The Policy Influencing and Advocacy Unit of WACSI works with ‘organised’ and ‘organic’ civil society groups to influence policy issues through the creation of spaces, platforms and capacity strengthening opportunities for civil society and partners to convene, dialogue and connect with themselves, development partners including policymakers, policy institutions and donor community.
The unit undertakes its work through two main streams:
Connecting and Convening:
Policy forums on topical policy issues: The Institute provides platforms for different groups of civil society to deliberate topical policy issues that affect the development of the region and its citizenry. The platform is also used to enhance civil society’s engagement and collaboration with policy actors and institutions working on critical policy issues. WACSI’s hallmark West Africa Civil Society Policy Dialogue Series (WAC-PoDiS) serves as a tactical platform used to convene civil society actors and development partners including government officials and agencies, private sector representatives, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, donor agencies and the academia to debate, discuss, inform, guide and reach consensus on best practice and approaches to influence and monitor policy formulation and implementation processes on crosscutting development issues across West Africa.
Technical Support to Regional Networks, Alliances and Social Movements: WACSI provides technical support and ideas to regional civil society organisations, networks, alliances and social movements working on diverse advocacy issues at both regional and national fronts. The Institute also has strong ties with the various agencies, directorates and units of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Influencing and Advocacy:
Sustainable development Goals: WACSI focuses on SDG goal 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals). WACSI’s interest in Goal 16 is informed by its alignment with the Institute’s vision of a peaceful, inclusive, accountable, progressive and self-sufficient West Africa. Through its various interventions on Goal 16 and 17, WACSI seeks to focus on five (5) key specific components including;
1) Creating spaces for multi-stakeholder engagement,
2) Amplifying civic voices through online and offline mediums,
3) Generating useful data through indigenous research,
4) Strengthening technical capacity, and
5) Conducting advocacy campaigns.
WACSI is a steering committee member of the Africa Working Group (AWG) on SDGs; currently, co-chairs the Multi-Stakeholder Engagement and High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) sub-group, and provides support to the work of the National Civil Society Platform on SDGs across the region.
Capacity Strengthening in Policy Advocacy, Networking and Alliance Building: WACSI through the Policy Influencing and Advocacy unit regularly organises comprehensive training programmes in policy advocacy (introductory and advanced course); networking and alliance building, community mobilisation and advocacy campaign strategies among others.
These specific training programmes are provided to civil society groups and development partners both on demand-driven and fee-paying basis annually.
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