Collaborating for Effective Social Activism in West Africa: Experiences, Enabling Factors and Challenges


In many countries, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are under constant pressure and operating in a closing civic space. This has spurred new forms of collaborations between social activists and social movements that are different from traditional social justice organisations in responding to the closing civic space phenomenon.
This report explores how cross-sector collaboration could be used as a mechanism for countering shrinking civic space. Specifically, the paper presents empirical evidence on the experiences, enabling factors and challenges for cross-actor collaboration among traditional social justice organisations, social movements and social activists in West Africa—a context where the civic space is closing at varying degrees and levels.
Data were gathered through literature review, focus group discussions (FGDs) and in-depth interviews from 55 representatives from traditional social justice organisations, social movements, and social activists across 14 West African countries.

The publisher, WACSI, is a member of the Change the Game Academy Alliance.

Review by Wilde Ganzen

The usefulness of this document can best be shown by citing its recommendations, summarized on page 8:
“- Build strong partnerships
- Devise innovative strategies and tactics
- Traditional social justice organisations should be open and transparent
- Stakeholders should learn from each other
- Enhance mutual trust
- Adapt to build robust and sustained engagements
- All stakeholders should promote sustainable collaborations
- Stakeholders should document their experiences and challenges
- Enhance communication to build cross-country (regional) collaboration
and solidarity”.
The chapters 7 and 8 provide good examples about how to pursue these recommendations.


Social Activism Social Movements Civic space

Author: Emmanuel Kumi, Albert Abraham Arhin, Victor Essel, a.o.

Publisher/source/organization: West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI)

Place and year of issue: Accra, Ghana 2020

Type: Research report

Country/region: Africa

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