About West Africa Civil Society Institute
WACSI’s aim to reinforce the capacities of civil society in the sub-region. Since the institute became operational in 2007, it has responded significantly to the prevailing dearth of skills and capacity within civil society in West Africa through a three-pronged intervention strategy: Capacity Development; Knowledge Management; and Policy Influencing and Advocacy. The institute’s mission is to ‘strengthen civil society in West Africa to be responsive, collaborative, representative, resilient and influential through knowledge sharing, learning, connecting and influencing’. WACSI envisions a peaceful and prosperous West Africa where development is driven by its people. It serves as a thought leader, resource hub and capacity strengthening institution for civil society organisations across West Africa in addition to Mauritania, Chad and Cameroon. WACSI works primarily with civil society organisations and actors, and relevant development partners from both public and private sectors. Through its interventions, WACSI capacitates, connects and convenes as well as curates knowledge to facilitate learning within and among civil society and development partners. The institute’s influential role among government, and intergovernmental agencies and development partners makes it a strong voice for civil society.
WACSI seeks to 1) strengthen civil society capacity, effectiveness and performance by enhancing their legitimacy, transparency and accountability through tailor-made training, mentoring and coaching programmes; 2) creating spaces and facilitating civil society to connect, debate, and share strategies to promote inclusive societies and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions 3) strengthening civic voices to shape public agenda and demand accountability 4) advocating for open civic space and enabling environment for civil society to operate 5) continuously engage and influence policymakers to prioritise legislations that seeks to promote inclusive and participatory governance and facilitates sustainable development.
In achieving Goal 16, our theory of change is that if civil society is strengthened to become responsive, collaborative, representative, and influential then it will be an active participant in localising the sustainable development goals (SDGs), and vibrant advocates in holding government accountable to prioritising all 10 ten targets under Goal 16. WACSI is committed to creating between 3-5 capacity strengthening opportunities for different crops of civil society to enhance their legitimacy, accountable, responsive and technical capacities requisite to implementing goal 16 specifically, targets 5, 6, 7, 8 10a and 10b. Intensify its advocacy on open societies and enabling environment for civil society’s operations at regional and national through commissioning and production of useful data in disenabling environment, as well as documenting and speaking against government’s actions and/or practises that aim to stifle civil society operations or threatens the liberty of the sector to thrive in pursuit of SDGs or impede its intervention on Goal 16 Create and facilitate at least one platform per quarter (4 platforms per years) to convene and connect different of CSOs including organised institutions and organic movements to jointly discuss, debate and build consensus around strategies to accelerate the implementation of Goal 16, targets 5, 6, 7, 8 10a and 10b in West Africa. Build capacity of more than 100 civil society actors in policy analysis and advocacy strategy development and implementation from at least 6 countries in West Africa, with the expectation to empower civil society to set public agenda, amplify civic voices (especially that of women and youth), promote civic organising and hold governments on campaign promises (or manifestos) through existing state structures Create learning and resource mobilisation opportunities for civil society organisations to get creative and innovative in its effort to drive the implementation of agenda 2030 and ensure that no one is left behind.