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OSIWA is active in ten countries in West Africa (Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Senegal) with offices based in five of them.

OUR ROLE

OSIWA plays a dual role in the region as both an advocate and grant-maker by enabling itself to be agenda-setters both within and alongside other organizations working on the ground. The Foundation works through a unique combination of grant making, advocacy, partnership building and technical assistance.

For example, we help support the production of publications and research studies; run advocacy campaigns using creative means; and provide institutional support to partners on the ground. While most funders either tend to focus exclusively on civil society or governmental institutions, OSIWA has carved its niche through a two-pronged strategic focus: strengthening both democratic institutions and structures and civic participation in decision-making. There are several areas where, over the years, OSIWA has produced strong results.

OUR HIGHLIGHTS

The creation of the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) as a pioneering capacity-building institution that runs workshops, trainings and conferences that focus on transparency and governance issues in the region. In 2013, WACSI provided capacity building support to over 400 civil society practitioners from about 350 civil society organizations from ten West African Countries (Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, Benin, Zimbabwe, Guinea, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Liberia and Sierra Leone).

Supported for awareness-raising on public service delivery. Advocacy campaigns on free movement of goods and services and ‘Publish What You Pay’ have been undertaken in several countries with positive impact in terms of improved citizens’ awareness of their rights in these areas.

The development of the Election Situation Room (ESR) model for civil society engagement with elections in West Africa as a means of lesson-sharing to assure coordinated civil society efforts during election times.

Organized and facilitated, alongside its sister network program Open Society Justice Initiative, the West and Central Africa Regional Consultation on the Draft Global Best Principles on National Security and Freedom of Information.

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