The West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) was established by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) in 2005 to reinforce the capacities of civil society in the sub-region. The Institute became operational in July 2007. WACSI envisions a peaceful and prosperous West Africa where development is driven by its people.
WACSI’s mission is to strengthen civil society in West Africa to be responsive, collaborative, representative, resilient, and influential through knowledge sharing, learning, connecting, and influencing.
Since the institute became operational in 2007, it has responded significantly to the prevailing dearth of skills and capacity within civil society in West Africa through a three-pronged intervention strategy: Capacity Development; Knowledge Management; and Policy Influencing and Advocacy. The institute designs and delivers customised trainings and technical assistance programmes that respond to performance gaps within the CSO sector.
The Institute consistently receives referrals from partners and development stakeholders that are familiar with its work across and beyond West Africa. Some of the courses the Institute regularly delivers, include; governance and leadership, proposal writing, project management, financial management and grants reporting, results-based monitoring and evaluation, communicating impact, community mobilisation, local fundraising and resource mobilisation, social accountability, policy research and analysis, policy advocacy and engagement, networking and alliance building, and civil society sustainability, among others. WACSI designs and adopts innovative frameworks and approaches that support operational and institutional standards of civil society that promote leadership, diversity, excellence, ethics, non-discrimination and people-centred values.
Since inception, the Institute continues to work with the civil society community to constantly respond to the complex development needs and evolving environment through engagement with the sector and partnerships with various institutions. WACSI remains a thought leader, a go-to knowledge hub and indigenous resource for civil society and development in West Africa, through knowledge curation, sharing, impartation, and policy influencing. Four main thematic areas of interest catalyse the engagement of the Institute during the ongoing and third strategic cycle (2018-2022), including Civil Society Sustainability, Enabling Environment, Technology for Development, and Women and Youth Development.