West Africa Regional 2020

Building a Legal Environment for the Protection of Human Rights

Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa


To promote the application of international human rights instruments in Togolese and Sierra Leonean domestic courts. The organization will host two trainings for lawyers and civil society on regional human rights laws and resources available to apply these mechanisms domestically. The organization will also conduct a case building mission in each country and pursue litigation on one case per country at the ECOWAS Court of Justice.

Combating Misinformation and Disinformation

Centre for Democracy and Development


To counter political misinformation and disinformation to promote peaceful and democratic elections and accountable governance in Burkina Faso, the Gambia, and Nigeria. The organization will train civic actors, journalists, and social media influencers to combat fake news; monitor and correct fake news related to elections and governance; and, conduct civic education campaigns on political accountability. It will also monitor, document, and analyze the role that foreign actors play in the disinformation space. The organization will also collaborate with election management bodies to mitigate the risks posed by misinformation and disinformation.

Cultural Understanding as a Tool for Peacekeeping and Social Cohesion

Partners West Africa


To strengthen the capacity of community leaders to engage in peacebuilding efforts. The organization will strengthen their capacity to use indigenous approaches and value-system to resolving disputes and promoting reconciliation. The grantee will encourage women leaders to use arts to promote empathy, diversity, and trust across ethnic lines. The organization will also use sports to promote harmony and encourage youth to become a force for positive change. It will further organize music contest to instill in students the values of peaceful coexistence and tolerance.

Empowering Youth for Effective Democratic Participation in Africa

Yiaga Africa Initiative


To educate young Africans on citizenship, activism, and fundamental human rights so that they actively engage in participatory democracy, and to strengthen cross-border collaboration and regional integration amongst youth organizations working to advance democratic governance in African states and institutions. The organization will host policy trainings, produce a youth democracy publication, and conduct digital democracy advocacy campaigns, fostering a new generation of informed young democratic activists across Africa. It will also engage with ECOWAS to identify avenues for advancing youth political participation across the region.

Engaging Youth in Governance and Peace in the Sahel through ICT



To strengthen youth engagement in local governance and promote their participation in peacebuilding efforts in the Sahel region. The organization will develop a digital App to enable young people and elected officials to engage on local issues. The grantee will raise young people and elected officials’ awareness on participatory governance and monitoring of local policies. The organization will also convene a regional conference to encourage youth to develop a regional response to strengthen peace and respect for the human rights of minorities.

Enhancing Security Sector Governance in the Sahel Region

Centre d’Information et de Documentation Citoyennes


To foster civil society engagement in security sector governance in the Sahel and ensure inclusive policies. The organization will assess the capacity of organizations intervening in security sector governance to identify their challenges and will further enhance their ability to influence security policies. The grantee will provide space for civil society to discuss best practices and develop joint action plans. The organization will engage national and regional institutions to secure their commitment to improve the legal and institutional framework governing citizen oversight of the security sector.

Enhancing the Media’s Role in Democratic Governance in West Africa

Media Foundation for West Africa


To build and strengthen a regional coalition of media actors to improve media freedom and freedom of expression in West Africa, the organization will assess how ECOWAS has engaged and prioritized media in its democratic governance interventions. It will also host a series of consultations with civil society, media, and ECOWAS to identify avenues for strengthening media’s contributions to democratic space in West Africa.

Enhancing Women’s Political Participation for Inclusive Governance

Gender Centre for Empowering Development


To empower young women with the democratic knowledge, skills, and mentoring needed to participate in politics in West Africa. The organization will continue its young women’s political leadership school to equip young women from West Africa to participate in party politics. It will assist these young women in launching gender equality campaigns and hosting inter-party debates. The organization will advocate for the adoption and implementation of an ECOWAS gender strategy document for political party engagement throughout the region.

Promoting Human Rights, Access to Justice, and the Rule of Law in Informal Settlements

Incorporated Trustees of Community Legal Support Initiative


To equip marginalized urban communities with local legal aid solutions and community-based support networks to promote inclusive governance. The organization will provide paralegal support to marginalized urban populations so that they can use local legal systems and inter-community solidarity to defend their basic rights, while demanding for improved government accountability. Paralegals will focus on protecting communities’ land rights, human rights, and access to justice. The organization will facilitate regional knowledge sharing on legal aid solutions and the rights of urban populations.

Promoting Inclusive, Responsive Security Policymaking across the Liptako-Gourma Region

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)


Building on previous NED-funded programming, The institute will continue supporting the centers for strategic and security studies in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger and work with regional intergovernmental bodies, civil society and parliaments on sustainable, human-centered regional security strategies and policies. The institute will partner with the defense and security committees of the three parliaments and the regional civil society organization platform to monitor and analyze security challenges and incidents in the region.

Promoting Public-Private Collaboration to Counter Violent Extremism and Promote Security in the Sahel II

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)


To promote collective action among private sector representatives in the G5 Sahel member states in order to improve security and counter violent extremism, and to promote issue-based security dialogue between private sector coalitions in the G5 Sahel member states and public actors at the national, regional, and international levels. The Center will work with the regional private sector coalition and local research teams to build the coalition’s capacity for public-private dialogue, create a private sector agenda for security and economic policy reform and economic recovery from COVID-19, and engage in national and regional policy dialogue.

Promoting Worker Rights, Gender Equality, and a Regional Voice for Working People

Solidarity Center (SC)


To build the capacity of West African unions, the Center will integrate informal sector unions into Labor’s campaign for social protection in ECOWAS countries. The Center will develop the skills of a new generation of Nigerian activists to build more inclusive unions with women, youth, and workers in non-traditional employment and combat gender-based violence at work. Finally, to ensure that Nigerian unions fulfill their democratic role, the Center will support joint planning and action between unions, journalists and students through the Nigerian Labor and Civil Society Coalition.

Public Interest Lawyering Initiative for West Africa — Multi-level ECOWAS Litigation and Advocacy Project

Advocates for Community Alternatives


To improve access to justice, address human rights violations, and strengthen government accountability in West Africa. The organization will support a collaborative effort among West African lawyers to use regional and national litigation and advocacy to compel states to comply with their legal frameworks governing business concessions. It will also employ these strategies to defend the fundamental human rights and advance the political voices of communities affected by business concessions.

Strengthening the Efficacy of Regional Youth-Led Peacebuilding Interventions to Reduce Youth Political Marginalization

International Republican Institute (IRI)


To strengthen the efficacy of local, national, and Sahel regional institution interventions that manage instability and violent conflict in the Sahel and Littoral States in West Africa, the Institute will work with the G5 Sahel Permanent Secretariat and national governments to support and expand conflict resolution programs and regional advocacy led by youth leaders in periphery communities in Mauritania, Mali, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, and Cote d’Ivoire.

Supporting Civil Society Capacity for Accountability

Bank Information Center


To strengthen West African civil society’s understanding of how to use financing by multilateral development banks (MDBs) to open up space to engage their governments around development-related programs, plans, policies, and projects. The organization will host a training for civil society to understand the accountability and grievance mechanisms at MDBs and will work with two local partners to monitor MDB activity in those countries.