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Civil society organisations in Sierra Leone empowered to effectively influence policies

Civil society organisations in Sierra Leone empowered to effectively influence policies

Accra, Ghana – 26 civil society organisations (CSOs) in Sierra Leone were groomed on the best strategies to adopt in policy advocacy processes. Adding to these, three organisations (29 in total) learned new ways of creating and sustaining networks and building robust alliances to enhance their advocacy engagements at local and national levels. These CSOs were empowered to address policy issues pertaining to gender, extractives, education and governance in the country.

This was achieved through trainings organized by West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) in Introduction to Policy Advocacy and Networking and Alliance Building. Both trainings were organized successively in Freetown, Sierra Leone from February 4 to 6 and 7 to 8 respectively, with support from IBIS Sierra Leone.

These trainings benefited local partners of IBIS Sierra Leone working in 4 thematic areas – Gender, Extractives, Education and Governance. They were organized to enhance the operational capacities of beneficiaries in policy advocacy, advocacy engagement analysis, networking and alliance building.

Participants undertaking a group exercise during the training

Participants undertaking a group exercise during the training

Mr. Mohammed Alpha Jalloh, Programme Coordinator of the Knowledge for Community Empowerment Organisation (KOPECO), Sierra Leone, a contented participant from both trainings satisfactorily pointed out that he has “learned strategies in policy advocacy [and] the role CSOs can play at every stage of the policy process”. “It has strengthened my skills on approaches in advocacy”, the Programme Coordinator added.

Both trainings sought to enable IBIS’ partners in Sierra Leone to increase their engagements in effective and successful advocacy campaigns across the country.

Typical of WACSI’s capacity building programmes, these trainings created a platform to strengthen existing advocacy networks, establish new ones, and deepen collaboration between the beneficiary organisations.

Participants at the training

Participants at the training

Participating organisations were provided with relevant skills and techniques to increase their working relationship with government institutions and agencies. Facilitators of the training, Ms. Omolara Balogun, Policy Advocacy Officer of WACSI and Mr. Athanase Nikiema, Policy Researcher from Burkina Faso encouraged participants to engage more in lobbying exercises. They provided participants with strategies to effectively engage with policy makers to influence policy processes in Sierra Leone.

The knowledge shared through theoretical, practical and experience sharing sessions aimed at boosting the confidence of participants to enable them to engage more effectively with policymakers to decide upon and enforce relevant policies in Sierra Leone.

Enabling CSOs to work in organized and robust groups and networks to promote a common agenda is a priority to WACSI. The Institute develops and delivers specially tailored trainings to strengthen the skills of CSOs to collaborate more effectively in well-structured and functional networks at local, national and international levels across West Africa.

 More information can be found on www.wacsi.org

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