Grooming the Next Generation of Researchers on Civil Society

Grooming the Next Generation of Researchers on Civil Society

Grooming the Next Generation of Researchers on Civil Society

Solomon Amoah

My experience with WACSI has been one that is phenomenal. It has affected me in a number of ways. It shaped my research focus. I had to redirect things after my contact with WACSI. My thinking changed from being interested in just one area of research (focusing on descent work as a concept). The things I learnt and the experience I had, even in the first week, redefined my work as a researcher. My new focus is on CSOs themselves doing introspections on how they are governed and their processes. WACSI should keep up the good work. It can only get better.

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Grooming the Next Generation of Researchers on Civil Society 

Having a pool of critical thinkers who will provide evidence-based ideas to propel Africa’s development is an essential priority. It is important for the continent to create a favourable environment for Africans to undertake critical studies and share context relevant and ground-breaking findings that will propel Africa’s development.

This need is even more critical for African civil society. The sector needs more dedicated actors who can focus on exploring how the sector functions and proffer new ideas based on original findings gathered from different entities within the sector.

WACSI has identified this gap. The Institute runs a flagship Research Fellowship Programme, through which young African academics and civic activists are supported to design and implement research studies that focus on the civil society sector.

The Research Fellowship Programme - three months of dedicated research on any topical issue related to civil society in West Africa - has contributed in shaping the research focus of Solomon Amoah, a PhD student in the University of Cape Coast in Ghana.

Solomon describes his participation in the 2017 edition of the Research Fellowship programme as phenomenal. He admits that the programme has played a key role in shaping his research focus.

“My experience with WACSI has been one that is phenomenal. It has affected me in a number of ways. It shaped my research focus. I had to redirect things after my contact with WACSI. My thinking changed from being interested in just one area of research (focusing on decent work as a concept),” Amoah said.

He is happy that the programme has made him to take keen interest in conducting research that will urge civil society to ‘re-examine their approaches’ and carryout ‘deep introspections about their practices’.

“The things I learnt and the experience I had, even in the first week, redefined my work as a researcher. My new focus is on CSOs themselves reflecting on how they are governed and their processes”, he said.

His newly found research interest in civil society is evident on the research he carried out on ‘Leadership Transitions and Governance within CSOs in Ghana’; an in-depth study that examines the leadership culture within civil society organisations in Ghana and how that affects the governance of organisations.

Solomon lauds WACSI for this programme. “WACSI should keep up the good work. It can only get better”, he said.

The 2017 Research Fellowship Programme was implemented with support from Ford Foundation.

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