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Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA);
The second edition of Social Accountability Guidebook for CSOs is a learning resource that is intended to support the building of a community of practice of social accountability practitioners, advocates, and champions in West Africa. This guidebook is an updated version of the first edition which was published in 2018. The Guidebook presents case studies of social accountability initiatives from the West African region, interspersed with definitions of terminologies related to the concept. It is intended to deepen understanding and foster appreciation of the concept of social accountability, its potential for strengthening accountability in the region, and the challenges that may be encountered in implementing social accountability initiatives in the West African Context. It is hoped that the Guidebook will serve as a catalyst for further development and tailoring of the concept of social accountability in West Africa, by CSOs, development practitioners, local and central government agencies, the donor community, and all others who are interested in advancing accountability in West Africa.
Open Society Foundations;
The Mapping Digital Media project examines the global opportunities and risks created by the transition from traditional to digital media. Covering 60 countries, the project examines how these changes affect the core democratic service that any media system should provide: news about political, economic, and social affairs.Nigeria has a relatively high internet penetration rate, driven primarily by a rapid expansion of mobile platforms. Recent figures suggest that over a third of the population have access to the internet and there are over 50 mobile phones per 100 Nigerians. However, internet access is concentrated geographically within just 16 percent of the country, and overwhelmingly within urban areas. Access to digital broadcasting platforms is largely contained within pay-TV networks, and free-to-air digital broadcasting is still embryonic.Regarding free-to-air, there are currently no legal requirements on broadcasters to facilitate citizen access to digital platforms, nor any measures to ensure its affordability. Regulatory pressure has been applied to commercial broadcasters, but state broadcasters have been criticized for failing to take a leadership role in driving the switch-over.The report suggests that the development of the mobile sector offers the best hope for bridging regional and social divides in the medium term. But the enduring significance of these divides presents the most profound obstacle to Nigerian society reaping the benefits of digital media in terms of increased diversity, openness, and access.
West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI);
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are major drivers of socio-economic transformation in both the industrialised and developing world. According to estimates by the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), they make up over 90% of business globally, 60% of global employment, and half of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of any economy. In Sub-Saharan Africa, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises account for over 95% of all business.. In Nigeria, many privately-run businesses are MSMEs. According to a recent national survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), there are a total of 41.5 million MSMEs in the country that provide 59.6 million Nigerians with employment – thereby making up over 85% of the national workforce. Citizens majorly drive these MSMEs at the bottom of the economic pyramid – many of whom start these enterprises as a means of survival. The rising unemployment rates in the country has further created a situation of rising inflation as well as the downsising of major corporations. As a result, the number of people going into business – mainly small and micro businesses as a means of survival continues to rise.
West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI);
Despite the recognition of the instrumentality of governance and leadership to the sustainability of nonprofit organisations by researchers and practitioners around the world, there is still very limited knowledge on the effectiveness or otherwise of governance in Ghana's civil society sector. This paper is based on an extensive research into governance systems institutionalisation and effectiveness in selected civil society organisations (CSOs) in Ghana which revealed among other things that governance systems and structures of many CSOs in the country are poorly instituted and largely ineffective. It also discovered ineffective management of executive transitions and abrupt departures of key staff and leaders which were due mainly to the absence of succession plans and roadmaps. The paper argues on the basis of the evidence that in the absence of sound governance systems and structures, a CSO cannot be properly described as sustainable irrespective of the amount of financial resources the organisation can mobilise.
Global Fund for Community Foundations (GFCF);
Civil society organisations (CSOs) in Ghana are generally fragile and dependent on donor funding mechanisms for survival. Recent studies show that financial sustainability of CSOs is challenging, which has spurred conversations on new alternative funds mobilisation routes, innovative methods and strategies to ensure its sustainability. This scoping report highlights the opportunities and challenges associated with faith-based giving as a domestic resource mobilisation (DRM) strategy that CSOs could explore in Ghana. Specifically, the report highlights the experiences of funds mobilisation, the strategies, the opportunities and successes and the challenges. It draws on in-depth interviews from 6 faith-based organisations (FBOs), three CSOs that have funds mobilisation connections with FBOs and 2 key informants or experts working within the civil society space in Ghana. The report stresses four key messages.First, the key sources of domestic faith-based giving for Faith-based organisations are: (i) Special collections and offerings collected by affiliated religious bodies to support the FBOs; (ii) Individual contributions, appeals, pledges and gifts from members of religious affiliations (local and foreign); (iii) Allocations from headquarters or the 'root' organisations from which the faith-based organisations were formed and (iv) Volunteers and in-kind contributions from partners and stakeholders. However, faith-based domestic resource mobilisation has not been systematically integrated into the core strategy of domestic resource mobilisation efforts of some faith-based organisations as they draw their funding mainly from external sources.Second, religious organisations affiliated to Faith-based organisations use multiple strategies to encourage and mobilise funds and resources from givers. Four commonest approaches identified are: i) using education, doctrines and psychological preparation towards giving; b) instituting 'special days' for collection from givers; iii) being accountable and effectively communicating results and iv) effectively communicating mission to givers.Third, opportunities for mobilising funds and resources from faith-based sources exist because (i) large religious base of the country who are motivated by faith to give; (ii) indigenous systems and culture of giving in Ghana and (iii) growing technologies and digital infrastructure that provide convenience for givers. Strong connections to a 'base'/constituents is important for generation of funds.However, there are some challenges that constrain the prospect of domestic mobilisation of faith-based funds to boost financial sustainability of CSOs while also promoting socio-economic development in Ghana. Six key challenges have been articulated below: (i) general perceptions of CSOs and development actors ; (ii) culture of giving is skewed towards ad-hoc social welfare causes than long-term development actions that address systemic changes ; (iii) The difficulty of working with rising middle class and high-net worth personalities and (iv) weak transparent and accountable systems of CSOs. Some non-faith-based organisations also find it difficult mobilising domestic faith-based resources because of: (i) unfavourable perception and risk of associating with faith-based organisations and ii) clash of religious doctrines and some principles and values held by organisations.
African Women's Development Fund;
Available statistics indicates that, women form about 35.1% of the agricultural work force in Ghana, and account for 70% of production of subsistence crops. Also, about 90% of the labour force in the marketing of farm produce are women, yet they have limited access to and control over land and other resources necessary for economic development. Thus, the unequal access of women to productive resources such as land has largely led to a worsening poverty situation among many women resulting in increasing illiteracy rate, less access to health and education services with its associated unpaid care work. This Article examines the issue of women land rights in Ghana, focusing on legal literacy as integral to women ability to access land. The first part of this Article operationalizes basic fundamental concepts germane to the discussions. The second part mirrors down on a general overview of land tenure, contextualizing legal frameworks on land rights in Ghana. It then turns to explore the conundrum of socio-cultural issues affecting women land rights in the country. The Article then moves further to lay out the WiLDAF innovative approach in promoting women legal literacy on land rights and finally narrows in on lessons and best practices for future legal literacy and women's land rights in Ghana. Key concepts are operationalized to situate the discussion.
Since 2015, the MacArthur Foundation's On Nigeria strategy has sought to reduce corruption by supporting Nigerian-led efforts that strengthen accountability, transparency, and participation. Its theory of change builds on Jonathan Fox's "sandwich theory," which leverages the interplay between a push from below, by which citizens demand change ("voice"), and a squeeze from above to encourage public and private institutions to develop and enforce laws and regulations ("teeth").As of January 2020, the On Nigeria strategy has made 138 grants (totaling $66.8 million) that are a proving ground to develop and test a range of tactics and entry points for addressing corruption. Corruption is complex and ever-evolving, and progress toward the goal of reducing it will most certainly not be linear nor simple. Thus, On Nigeria reflects a multilayered strategy, comprising five areas of targeted programming, or modules—the Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) Program, the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Intervention Fund, Electricity Distribution, Criminal Justice, and Media and Journalism; and three cross-cutting areas—behavior and social norm change, civil society pressure for government accountability, and election-related efforts.The goal of this paper is to provide the latest information from the ongoing evaluation of On Nigeria, facilitate learning, and serve as one input to determine the next stage of programming. The evidence presented explores the strategy's progress to date, the validity of its theory of change, and status of windows of opportunity in the strategy's landscape.
West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI);
On April 11, the Republic of Sierra Leone marked the start of a fourteen days inter-district lockdown (from 11 to 24 April 2020) to combat the spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic in the country.The fourteen days inter-district lockdown is a significant milestone. It refers to the incubation period – 14 days – of the virus, as stipulated by the World Health Organization. If Sierra Leoneans show the maximum compliance to all social distancing regulations, it will be a remarkable turnaround for the Republic of Sierra Leone and a testament to the bravery and dedication of health workers, some of whom have been infected with the virus while treating the sick.Sierra Leone as of Friday, 17 April 2020 has recorded 26 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with a total of 531 in mandatory quarantine homes. This number keeps rising. The very first Coronavirus case was documented in Sierra Leone on 31 March and it involved a 37-year-old man who arrived in the country from France on an Air Brussels flight on the 16 March. Once she tested positive, she was immediately put into quarantine. It is prudent that the government has introduced social-distancing rules of varying strictness to combat the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, but, the question of how long these measures should remain in place has sparked vigorous debate. Many economists and psychologists have warned that a lengthy period of de facto home detention will damage people's financial and mental health, while epidemiologists argue that maintaining lockdowns will help to flatten the contagion curve more quickly. Policymakers designing measures to inform the countries' response to COVID-19 would have to take both views into account – a challenging dilemma and dire reality!
Fund for Global Human Rights;
For nearly twenty years, the Fund for Global Human Rights has been a vocal champion of participatory philanthropy. We provide flexible general support that allows local groups to define and lead their own agendas. Fund grantees identify their priorities and approach and collaborate with program staff on defining measures of progress toward their intended outcomes.To us, participatory grant-making—which empowers affected communities to decide what and who to fund—is a further step in shifting power to grantees and movements.In 2019, the Fund partnered with Purposeful, a feminist movement-building hub for adolescent girls, to pilot a participatory grant-making initiative in Sierra Leone aimed at promoting youth leadership and amplifying the voices of young people.As our first foray into realizing the potential of participatory grant-making, this experience taught us many valuable lessons about how to foster genuine participation of children and young people.A targeted and intentional approach to reach a diverse group of children and youth is essential. This helps prevent a participatory process that only benefits young people in urban areas and those from higher socio-economic backgrounds.We also learned that true participation requires letting go of power while ensuring that young people have what they need to make meaningful and informed decisions. Support to child and youth-led groups should go beyond grant money to include a comprehensive package of grantee-led learning and accompaniment.The biggest lesson is about the need to be open and flexible throughout the process. Being willing to adapt as we went along allowed us to respond and make changes (almost) in real time. It also allowed us to learn from the young people about what it means to use your voice and make yourself heard in ways far beyond what we could have anticipated.
West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI);
Open government in Benin has been on the agenda of politicians and civil society for the past five years. The concept aims at effective governance through transparency and accountability of public authorities. However, certain basic requirements for its implementation in our country continue to be an obstacle. Among them is the non-recognition of the right of access to public information – one of the pillars of open government. The NGO Coalition of Benin for an Open Government1, with support from NIMD (Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy), brought together Beninese parliamentarians in Cotonou for an advocacy seminar on access to public information from 11 – 13 August 2020. This is yet another advocacy meeting whose objective was "to get the Beninese legislature to take charge of the content and challenges of Open Government and its score for a successful process" of Benin's accession to the Open Government Partnership (OGP), specifically aimed at sensitising parliamentarians on the need to provide Benin with a law that effectively promotes access to public information.
The 2018-2019 Annual & Social Impact Report, which reflects data collected between June-July 2019, marks Indego's twelfth social impact assessment.The first Social Impact Assessment conducted in March 2008, established baseline data to measure future growth and consisted of response data from 44 women from two of Indego Africa's partner cooperatives in Rwanda. This year's report includes the results of comprehensive interviews with artisans across of our partner cooperatives in two countries, Rwanda and Ghana. As we grow and scale as an organization, this data serves as a powerful tool to ensure that our programs are fully and successfully serving the needs of our artisan partners. While this report focuses on metrics collected from our annual Social Impact Assessment, we have also included data from program-specific surveys conducted at the beginning and end of each of our education program semesters.How it worksIndego's field team in Rwanda traveled to of our partner cooperatives to gather quantitative and qualitative metrics from women. Our field team in Ghana also collected social impact data, surveying artisans across artisan groups.The 75-question survey gathers data across a range of development indicators, including income, education, and quality of life. The questions track year-over-year changes in the demographic, behavioral, and attitudinal information of our artisan partners.Results obtained from the surveys are presented and compared for each question at an aggregate level by combining the results from Rwanda and Ghana.Historical data gathered in Rwandan Francs and Ghanaian Cedis was converted to U.S. Dollars utilizing the average FX rate for each year.
The Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Program (GEWEP) II was implemented over four years from March 2016 through February 2020. GEWEP II worked with and for poor women and girls in some of the world's most fragile states: Burundi, DRC, Mali, Myanmar, Niger and Rwanda. By the end of the program period, GEWEP IIreached more than 1 161 869women and girls, mainly through Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs). Norad has supported VSLAs since they were first piloted by CARE in Niger in 1991. Since then, Norad has supported over 49 722 groups encompassing more than 1 150 625 women. This includes GEWEP II and previous programming, which GEWEP II builds on. During GEWEP II, more than 16 070 new groups were established. This is a key method for providing financial services to poor women and girls, and an important contribution towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 2, 5, 8 and 9, which all mention access to financial services.This report includes results on outcome and output level, of which the outcome level results were presented in detail in the GEWEP II Result Report submitted in May 2019. The table below summarizes the results at outcome level, for the global indicators that were collected across all program countries. These indicators were collected at the population level in the intervention zones. Overall, there has been positive change in the perception and attitude to women's economic, political and social empowerment in the intervention zones. On a national level, there has been positive changes in legislation, but implementation remains a challenge. A few indicators saw negative change. In Burundi, the percentage of women who state they are able to influence decisions went down from baseline, although it is still high at 88%. In Niger, the patriarchy remains strong, but despite challenges in changing men's attitudes, women have reported increased participation and social inclusion. The indicator focusing on women's sole decision-making saw little progress as the program worked more towards joint decision making.