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WACSI and OSIWA Harness the Institutional and Operational Skills of 26 CSOs

WACSI and OSIWA Harness the Institutional and Operational Skills of 26 CSOs

Bassam, Cote d’Ivoire – The second phase of a two year capacity development programme designed for 26 civil society organisations (CSOs) from four Francophone West African countries ended in the sea shore town of Bassam, Cote d’Ivoire on 21 July 2013.

This programme was specifically designed to provide participating organisations with innovative and better ways of performing their role as promoters of democracy and development in their respective countries.

The participants who took part in this training commended the content, methodology used by the facilitators, the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) for the high quality in organising the training and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) for providing the financial and technical support to ensure that their organisations acquire and adopt best practices to improve their functioning.

They noted that this programme has enabled them to put in place better mechanisms to guide the functioning of the organisation. Mr. Adja Roland, Executive Director of Organisation Nationale pour l’Enfant, la Femme et la Fammille who participated in both training phases points out that the monitoring and evaluation dashboard that was introduces to them during the Monitoring and Evaluation training in Conakry (Guinea) in August 2012 has enabled him to have a consistent, easy and credible means of tracking the performance of his staff. “This has enabled me to effectively monitor and assess the performance of the organisation from both a piecemeal and holistic manner”, he noted.

For 14 years, SOS Femmes et Enfants Victimes de Violence Familiale in Niger had been working without a strategic plan. This is not a conducive situation for an organisation that aims to achieve gargantuan measurable goals in the future. This weakness was pointed out by Mr. Djagba Faustin during the training on Board Governance and Strategic Planning during the first phase of the training in 2012.

Immediately after this training, Mrs. Mariama Moussa, President of SOS Femmes et Enfants Victimes de Violence Familiale initiated, together with her colleagues the process of developing a strategic plan for the organisation. “This process enabled us to better understand our vision and mission and set feasible goals to be achieved in the next five years”, she explained.

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Mrs. Moussa also steered the organisation to identify strategic figures to serve on the first ever board of the organisation – an initiative that was inspired by the training in Conakry.

She also explains that this training in 2013 has provided her with strategic and effective ways of working in a network, raising funds and organising advocacy campaigns. She is poised to use the advocacy skills to advocate for the passing into law a bill to prevent all forms of violations against women and children in Niger.

WACSI is being supported by OSIWA to support these organisations to be effective and efficient. This second phase of the capacity building programme was held from July 8 – 21, 2013. It comprised of courses on Policy Advocacy and Engagement, Networking and Alliance Building and Resource Mobilisation and Proposal Writing.

The first phase of the programme took place from August 27 – 8 September, 2012. Participants were trained in the areas of Board Governance and Strategic Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Financial Management, Budgeting and Grant Reporting and Human Resources Management.

In the months ahead, WACSI will visit all 26 organisations in their respective offices to provide them with one-on-one support to effectively implement the best practices earned. Organisations will be supported to overcome existing operational challenges they face.

For more information about the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) and its interventions to promote participatory governance in West Africa, please visit www.wacsi.org

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