“Capacity development” of local civil society organizations (CSOs) in sub-Saharan Africa has become a key strategy among prominent international donors and international intermediary organizations. This raises critical questions about who has power in charting and supporting a CSO’s path to strengthened capacity – and what roles different actors can or should play in advancing the organizational vitality of the African CSO sector. In this thought-provoking conversation, co-sponsored by the Aspen Institute’s Aspen Planning and Evaluation Program and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, four experienced CSO leaders explore the power dynamics between funders, International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) based in the Global North, and CSOs founded and based in sub-Saharan Africa.
Our discussion draws in part on findings from the Aspen Institute’s recent report on its evaluation of the Hewlett Foundation’s strategy for supporting local advocacy in sub-Saharan Africa. This brief PowerPoint summarizes key findings on power sharing and capacity strengthening practices.
We are joined by:
- Stigmata Tenga, Executive Director, Africa Philanthropy Network
- Julius Mbeya, Managing Director, Lwala Community Alliance
- Fatime Faye, African Feminist Forum
- Coumba Toure, Co-Coordinator, Africans Rising
Cliquez ici pour version et enregistrement en Français.
Dr. Stigmata Tenga is the Executive Director of the Africa Philanthropy Network – the only network of organizations and individuals in Africa and its diaspora – that seek to reclaim the power and elevate African philanthropic models. She is an anthropologist with a career in community development and process consulting in government and civil society sectors. Stigmata has led efforts for civil society and philanthropy to become key catalysts for development processes in Africa. She is also the co-founder and President of the Foundation for Civil Society in Tanzania, a financing mechanism for civil society organizations. She serves in various non-for profit and for-profit boards.
Julius Mbeya is the managing director of the Lwala Community Alliance in Kenya. He is a public policy, governance, and human rights expert, and a public health practitioner with interest in developing innovative and effective solutions to social justice challenges and taking these to scale. An astute international development practitioner, Julius has worked to build the capacity of communities to hold their governments accountable and overcome poverty and human underdevelopment. At Lwala, Julius oversees strategy, program design and delivery. He has been a regional advisor for ActionAid Denmark in Tanzania, and UNDP in Nairobi.
Fatime K. Faye was born in 1957 in Dakar, Sénégal. After her BA in English at the University of Dakar, she worked for several years with the US mission in Senegal. She moved in 1987 to Guinea Conakry where she started freelancing. In 1989 she returned in Senegal where she engaged in workshop and meeting logistics with international organizations. She now lives in Toubab Dialaw in a small fishing village where she benevolently works with women and youth associations. Along with her professional activities, she often engaged in youth associations in the area of sports and culture, creation of enterprises for women and health. She is a member of the Association for integrated development in Toubab Dialaw, Toastmasters Clubs International and Pan African Network of Leaders (PANeL) Senegal.
Coumba Toure (moderator), born and raised between Mali and Senegal, is a writer and storyteller. She publishes children’s stories, organizes art events to enrich the minds of children, and designs education programs focused on women and children. Coumba is a board member of TrustAfrica and the co-coordinator of Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity. Her volunteer, professional, and consulting roles include work with the Institute for Popular Education in Mali, the 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement in Selma, Alabama, and Youth for Environmental Sanity in Santa Cruz California. She is a member of the African Feminist Forum and the Per Ankh collective, and has served on the board of Urgent Action Fund for Women in Africa. She is also as an advisor to the Global Fund for Women and the International Development Exchange.