Accra, Ghana –Ghana has over 4920 registered civil society organisations (CSOs) and about 1500 of these work actively in all ten (10) regions to address social, economic and political upheavals in the country. They are faced with some challenges typical of which are sufficient funding and capacity to accomplish their respective missions.
Over sixty (60) of these organisations amplified the need to support the sustainability and capacity strengthening of CSOs in the country to continue to play a key role in promoting development initiatives. These organisations shared their respective challenges in these areas at a national forum on capacity development for civil society held in Accra, Ghana on Tuesday April 16, 2013.
The Executive Director of The Ark Foundation – which works to promote women's rights, Ms. Angela Dwamena-Aboagye, who facilitated the discussions at the forum, explained that “capacity building is key to the work of The Ark Foundation. It provides the organisation with essential skills necessary to sustain initiatives aimed at promoting the rights of Ghanaian women and children”. She expatiated on the need for CSOs in the country to seize available opportunities to strengthen the capacity of their staff as a means of ensuring the sustainability of programmes implemented by the organisations.
The forum gave CSOs a unique opportunity to appreciate the current status of capacity development programmes available to them, articulate their capacity development needs, share their experiences and challenges. The CSOs at the forum used this opportunity to identify current capacity gaps within their organisations and proposed possible strategies to resolve these.
They acknowledged that capacity development programmes have helped CSOs to play key roles in influencing various policies in the country and promoting better living for Ghanaians.
Ms. Patricia Porekuu, National Coordinator of the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health, explained that capacity received from the National Malaria Control Program has enabled the Coalition for NGO's in malaria control in creating awareness of malaria and how to reduce it. “Activities such as Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) and Hang-Up Campaign has contributed to the reduction in malaria cases in the country” she noted.
The participants stressed that capacity development for CSOs in Ghana is vital because it contributes to the efficiency and effectiveness of CSOs, it offers an opportunity to learn best practices and helps in organisational sustainability.
The meeting was organised by the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) with the support of STAR-Ghana. It created a neutral space for CSOs in Ghana to reflect on the role of capacity development in ensuring the long-term effectiveness and sustainability of the civil society sector in Ghana.
For more information about the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) and its interventions to promote participatory governance in West Africa, please visit www.wacsi.org