West Africa Regional 2021

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)

Political Party Strengthening Academy II


To support democratic reforms within political parties in West Africa. The Institute will strengthen the leadership skills of reformists in parties with an emphasis on constituent outreach and policy-making practices to reflect democratic principles. This program is part of a multi-year initiative to strengthen party reform and coincides with a dramatic backsliding of democracy in the region. The Institute will therefore integrate into the capacity building curriculum, strategies, and ideas on how to reverse the downward spiral of democratic decline.


Solidarity Center (SC)

Promoting Worker Rights, Gender Equality, And A Regional Voice For Working People

$800,000To build the capacity of West African unions to effectively organize and advocate for workers. The Center will integrate healthcare unions into the Organization of Trade Unions of West Africa (OTUWA) regional campaign for affordable and accessible healthcare, expand the scope of West Africa trade unions’ ability to organize, represent, and mobilize informal sector workers in the gig economy, 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 by effecting policy change through advocacy with management.


National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)

Mano River Young Women’s Leadership Initiative Cohort II


To enhance the leadership, political organizing, and networking skills of emerging young women political leaders in the Mano River region of West Africa so that they have greater opportunities to achieve their political aspirations and to advance within political parties, the Institute will organize its second emerging women’s political leadership academy. The academy will provide political leadership training and practical experience for a new cohort of  women selected through a competitive application process. In addition, the Institute will assist the women to join and engage with the Network of Emerging Women in Politics (NEW Politics network), through which they can build advocacy coalitions, connect with other aspiring young women leaders and mentors in the Mano River region, and sustain and expand the reach of their new skills to promote women’s representation.


International Republican Institute (IRI)

Strengthening Data-Driven Peacebuilding Interventions to Increase Regional And National Responsiveness To Sahelian Community Priorities


To strengthen the responsivity of Sahel regional policies to the priorities of youth impacted by violent conflict in rural border zones, the Institute will continue its official partnership with the G5 Sahel, its national violence prevention units in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, and youth leaders from fifteen conflict-affected border communities to convene a series of public policy consultations and research-driven peacebuilding interventions that mitigate the conflict dynamics of rising violence in the Sahel region.


National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)

Fostering Interregional Cooperation For Inclusive, Human-Centered Security Policies In The Liptako-Gourma Region


Building on the two previous programs in the Sahel, the Institute will continue supporting the centers for strategic and security studies in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger and work with civil society partners and parliaments to advance coordinated sustainable, human-centered regional security strategies and policies. The three centers will advance their technical competencies and partnership through exchanges of expertise and training workshops organized by the program’s civil society partners. They will engage in joint security research and develop a shared database for research purposes. The program will facilitate renewed cooperation of the partners with the parliamentary defense and security committees of Burkina Faso and Niger following the arrival of a new cohort of members of parliament (MPs) in April 2021.


Ligue Africaine des Blogueurs et Cyber Activistes pour la Democratie

Promoting Local Governance Transparency through an Open Data Platform


To promote transparency and accountability through an open data platform in Senegal, Guinea, Niger, and Guinea Bissau. The organization will conduct advocacy campaigns on the importance of inclusive local governance and will identify needs for capacity building on local governance. The grantee will then collect and analyze local government data and create an online governance platform to engage stakeholders on the findings and their implications for governance. CSOs and citizens will use the data for their own advocacy strategy with the hope to affect change and contribute to innovative and evidence-based policy formulation. Started by a network of journalists and civil society activists, the organization specializes in using government data to promote transparency across the African continent.


Timbuktu Renaissance

Live Events and Music Production for Peace in the Sahel


To reinforce social cohesion and peace across the Sahel. The organization will host free concerts featuring musicians from diverse ethnic groups from Mali and neighboring countries to convey messages of peace, diversity, and reconciliation. The organization will combine the concerts with public dialogues to highlight the importance of tolerance and social harmony. Additionally, the group will support the production and dissemination of socially conscious songs to encourage reconciliation between diverse ethnicities.


Partners West Africa

Strengthen Women’s Participation in Prevention and Resolution of Conflicts, Mediation and Social Cohesion in the Sahel


To strengthen women’s participation in peace efforts and social cohesion in the Sahel. The organization will mobilize women’s networks to advocate for the implementation of a UN resolution and an ECOWAS protocol that promote women’s leadership in peacebuilding. The organization will host a workshop to adopt harmonized methodology to track states’ performance and will discuss advocacy strategies to increase women’s participation in peace and security. The grantee will conduct awareness campaigns to showcase successful women initiatives on peacebuilding, will issue policy briefs, and conduct advocacy efforts for inclusive peace processes.


Advocates for Community Alternatives

Strengthening Human Rights and the Rule of Law through Public Interest Litigation


To promote human rights and access to justice and strengthen government accountability as it relates to business investment; and to strengthen the linkages between and capacities of national and regional judicial institutions. The organization will support a collaborative effort among West African lawyers to use regional and national litigation to strengthen state accountability and improve business regulation, advancing human rights. Programming will focus on the extractives, agriculture, and real estate sectors in West Africa.


Parliamentary Network Africa

Open Parliament Engagements and Networking in West Africa (OPEN West Africa)


To promote transparency and accountability in the ECOWAS Parliament and national parliaments in West Africa. The organization will establish a community of parliamentary monitoring organizations (PMO). It will launch a legislative transparency index that ranks national parliaments in West Africa on openness, organize a series of training workshops for PMOs across the region, and set up an online parliamentary resource hub as a repository of best practices within the PMO community.


Ouestaf Multimedia

Promoting investigative reporting and fact checking to counter disinformation and strengthen democracy


To promote access to accurate and reliable information to address disinformation in West Africa. The organization will support journalists to produce investigative pieces and evidence-based journalism focused on governance issues. The organization will also strengthen journalists’ capacity to improve their reporting skills and will facilitate a series of virtual debates and conferences to discuss pressing issues affecting the region.


Ghana Center for Democratic Development

Strengthening Election Observation in West Africa


To improve civil society election observations to strengthen electoral integrity in West Africa. The organization will work with civil society throughout the region to assess the challenges confronting observation missions and develop new observation guidelines that its members and other organizations can employ to improve electoral outcomes. It will train election observation groups in these best practices. The organization will also work to improve regional civil society collaboration as well as civil society coordination with ECOWAS and electoral management bodies.


Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa

Building a Legal Environment for the Protection of Human Rights

To promote the application of international human rights instruments in West African domestic and regional courts. The organization will establish a legal network in each country to coordinate human rights monitoring and litigation at the domestic and regional levels. The organization will provide technical assistance to the legal networks as needed and facilitate opportunities for network members to attend advocacy events at regional institutions. The organization will pursue litigation on one case per country at the ECOWAS Court of Justice.


Gender Centre for Empowering Development

Enhancing Women’s Political Participation for Inclusive Governance


To strengthen young women’s political participation in West Africa. The organization will sustain its young women’s political leadership school to equip young women to participate in party politics. It will assist these young women in launching gender equality campaigns within political parties and hosting inter-party debates. In collaboration with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the organization will advocate for the adoption and implementation of gender inclusive political party policies and conduct gender inclusion capacity building trainings.


Bank Information Center

Supporting Civil Society Capacity for Accountability


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 series of virtual and in-person sessions on the Integrated Safeguard Standards review process and other accountability mechanisms at MDBs and will work with two local partners to monitor MDB activity in those countries.