The West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) was established by Open Society Initiative of West Africa (OSIWA) to enhance the capacity of civil society organisations (CSOs) throughtraining, research, documentation, and policy dialogue. The Institute trains national and regionalcivil society actors in advocacy, policy analysis, influencing and effective research anddocumentation skills. The rationale for strengthening civil society lies in the fact that civilsociety in West Africa is an important partner in the promotion of good governance, democracy,peacebuilding and participatory development processes.In West Africa, many non-governmental organisations operate with weak intellectual bases. Atraining needs assessment carried out by WACSI revealed that staff members in NGOs lack basicresearch and analytical skills which hinders them from actively engaging in policy debates aswell as contributing to the advancement of knowledge among civil society organisations.Furthermore, it was reiterated that documentation skills within the NGO sector is inadequate.WACSI therefore has decided to organise periodic training for NGOs.The NGO management training needs assessment highlighted that managerial outputs fromorganisations within the region are often flawed and lack the proper methodological basis. Otherchallenges in the region include inadequate organisational, financial, and communitymanagement. NGOs also lack the ability to document or articulate the impact of their activitiesresulting in the diminished appreciation of their contribution in the sub region. This training wasin response to the need for proper management of NGOs, a responsibility that WACSI has takento facilitate.This report sums up the concepts, discussions and comments gathered from the Trainingworkshop held at Crystal Palm Hotel, Tesano, Accra from Tuesday 22 Friday 25 July, 2008.Twenty-one participants from middle-level management in NGOs attended the training. Thetraining methodology and approach was enhanced by discussions, interactions and groupexercises.
The institutional and operational gaps identified in the training needs assessment carried out byWACSI highlights the importance of strengthening the managerial capacity of NGOs to enablethem run their various organisations in a form which makes them accountable to funders and self sufficient.This workshop was designed to develop the skills of participants and equip them with allappropriate tools to appreciate, and properly manage their own resources. The major topicsdiscussed included, managing different types of organisations, programme and projectmanagement, image and advocacy, financial management, and strategic management includingmonitoring and evaluation.