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West Africa Civil Society Institute Strengthening Civil Society


Participants at the Training (photo: WACSI)

Participants at the Training

14 Civil Society Actors Empowered with Policy Advocacy and Engagement Skills

The training on ‘Introduction to Policy Advocacy and Engagement’ which ended successfully on Wednesday March 28, 2012 increased participants understanding of policy advocacy concepts and efficient advocacy strategies.

This course, first of its kind to be developed and organized for civil society practitioners in West Africa by WACSI brought together 14 participants from Togo, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. The course was developed to provide participants with a clear understanding of advocacy concepts and introduce civil society organisations to strategies and tactics in planning an advocacy intervention with the goal of promoting an open society, participatory and responsive governance.

The 3-day training which held at the WACSI Training Centre in Accra, Ghana, commenced on March 26. It witnessed the participation of state and military personnel as well as civil society practitioners from different civil society organisations (CSOs) across West Africa. Participants satisfactorily pointed out that they gained a deeper understanding of how to initiate, plan and develop an advocacy strategy and campaign. The highly interactive sessions enabled participants to practically ascertain the timeliness and feasibility of advocacy strategies they use in their respective organisations.
As Matthew James from the Network Movement for Democracy and Human Rights (NMDHR) in Sierra Leone explains “it is my first time to attend a training out of Sierra Leone and on policy advocacy. I have learned a lot and will be able to advice my organization on what stage of a policy process to engage, and how best to engage”. Commenting on the training approach, Mr Matthew points out that “the training methodology was highly interactive and the case studies and training tools used, notably the advocacy video, enhanced my understanding of policy advocacy concepts. I was able to learn a lot and I am looking forward to attend the Advanced Level Policy Advocacy and Engagement training [in June 2012]”.

Awo A. Amenyah (left)intervening during the training

Awo A. Amenyah (left)intervening during the training

All the participants were very impressed with the high standards of the training depicted by the training method and content. As Awo A. Amenyah, Gender Program Officer of the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition explains, the training was very important because it succinctly clarified policy advocacy concepts. The knowledge I have acquired will enable our organization to better develop and implement advocacy campaigns which our organization is involved in.”



WACSI’s training courses are purposefully developed to empower CSOs to contribute to democratic processes and development within their respective communities. Knowledge and skills shared empower civil society practitioners to be valuable change makers in their countries.

The ‘Introduction to Policy Advocacy’ course is one of WACSI’s five new training courses that have been developed to enhance the capacities of CSOs in West Africa. A successive training on ‘Networking and Alliance Building’ one of WACSI’s new courses, will hold from Thursday 29 to Friday 30, March 2012 at the WACSI training Centre.

For a full list of WACSI’s scheduled courses in 2012 and how to apply, click here.

View more pictures of the training here.

Resource Centre

The Institute has a resource centre that is open to civil society actors in the region. It serves as a library of civil society documents, research reports and edited volumes that are accessible to both individuals and organisations. The Institute has partnered the Foundation Centre to provide online learning resources and a database of grant giving institutions in the United States of America.

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