The AAC is implementing a Webinar Series called “Locally DrivenAdvocacy in Francophone West and Central Africa (FWCA)“. Through this webinar series, we are convening representative advocates from FWCA to moderate conversations and engage other advocates in sharing their experiences in implementing various advocacy efforts in the current global environment.
The first webinar explored the State of Advocacy in Francophone West & Central Africa with a focus on current challenges & opportunities. The second webinar looked into Advocacy Capacity Strengthening in FWCA focusing on the Needs, Trends and Action. A continuous and remaining challenge the lack of adequate holistic funding partnerships for locally led advocacy.
AAC studies that focus on advocacy funding perceptions and attitudes confirm that most advocacy individuals, networks and organisations operate on short term advocacy goals because funding frameworks do not focus on long-term advocacy priorities. This confirms the challenges within the funding of advocacy related to donor preferences, behaviours and assumptions and the power dynamics that form the basis of funding relations. COVID has exacerbated the issues around funding with over 80% said their funding has been affected in one way or another. Of those, 65.9% reported redirecting their advocacy to COVID-19 activities and 29.5% reported their funding was significantly reduced by donors. Some donors withheld funds because activities were not implemented. AAC research and views of the advocacy ecosystem highlight trends that indicate that most advocates and advocacy organisations greatly depend on funding from international donors, which has led to an overdependence by local advocacy actors on donor funding which is generally short-term project-based funding. These funding relationships are financial in nature and are generally devoid of support beyond financing. The AAC through its research on the funding of advocacy in Africa, continues to explore the unique symbiotic relationship between advocacy funders and advocacy individuals, organizations and networks working in the advocacy sector in Africa.
There is a need for the exploration and investment in alternative and innovative ways for advocacy entities to sustain themselves. This includes a focus on core funding and organisational effectiveness that allows for greater flexibility, programme autonomy, longer programme tenure country driven advocacy priorities determined by local advocates to name but a few. Exploring this aspect of advocacy is critical towards achieving greater impact of locally driven advocacy.
Objectives of the Webinar Through the discussions we shall explore capacity funding trends, priorities and issues of funding for advocacy in FWCA. We are looking to understand the following issues:
Who are the major donors of advocacy initiatives? Is there a lot of funding?
What are the donor behaviours and preferences in terms of funding for advocacy?
What are the trends, dynamics, practices? How is advocacy funded? Project vs. core funding?
Are their alternatives and innovative solutions to fund advocacy?
What are the untapped resources for advocacy?
Katie Northcott: Katie Northcott is a Technical Performance Manager at AmplifyChange, a fund supporting civil society sexual and reproductive health and rights advocacy globally. She leads the Safe Abortion portfolio and works predominately with Francophone organisations. She has worked internationally on sexual and reproductive health for over nine years, including two years in Burkina Faso in community health.
Khadidiatou (Kaya) SY:Khadidiatou SY is the West Africa Advocacy Coordinator for Equipop. Her mission is to develop and implement an advocacy strategy and support partner CSOs in West Africa at the regional, national and international levels. She accompanies the mobilization of actors (policy makers and CSOs in West Africa) in their advocacy actions to create an institutional and political environment conducive to human rights, particularly women’s rights and respect for them in terms of sexual and reproductive health.
Ms. Yaye Hélène Ndiaye has been a programme officer for the Africa Regional Office of Open Society Foundations since 2009. She works on migration governance, citizenship and youth. She has supported and coordinated the implementation of projects initiated by African youth movements and pan-African civil society organisations, which has allowed her to interact with African Union bodies. Yaye Hélène holds two master’s degrees from the University of Paris XII Val de Marne and Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). She has been sensitive to development issues in Africa from an early age, particularly the importance of education and training as a prerequisite for human development and individual fulfilment. She is a pan-Africanist, passionate about dance and music from all horizons.