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West Africa Civil Society Institute wacsi.org

Programmes

WACSI adds value to civil society existence, effectiveness and efficiency in West Africa

Research Activity

Research at WACSI focuses primarily on the state and practice of civil society in West Africa and related policy issues. 

Research programmes

There are two broad current areas of interest: creating an enabling environment for civil society and monitoring the development of civil society. Specific focal areas include:

  • Civil society regulation in West Africa: A close look at state and self-regulatory mechanisms, including laws, institutions, codes of conduct, policies, processes and practices to control and/or standardise the operations of civil society formations in the region.

  • Civil society sustainability: Perspectives on this topical debate relating to the opportunities and challenges for civil society sustainability in the region. Key issues include human resources, financial viability, operational and technical capacities, etc. 

  • The future of civil society in West Africa.

  • Civil society and the post-2015 agenda.

  • Ensuring civil society impact in hostile environments.

  • Civil society and terrorism: (1) civil society’s capacity and role in preventing and countering terrorism in West Africa; (2) how anti-terror laws and policies are affecting civil society and (3) the nature of engagement of civil society by the state and regional anti-terror laws, policies and mechanisms.

  • Partnering the private sector: the state of relations between the private sector and civil society in West Africa. 

  • From ‘aid effectiveness’ to ‘development effectiveness’: Reflections on the journey from Paris to Busan. 

Publications

Using a blend of proprietary and commissioned studies, WACSI’s research unit produces six key publications:

  • Civil Society Situation Report, a weekly compilation of news on civil society and citizen engagement across West Africa, monitors key trends and events in both fields across the region.

  • WACSeries, quarterly monographs analyse a range of issues pertaining to civil society across West Africa in a bid to deepen understanding of its practice in different country contexts.

  • Independent, periodic research reports on selected topical issues.

  • Edited volumes that constitute in-depth expert studies on selected thematic issues. Currently set for publication in mid-2014 is a volume on civil society and development in West Africa--a multi-author compilation examining this topic in the fifteen countries of the Economic Community of West African States.

The unit will produce two new initiatives from early 2014:

  • Issues in Civil Society policy papers will address key current and emerging policy issues and make targeted recommendations for action to relevant political actors.

  • Eye on Civil Society , a bi-annual civil society magazine, seeks to deepen understanding and enhance the visibility of civil society in West Africa.

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