause of civil society, leveraging its influence with governments, intergovernmental agencies and development partners.
Since becoming operational in 2007, WACSI has contributed significantly to the development of skills and capacity of civil society in West Africa through a three-pronged intervention strategy – Capacity Development, Knowledge Management, and Policy Influencing and Advocacy.
WACSI’s capacity development courses focus on Resource Mobilisation, Sustainability and Grant Reporting; Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation and Communicating Impact; and Evidence-based Advocacy. Tailored courses, based on demand from foundations, development agencies, government agencies, international NGOs and CSOs, cover issues such as governance and leadership, strategic management, resource mobilisation and sustainability, local resource mobilisation and mobilising support, proposal writing, report writing, project management, financial management and grant reporting, introduction to policy advocacy, advanced policy advocacy and engagement, networking and alliance building, results-based monitoring and evaluation, communication and media engagement, and social media skills.
As part of its knowledge management activities, WACSI publishes a wide range of publications, including WACSeries, analytical periodic write-ups on topical themes and issues relevant to West Africa; Research Reports on civil society issues in West Africa; Learning Resources, showcasing leadership stories from various communities in West Africa; WACSI Editorials; Training and Assessment Reports; Forum Reports, Annual Reports, and e-directories of civil society organisations in West Africa.
Given the nature of its work, WACSI is a member of, or networks with various regional and international civil society initiatives, including CIVICUS, CIVICUS Monitor (acts as research node for West Africa), CIVICUS Affinity Group of National Associations (AGNA), Innovation for Change (regional connector for Hub Africa) and the SDG Africa Working Group.
As at December 2017, WACSI contributed to strengthening the capacity of 4 120 development practitioners from 3 206 organisations who had participated in its various programmes. During this period, WACSI also graduated 35 interns from 12 West African countries.
Some of WACSI’s trainees affirmed that they can write better project proposals, effectively monitor and evaluate projects, accurately communicate the impact of their work, and develop and implement influential advocacy campaigns. In addition, based on WACSI’s support and interventions, some organisations have reformed their boards, developed and submitted winning proposals that have augmented their organisational budgets significantly, enhanced their visibility and improved how they communicate the impact of their work, and engaged in advocacy processes that have led to policy reforms in their respective countries.
“WACSI has become a strategic partner for CIVICUS in the generation of knowledge about the state of civil society in West Africa and the identification of capacity needs for civil society organisations. Through its membership of our Affinity Group of National Associations (AGNA) we have managed to reach out to new CSOs in the region and we are working towards the definition of a joint capacity development strategy in support of national and regional CSO networks with the aim of providing them with a stronger collective voice in different parts of the world. We always appreciate the professionalism and responsibility of the WACSI team and their constant engagement with CIVICUS’s and AGNA’s mission and vision”. Patricia Deniz, Coordinator, CIVICUS Affinity Group of National Associations
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This is the twenty-third NGO profile published as part of my #NGOs4Africa Campaign.