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Handbook for African Women

Maximising the Leadership Potential of African Women

Handbook For African Women

West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) was established by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and the Soros Foundation Network to enhance the capacity of civil society in the region. The Institute was set up in an attempt to bridge the institutional and operational gaps identified in civil society.

WACSI is committed to the development of CSOs as strategic partners in the pursuit of democracy, good governance and national development in the sub-region.

The Institute seeks to strengthen the institutional and technical capacity of CSOs to engage in policy formulation, implementation, and the promotion of democratic values and principles in West Africa. WACSI serves as a resource center engaged in training, research, documentation, and policy dialogue for CSOs in West Africa. The advocacy work of the Institute is conducted through its policy dialogue process, which brings together different stakeholders to deliberate on topical issues that affect West African States. Position papers will be published by the institute and disseminated to policy makers.

Training and Capacity Building Philosophy

WACSIs training programmes are underpinned by the following empowering core values: Utilising indigenous regional expertise and resource persons; Developing a culture of high-quality life-long learning; Designing indigenous approaches; Fostering skills and talent development; Stimulating and supporting civil society organisational productivity. Promoting networking among CSOs.


Open Society Initiative of West Africa (OSIWA) is dedicated to supporting the creation of open societies in West Africa marked by functioning democracy, good governance, and the rule of law, basic freedoms, and widespread civic participation. OSIWA believes that it best serves by sustaining catalytic and innovative initiatives that add value to the efforts of West Africas civil society. OSIWA seeks to collaborate with advocacy groups, like-minded foundations, governments and donors. OSIWA further recognises the importance of incorporating global developments in building open societies and seeks a greater commitment to the region by rich nations.



The Angie Brooks International Centre on Womens Empowerment, Leadership Development, Peace and Security, is based in Monrovia, Liberia. The Centre supports the implementation of actions that emerged from the International Colloquium on Womens Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security, through, inter alia: a) training to empower current and future women leaders; and b) research, analysis and advocacy on womens leadership. It was established in honour of the late Angie Brooks, Liberias former Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Africas first woman President of the United Nations 24th General Assembly (1969).

Session Objectives:
To introduce users to the concept of leadership To help users explore the styles and characteristics of leadership

Training Resources
Flipchart, markers, projector (optional)

20 minutes

Brainstorming, Exercises and Mini-lecture

Mini-Lecture: What is Leadership?

Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organisation in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. There are other definitions of what leadership is. These are a few; Leadership is a process of giving purpose (meaningful direction) to collective effort, and causing willing effort to be expended to achieve purpose (Jacobs & Jacques, 1990) Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal. (Northouse, 2004) Leadership is the process of influencing the activities of an organised group toward goal achievement (Rauch & Behling, 1984)

Leadership is:
Gender-Inclusive: Ideally, men and women become partners in defining, working for, and achieving goals that benefit all. Communicative: Everyone has something to contribute and every instance of contribution becomes an instance of leadership. Purposeful: To define and elaborate a purpose is to engage in a learning process. At the same time, it is engaging in exercising power. Democratic and Egalitarian: In a communicative, participatory society, participants respect and value each other as whole human beings Means-Sensitive: The ends do not justify the means is a well-known principle of ethical behaviour across the world. This principle means that ethical people do not use unethical means to achieve goals regardless of their importance or immediacy. The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born -- that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. Thats nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.


Mini Lecture: Styles of Leadership

The leadership styles we look at here are: Autocratic leadership. Bureaucratic leadership. Charismatic leadership. Democratic leadership/participative leadership. Laissez-faire leadership. People-oriented leadership/relations-oriented leadership. Servant leadership.

Task-oriented leadership. Transactional leadership. Transformational leadership.

Autocratic Leadership
Autocratic leadership is an extreme form of transactional leadership, where a leader exerts high levels of power over his or her employees or team members. People within the team are given few opportunities for making suggestions, even if these would be in the teams or organisations interest. Most people tend to resent being treated like this. Because of this, autocratic leadership usually leads to high levels of absenteeism and staff turnover. Also, the teams output does not benefit from the creativity and experience of all team members, so many of the benefits of teamwork are lost. For some routine and unskilled jobs, however, this style can remain effective where the advantages of control outweigh the disadvantages.

Bureaucratic Leadership
Bureaucratic leaders work by the book, ensuring that their staff follow procedures exactly. This is a very appropriate style for work involving serious safety risks (such as working with machinery, with toxic substances or at heights) or where large sums of money are involved (such as cash-handling). In other situations, the inflexibility and high levels of control exerted can demoralise staff, and can diminish the organisations ability to react to changing external circumstances.

Charismatic Leadership
A charismatic leadership style can appear similar to a transformational leadership style, in that the leader injects huge doses of enthusiasm into his or her team, and is very energetic in driving others forward. However, a charismatic leader can tend to believe more in herself than in their team. This can create a risk that a project, or even an entire organisation, might collapse if the leader were to leave: In the eyes of their followers, success is tied up with the presence of the charismatic leader. As such, charismatic leadership carries great responsibility, and needs long-term commitment from the leader.


Democratic Leadership or Participative Leadership

Although a democratic leader will make the final decision, he or she invites other members of the team to contribute to the decision-making process. This not only increases job satisfaction by involving employees or team members in whats going on, but it also helps to develop peoples skills. Employees and team members feel in control of their own destiny, and so are motivated to work hard by more than just a financial reward. As participation takes time, this style can lead to things happening more slowly than an autocratic approach, but often the end result is better. It can be most suitable where team working is essential, and quality is more important than speed to market or productivity.

Laissez-Faire Leadership
This French phrase means leave it be and is used to describe a leader who leaves her colleagues to get on with their work. It can be effective if the leader monitors what is being achieved and communicates this back to her team regularly. Most often, laissez-faire leadership works for teams in which the individuals are very experienced and skilled selfstarters. Unfortunately, it can also refer to situations where managers are not exerting sufficient control.

People-Oriented Leadership or Relations-Oriented Leadership

This style of leadership is the opposite of task-oriented leadership: the leader is totally focused on organising, supporting and developing the people in the leaders team. A participative style, it tends to lead to good teamwork and creative collaboration. However, taken to extremes, it can lead to failure to achieve the teams goals. In practice, most leaders use both task-oriented and people-oriented styles of leadership.

Servant Leadership
This term, coined by Robert Greenleaf in the 1970s, describes a leader who is often not formally recognised as such. When someone, at any level within an organisation, leads simply by virtue of meeting the needs of his or her team, he or she is described as a servant leader. In many ways, servant leadership is a form of democratic leadership, as the whole team tends to be involved in decision-making. Supporters of the servant leadership model suggest it is an important way ahead in a world where


values are increasingly important, in which servant leaders achieve power on the basis of their values and ideals. Others believe that in competitive leadership situations, people practicing servant leadership will often find themselves left behind by leaders using other leadership styles.

Task-Oriented Leadership
A highly task-oriented leader focuses only on getting the job done, and can be quite autocratic. He or she will actively define the work and the roles required, put structures in place, plan, organise and monitor. However, as task-oriented leaders spare little thought for the well-being of their teams, this approach can suffer many of the flaws of autocratic leadership, with difficulties in motivating and retaining staff.

Transactional Leadership
This style of leadership starts with the premise that team members agree to obey their leader totally when they take a job on: the transaction is (usually) that the organisation pays the team members, in return for their effort and compliance. As such, the leader has the right to punish team members if their work doesnt meet the pre-determined standard. Team members can do little to improve their job satisfaction under transactional leadership. The leader could give team members some control of their income/reward by using incentives that encourage even higher standards or greater productivity. Alternatively a transactional leader could practice management by exception, whereby, rather than rewarding better work, he or she would take corrective action if the required standards were not met. Transactional leadership is really just a way of managing rather a true leadership style, as the focus is on shortterm tasks. It has serious limitations for knowledge-based or creative work, but remains a common style in many organisations.

Transformational Leadership
A person with this leadership style is a true leader who inspires his or her team with a shared vision of the future. Transformational leaders are highly visible, and spend a lot of time communicating. They dont necessarily lead from the front, as they tend to delegate responsibility amongst their teams. While their enthusiasm is often infectious, they can need to be supported by detail people. In many organisations, both transactional and transformational leadership are needed. The



transactional leaders (or managers) ensure that routine work is done reliably, while the transformational leaders look after initiatives that add value.

Using the Right Style Situational Leadership

While the Transformation Leadership approach is often highly effective, there is no one right way to lead or manage that suits all situations. To choose the most effective approach for you, you must consider: The skill levels and experience of the members of your team. The work involved (routine or new and creative). The organisational environment (stable or radically changing, conservative or adventurous). You own preferred or natural style.


A good leader will find herself switching instinctively between styles according to the people and work they are dealing with. This is often referred to as situational leadership. For example, the manager of a small factory trains new machine operatives using a bureaucratic style to ensure operatives know the procedures that achieve the right standards of product quality and workplace safety. The same leader may adopt a more participative style of leadership when working on production line improvement with her team of supervisors.

Mini-Lecture: Characteristics of Good Leadership

Beliefs are assumptions or convictions that a person holds to be true regarding people, concepts, or things. Beliefs, values, and norms guide the actions of individuals and groups. These are quite powerful as people will often risk danger and die for deeply held beliefs and values, for example, the early Christians and the soldiers of various nations. Thus, values and beliefs are the internal forces that guide us, while norms, both formal and informal, and are the external forces that guide us. In turn, knowledge of our surroundings directly influences our beliefs and values.


Values are one of the components of attitudes. Values help to determine how we will act as they help us to weigh the importance of various alternatives. They drive all organisational and individual efforts. Thus, they tell us how much worth to place on a family heirloom, such as our grandfathers watch, how much time to devote to the up-keeping of a car, our food and exercising choices, and how much time we will devote to helping a friend. An organisations values tend to take the shape of its leaders values. In turn, they hope that through such techniques as storytelling, rituals, social learning, recognition, and work relationships, that their values will also become a part of the employees values.

Character develops over time. Many think that much of a persons character is formed early in life. However, we do not know exactly how much or how early character develops. But, it is safe to claim that character does not change quickly. A persons observable behaviour is an indication of her character. This behaviour can be strong or weak, good or bad. A person with strong character shows drive, energy, determination, self-discipline, willpower, and nerve. She sees what she wants and goes after it. She attracts followers. On the other hand, a person with weak character shows none of these traits. She does not know what she wants. Her traits are disorganised, she vacillates and is inconsistent. She will attract no followers. A strong person can be good or bad. A gang leader is an example of a strong person with a bad character, while an outstanding community leader is one with both strong and good characteristics. An organisation needs leaders with both strong and good characteristics, people who will guide them to the future and show that they can be trusted.

Knowledge is information that changes something or somebody -- either by becoming grounds for actions, or by making an individual (or an institution) capable of different or more effective action.

Skills are the knowledge and abilities that a person gains throughout life. The ability to learn a new skill varies with each individual. Some skills


come almost naturally, while others come only by complete devotion to study and practice. It knows how to match the demands of a task. As a leader, WHAT are your responsibilities and HOW do you meet them? Skill consists of choosing and implementing the most efficient strategies.



Session Objectives
To introduce users to the concept of influential leadership To provide tools for users to assess their own leadership-styles

Training Resources
Flipchart, markers, projector (optional)

30 minutes

Individual Activity and Mini-lecture

Mini Lecture: Introduction to Influential Leadership

All successful organisations and Institutions need a need a strong leader to hold the vision and to direct the overarching strategies of the organisation. The leader serves as a guidelight and plays a critical role in moving the organisation forward. Leaders are often not aware of their own leadership styles and should take time to assess


Conduct your personal leadership test

Simply Tick: True or False to each question.

I feel defensive when others offer an opinion that is different from mine. I enjoy pointing out the successes of others and seeing them get honoured. I believe that certain titles should hold more influence than others. I love to hear new ideas that are different and challenge mine. I have no problem snapping back at someone who tries to make me look bad. If someone got a promotion over me, I would feel genuinely happy for their success.



I feel intimidated when someone more junior makes a strong statement that is respected by my peers. I would allow someone else to get credit if it meant moving forward versus not moving at all. I believe that my influence is directly related to my title. I am directly engaged with ensuring the people in my life succeed.

Positional Leadership
Every single one of us has experienced this type of leader. This type of leader is listened to because the people around them have to listen to them and is based on your title or the power you have been given for any number of reasons. Positional leadership is not easy. It is very Ask any parent or teacher about being a positional leader and they will tell you


firsthand how incredibly difficult it is to get someone to do something simply because of their authority. The essential problem with positional leadership is that it doesnt mean you are respected. Your staff, constituency or followers fear you but are not inspired by you to work. The problem is that positional leaders whether parents, teachers, or leaders in any organization are often unaware of how they are completely ineffective.

Examples of positional leadership:

If you make statements like do as I say, not as I do. If you believe that a certain title or acknowledgement means you will be taken more seriously. If you believe that you deserve respect because of who you are. You believe that those who are younger or who have less experience are beneath you in any way.

Influential Leadership

Unlike positional leadership that is dependent upon a specific role being placed upon a person - influential leadership can occur no matter who you are. Influential leaders may not identify themselves as leaders at all. In fact, they may not even fully understand the influence and impact they have. Influential leaders come in all shapes and sizes and they can be measured by the amount of influence they have on the people around them.

What does it mean to be an Influential Leader?

A leader knows how to accomplish goals through others, but an influential leader understands how to create an atmosphere where people have enormous desire to follow, and are fully committed to the organisations vision, and achieve well beyond the expected goals. Prodding, pushing and coercing people toward the desired outcome can also work, but that is an exhausting and draining approach for everyone. What if, instead, you had the ability to motivate and inspire others to choose to follow you? A critical distinction: Leaders get people to do things, but influential leaders are able to get people to want to do things.


What does it look like to lead by influence rather than coercion? Influential leaders

Create a compelling vision that people can relate to and see themselves in Demonstrate that they want to bring us along with them in achieving the vision Challenge us to be the best that we can be by their own example Command respect and admiration because they stand firm in their center Make us believe that we can learn from them Are authentic and have humility, and show they are willing to learn from others Encourage us to look beyond ourselves and to focus on the common good Express their own passion so contagiously, it becomes our passion too Make ideals seem possible, which inspires us to aspire to greater heights Expect more of us, more of our humanity and potential, than even we expect of ourselves

How Do You Find Your Center of Influence?

To understand how this works, we need to go inside. What are the inner qualities of an influential leader? The qualities that make people want to follow your lead? Self Knowledge What do you know about who you are and how you got to be this way? What motivates you? What hinders you? Knowing yourself well allows you to make choices that impact your influence on what goes on around you. Awareness of Self How do you stay tuned in to your self in a given moment? If you stopped to check in with yourself right now, what are you feeling physically? Emotionally? Your ability to tap into yourself awareness magnifies your intuition and provides you with the wisest counsel available you.


Awareness of Others & the System Whats going on around you? What information can you gather about the environment? Other People? The group as an entity? An influential leader is interested in what others in the system are experiencing. They stay tuned in by paying attention and asking well-crafted questions. They realize that they are only one part of the team and in order to inspire and lead, they must know whats going on with others. Curiosity Are you only minding your own business? Or are you using your curiosity to connect with and understand others on your work team? Genuine curiosity builds bridges and enhances your collaboration with others, which ultimately improves the outcome. Desire to Dialogue Do you engage your team and others in your organization in meaningful dialogue? One of the most vital skills of an influential leader is creating the space for meaningful and informative dialogue. This dialogue is rich with information. The participants learn not just about the content, but also about the energy or lack of energy (resistance) that exists around a topic. Dialogue that is stimulating but non-threatening is an opportunity to get people on board. Being an influential leader enables you to gain others buy-in and commitment to your ideas and directives and gives you the ability to have influence over people with a broad spectrum of priorities. This is a skill you can learn, and it starts with understanding how you lead from the inside out.

Workplace Tests for Leaders

If you are in a position of leadership and trying to gauge who your influential leaders are in your organization the best way is to simply begin having conversations with employees about the leaders over them. Heres what to look for:

1. Short Answers
Understand that most employees will not say anything bad about their managers for fear of repercussions. When employees work for a positional leader and are directly asked about what they think of them, they will often given short flat answers such as He or she is great. or I cant complain.



2. Results Focused
When asked to expand they will often focus in on the work rather than the individual person. Instead of talking about character traits they may begin to make statements such as: Were very efficient. or Im sure the plans will be great in the future.

3. Enthusiasm
In contrast, when interviewing a team of an influential leader that is well respected, you will find the enthusiasm in place and willingness to not only talk about the work being completed but the direct person.



Session Objectives:
To provide understanding to users the concept of leadership structures To help users ascertain potential entry points for women within leadership structures in Africa

Training Resources
Flipchart, markers, projector (optional)

40 minutes

Brainstorming and Mini-lecture

Mini- Lecture: What is a Leadership Structure?

The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority. -- Kenneth Blanchard Leadership can be described as specialised entities that perform one or more acts of leading. Also, leadership is the ability to affect human behavior so as to accomplish a mission including influencing a group of people to move towards achievement of a visionary goal. Structure is an essential and sometimes intangible concept that helps to


organise, to arrange and to give form to a particular objective. Leadership Structures are specialised institutions or organisations that are arranged and organised in a specific manner to facilitate the achievement of a mission and subsequently a visionary goal. In Africa, leadership structures are important as they define expectations of accountability, responsibility and communication for community citizens. During the colonial period, leadership was exercised mostly through hereditary traditional structures. Hereditary traditional leadership structures are the unique governance arrangements that allow leadership to be exercised by a selected family or clan. This may be in the form of a monarchy, kingdom, chiefdom and fiefdom among others. In contemporary times, the continent has moved towards building continental, regional and national governance institutions that strengthen and deepen democratic structures. Democratic leadership structures are governance arrangements that allow qualified community citizens to avail themselves for a leadership position through an election.

Currently, the continents most prominent leadership structures include the African Union, Regional Economic Communities, Arms of Government (Legislature, Executive and Judiciary) and Civil Society.

Mini-Lecture: The African Union

The African Union (AU) is an international organisation comprising all but one of Africas states as its members. Founded in 2002, the AU is the principal organisation for the promotion of economic integration, political stability, conflict resolution, and unity in Africa. It represents the new architecture of Pan-Africanism - the idea that people of African descent share common bonds and must unite to overcome common challenges.


The AU Assembly - the Assembly is currently the highest decisionmaking body of the African Union, comprising heads of states of all member countries; The African Commission - the Commission is the secretariat of the AU, responsible for preparing strategic plans and taking actions where common positions have been established. Unique among all international bodies, it guarantees gender parity of 5 women and 5 men; The Pan-African Parliament - the Parliament is comprised of five members from each national parliament, and is intended to perform only an advisory role for the first five years. After that, representatives will be elected to the Parliament and it will have full legislative powers; The Executive Council - the Council comprises the Ministers of Foreign Affairs (or other such Ministers) of member countries and is responsible for matters such as foreign trade, social security, agriculture, and communications; The Permanent Representatives Committee - the Committee comprises representatives of member states and is responsible for preparing the work for the Executive Council; The Peace and Security Council (PSC) - the 15-member Council acts as a decision-making organ for the prevention, management, and resolution of conflicts on the continent; The African Court of Justice - the Courts 11 judges are appointed by the Assembly and have jurisdiction over all cases submitted to the Court concerning the interpretation and application of the AU Charter and relevant human rights protocols ratified by member states; The Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) - the Council is an advisory organ intended to provide an opportunity for African civil society to contribute to the principles, policies, and programs of the AU. It is composed of 150 civil society organisations from member states and the Diaspora, reflecting gender parity and 50% youth representation.



The AU replaced its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). Founded in 1963, the OAU played a pivotal role in ridding the continent of colonial rule and provided support for liberation movements in southern Africa. Critics charged that the OAU came to represent primarily the interests of Heads of State, which rendered it unable to address some of the continents most pressing problems, particularly those related to poor governance. To overcome the inadequacies of the OAU, African leaders envisioned a new organization that would be more representative and effective in promoting economic development, political stability, and democracy and human rights. The African Union is an aspiring union, and as such it has ambitious plans to establish an African Standby Force, an African Monetary Fund, an African Central Bank, and an African economic zone with a single currency by 2023. The AU has made progress towards greater integration by launching the African Parliament in 2004, the Peace and Security Council in 2004, and ECOSOCC in 2005. At the AU Summit in January of 2008, the Assembly focused on the industrial development of Africa. Other issues discussed were the role of the youth in Africa, climate change, reinforcement of partnership, integration, the principle of non-indifference and peace and security within the continent. Also, emphasised was a need for African countries to respect the rules and principles of democracy. A 2006 AU report entitled An African Union Government: Towards the United States of Africa proposed a three-phase process to achieve a continental Union Government. The African states, however, have yet to reach consensus and adopt the plan.


Mini-Lecture: Entry Points for Women at the African Union

African womens fundamental contributions in their households, food production systems and national economies are increasingly acknowledged, within Africa and by the international community. This is due, in no small part, to African womens own energetic efforts to organise, articulate their concerns and make their voices heard. At both grassroots and national levels, more womens associations have been formed during the 1990s,


taking advantage of the new political openings to assert their leadership roles. They are also pressing for an expansion of womens economic and social opportunities, and the advancement of womens rights. By improving their own positions, they are simultaneously strengthening African society as a whole, as well as enhancing the continents broader development prospects. But women in Africa continue to face enormous obstacles. The growing recognition of their contributions has not translated into significantly improved access to resources or increased decision-making powers. Neither has the dynamism that women display in the economic, cultural and social lives of their communities through their associations and informal networks been channeled into creating new models of participation and leadership. Women constitute over 52% of Africas population now estimated at 800,000 million. 340 million of the total population is living below 1US$ a day. Over 60% of those living below 1US$ are women, many of whom have been condemned to abject poverty through cultural and traditional arrangements that socially exclude them from benefiting from economic growth and development. Furthermore, they cannot access basic opportunities as well as basic goods and services due to their exclusion. The situation of women on the continent requires concerted efforts to bring them to the same level as their male counterparts in all aspects of human development, security and peace. The African Union has provided a legal framework that provides for gender equality and womens empowerment. The Constitutive Act of the Union, the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, the Protocol to African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa and the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa all provide for the attainment of gender equality and womens empowerment in Africa.

In a nutshell, the Solemn Declaration states:

Gender parity to be applied to all AU programmes, including NEPAD, the Regional Economic Communities, national and local levels; Training women for transformative leadership; Compiling a directory of African women leaders; Establishing a group of women peace mediators and negotiators;



Participation of women in peace process, including prevention, resolution, management of conflicts and post-conflict reconstruction; Prohibition of the recruitment of child soldiers and abuse of girl children as wives and sex slaves; Public campaigns against gender based violence and the trafficking in women and girls; Provide treatment and social services to HIV positive women and women care givers; End discrimination against women living with HIV/AIDS; Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education by 2005 and to all other levels no later than 2015; Legislation to improve womens rights to inherit land and property; and Organise training workshops for young women on personnel and economic empowerment.

From the onset, the African Union recognised the centrality of gender equality and womens empowerment to the attainment of sustainable human development and security on the continent.

Profile of the Women, Gender and Development Directorate of the African Union
The Women, Gender and Development Directorate, (Gender Directorate) is that mechanism or vehicle through which the Commission advances the principle of gender equality through gender mainstreaming. The general objective of the gender programme of the AU is to redress gender inequalities in society, and thereby ensure that women and men have equal access to factors needed for their equal and unhindered participation in development and other processes that shape and define their conditions of life and work.

The AU gender programme involves both stand-alone womens empowerment programmes, as well as programmes to incorporate gender into all the activities of the Commission. In this regard, the Gender Directorate has a twofold approach to its work. First, a women-targeted women-in-development


approach which recognises that women are starting from a more disadvantaged position than men, and, therefore, seeks to remove the obstacles that women face. This is in order to empower women so as to enable them to compete on a level of equality with men. The second is a more holistic, all-encompassing gender-and-development approach, which seeks to ensure that women are part of mainstream activities as equal stakeholders with men.

The first approach involves activities that include specialist womens empowerment programmes such as women and education; women and health; women and poverty eradication; women in agriculture; women, trade and the economy; women in the peace process; women in politics and decision-making; the gender dimensions of ageing, and women within the NEPAD process, among others.

The second approach involves activities directed at ensuring that the Commission takes gender into consideration in all its work, so that the needs of both women and men are taken into consideration across the whole spectrum of AU activities, so as to enable both men and women to benefit equally.

The core functions of the Gender Directorate are: gender mainstreaming; coordination; advocacy; policy; performance tracking, monitoring and evaluation; gender training and capacity building; research; communication, networking and liaison.

Women and the Implementation of the SDGEA

In July 2004, the African Union (AU) embarked on a new chapter of moving forward the gender equality agenda in Africa, following the expressed commitment taken by Heads of State and Government on gender parity. The AU Commission adopted the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (SDGEA) at its Summit meeting in Addis Ababa. For the first time in history, a continental organisation took ownership of gender mainstreaming at the highest level, prioritising issues such HIV/AIDS, the recruitment of child soldiers, and the implementation of


gender-specific economic, social, and legal measures, among others. The Declaration calls for the continued implementation of gender parity in the AU and at national level, the ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, and the protection of women against violence and discrimination. Furthermore, African leaders dedicated a large portion of the Summit to a dialogue on gender equality and incorporated the African Womens Committee on Peace and Development (AWCPD) into its mechanisms. Another milestone for womens effective participation was achieved, building upon the campaign for gender mainstreaming and the principles of women, peace and security as enshrined in Resolution 1325 (2000) of the United Nations Security Council. With respect to the progress of the implementation of the SDGEA by member states, certain best practices have been identified through a study undertaken by the Women, Gender and Development Directorate. (2007)

These practices are highlighted below:


The South African government forged partnerships with NGOs to implement the UNSC 1325. In addition, the governments of Ghana, Mali, Namibia, Rwanda and South Africa have included women in peacekeeping missions and preventive diplomacy.

The governments of Burundi, Cote dIvoire and Rwanda have initiated programmes to stop child soldering in their countries. Signing of cross country agreements Mali, Cote dIvoire, Lesotho, South Africa and 10 ECOWAS countries to stop child trafficking and the proposed establishment of an agency to monitor the implementation of the law.

The South African Government annually celebrates 16 days of No Violence Campaign against Women and in 2006; it made it a year round activity. Since 2004, 6th February is commemorated as national day against Female Gentile Mutilation (FGM).


With regard to financing for development, South Africa abolished the rule of primogenitor in inheritance practices: 49% of the beneficiaries of the governments housing subsidy were women. In Algeria 76.2% of recipients of crafted related funding were women, 22,315 women obtained their farmers card and were thus able to access funding.

Mini Lecture: Women Leadership in Regional Economic Communities

The Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in Africa group together individual countries in sub regions for the purposes of achieving greater economic integration. They are described as the building blocks of the African Union (AU) and are also central to the strategy for implementing the New Partnership for Africas Development (NEPAD). Currently, there are eight RECs recognised by the AU, each established under a separate regional treaty. They are: The Arab Maghreb Union (UMA); The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); The East African Community (EAC); The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS); The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD); and The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

The Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD);

Moreover, there are additional regional economic cooperation bodies not officially recognised by the African Union as RECs, including: The Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC); The West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA/ WAEMU); The Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL); The Indian Ocean Commission (IOC);


The Mano River Union (MRU); and The Southern African Customs Union (SACU).

An Illustration of Regional Economic Communities in Africa AU RECOGNISED RECs

The Arab Maghreb Union (UMA) The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) The Community of SahelSaharan States (CEN-SAD)

The Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) The West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA/WAEMU) The Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL) The Indian Ocean Commission (IOC)

The East African Community (EAC)

The Economic Community of The Mano River Union Central African States (ECCAS) (MRU) The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) The Southern African Customs Union (SACU)


The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is a regional group of 15 West African countries, founded on May 28, 1975 with the signing of the Treaty of Lagos. Its mission is to promote economic integration. In 1976 Cape Verde joined ECOWAS, and in December 2000 Mauritania withdrew, having announced its intention to do so in December 1999. At its inception, the hope was that ECOWAS would meet West Africas developmental challenges, particularly in four key areas; 1) expanding intra-community trade, 2) promoting free movement of persons, goods and services through improving physical infrastructure, transport and communication links between countries, 3) strengthening the weak production structures in the sub region in order to reduce ECOWAS excessive external dependence and critical lack of productive activity, 4) enhancing monetary and financial cooperation in order to create a single West African currency. ECOWAS is one of the pillars of the African Economic Community. Member states of ECOWAS include: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cte dIvoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

Profile of the ECOWAS Gender Development Centre (EGDC)

The main role of the ECOWAS Gender Development Centre is to establish, develop, facilitate, coordinate and follow up the strategies and programmes aimed at ensuring that matters related to the disparities between men and women in community integration programmes and women promotion are incorporated within the framework of objectives of the ECOWAS Treaty.

Its mission is to:

Implement the management; ECOWAS policy and system of Gender

Strive for the increase in the performance of women in their fields of activities;



Ensure apprenticeship and skills needed to execute the millennium development goals on gender equality in the sub region; and Build networks and partnerships with relevant agencies and institutions for financial, technical and statutory support.

The centre is strategically structured to ensure the effective execution of its mandate. The center has a department of general coordination, a division for policy and gender programmes, a division for information technology, training and capacity building, a department of administration and finance and a secretariat.

The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has been in existence since 1980, when it was formed as a loose alliance of nine majority-ruled States in Southern Africa known as the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC), with the main aim of coordinating development projects in order to lessen economic dependence on the then apartheid South Africa. Currently, the Member States are Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The SADC vision is one of a common future, a future within a regional community that will ensure economic well-being, improvement of the standards of living and quality of life, freedom and social justice and peace and security for the peoples of Southern Africa. This shared vision is anchored on the common values and principles and the historical and cultural affinities that exist between the peoples of Southern Africa

Profile of the SADC Gender Unit

The SADC Gender Unit (GU) was established in June 1998 at the SADC Secretariat in Gaborone, Botswana. The objectives of the Gender Unit are the following: Design and elaborate a policy and institutional framework for gender mainstreaming at national and regional levels within the SADC Region;


Formulate, design and develop plans and programmes for gender

mainstreaming and gender and development at regional and national levels;

Undertake gender training and capacity building, and provide advisory and technical services to SADC institutions, Sector coordinating Units (SCUs), as well as to member states;

Undertake coordinating and catalyzing activities of gender mainstreaming and gender and development programmes of SADC institutions, SCUs, member states, NGOs, Civil Society Organisations and the Private Sector;

Cultivate and promote a culture of Gender Equality in the SADC Region, and Respect for the Human Rights of Women;

Facilitate the Achievement of Gender Equality, and Gender Equity, in Access to Economic Structures and Control of Resources in the SADC Region;

Highlight the Impact of War and Armed Conflict on the Social, Economic, Psychological and Emotional Condition of Women and Children;

Undertake the Monitoring and Evaluation of Progress made by SADC Member States in Achieving Gender Equality and Gender Equity within the Context of the SADC Plan of Action;



Promote Equality between Men and Women in the Sharing of Power and Ensure the Achievement of not less than 30% Representation in Decision-Making Structures by the Year 2005;

Promote, Encourage and Commission Research, Documentation and Dissemination on Gender Issues and Concerns by SADC Institutions, SCUs and Member States;

Develop effective strategies for the mobilisation of financial, technical and human resources.

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

In 1978, at a meeting of Ministers of Trade, Finance and Planning in Lusaka, the creation of a sub-regional economic community was recommended, beginning with a sub-regional preferential trade area which would be gradually upgraded over a ten-year period to a common market until the community had been established. The Member States of COMESA are Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. COMESAs Vision is to be a fully integrated, internationally competitive regional economic community with high standards of living for its entire people ready to merge into an African Economic Community. Several institutions have been created to promote sub-regional co-operation and development. These include: The COMESA Trade and Development Bank in Nairobi, Kenya The COMESA Clearing House in Harare, Zimbabwe The COMESA Association of Commercial Banks in Harare, Zimbabwe The COMESA Leather Institute in Ethiopia The COMESA Re-Insurance Company (ZEP-RE) in Nairobi, Kenya



Profile of the Women in Business/Gender and Social Affairs Unit

The Unit will be responsible for overseeing the mainstreaming gender within the Secretariat and COMESA Programmes. Also, the Unit is responsible for overseeing the Social and Cultural Affairs and Women in Business programmes. In addition, the Unit will promote partnerships with the private sector, civil society, international and regional institutions and other stakeholders for effective implementation of the Gender Policy.

The Unit mission encompasses:

Reviewing policies, programmes and activities of Directorates and Units with a view to integrating gender. Developing and providing training programme on gender mainstreaming and ongoing support to Directorate, Units and Member States. Developing and distributing the Gender Mainstreaming Toolkit to the Directorates, Units, Member States and other key stakeholders. Facilitating and promoting partnerships with private sector, cooperating partners and Member States and mobilising resources for various projects. Monitoring the projects implemented by womens associations under the auspices of COMESA. Ensuring representation at donor meetings and at international and regional forums

The East African Community (EAC)

The East African Community (EAC) is the regional intergovernmental organisation of the Republics of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Burundi and Republic of Rwanda with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. The Treaty for Establishment of the East African Community was signed on 30th November 1999 and entered into force on 7th July 2000 following its ratification by the Original 3 Partner States Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The regional organisation aims at achieving its goals and objectives through:



Promotion of a sustainable growth and equitable development of the region, including rational utilisation of the regions natural resources and protection of the environment;

Strengthening and consolidation of the longstanding political, economic, social, cultural and traditional ties and associations between the peoples of the region in promoting a people-centered mutual development;

Enhancement and strengthening of participation of the private sector and civil society;

Mainstreaming of gender in all its programmes and enhancement of the role of women in development;


Promotion of good governance, including adherence to the principles of democracy, rule of law, accountability, transparency, social justice, equal opportunities and gender equality; and promotion of peace, security and stability within the region and good.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Eastern Africa was created in 1996 to supersede the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) which was founded in 1986. The recurring and severe droughts and other natural disasters between 1974 and 1984 caused widespread famine, ecological degradation and economic hardship in the Eastern Africa region. In 1983 and 1984, six countries in the Horn of Africa - Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda - took action through the United Nations to establish an intergovernmental body for development and drought control in their region. The objectives of IGAD are to: promote joint development strategies and gradually harmonise macro-economic policies and programmes in the


social, technological and scientific fields; harmonise policies with regard to trade, customs, transport, communications, agriculture, and natural resources, and promote free movement of goods, services, and people within the region; create an enabling environment for foreign, crossborder and domestic trade and investment; Achieve regional food security and encourage and assist efforts of Member States to collectively combat drought and other natural and man-made disasters and their natural consequences; initiate and promote programmes and projects to achieve regional food security and sustainable development of natural resources and environment protection, and encourage and assist efforts of Member States to collectively combat drought and other natural and man-made disasters and their consequences among others.

Profile of the IGAD Gender Desk

The IGAD Gender Desk was established in December 1999. It maintains this desk to serve as IGADs Institutional Mechanism for Gender Mainstreaming and Promoting Womens participation in IGADs priority areas of focus such as Food Security and Environment, Conflict Prevention Management, and Resolution and Humanitarian Affairs and Regional Economic Co-operation.

THE overall objective of the desk is to engender policy and planning processes within IGAD with the aim of gender mainstreaming and the advancement of women in IGAD priority areas of infrastructural development, food security and environment protection, conflict prevention, management and resolution. The IGAD Secretariat has put in place a comprehensive legal and institutional framework for gender mainstreaming with a view to redress this situation and to complement the effort of the member states. The IGAD gender Policy facilitates fostering of gender perspectives into the priority areas as integral part of IGADs efforts to promote women empowerment and ensure their equal and effective participation and benefit from all development activities in the sub-region.

The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)

The Treaty Establishing the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) entered into force in December 1984, and the Executive Secretariat was established in 1985. ECCAS members are as follows: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo


(Brazzaville), Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, So Tom and Prncpe. Rwanda withdrew its membership from ECCAS in June 2007 and stopped its attempt to join SADC. ECCAS aims to achieve collective autonomy, raise the standard of living of its populations and maintain economic stability through harmonious cooperation. Its ultimate goal is to establish a Central African Common Market. ECCASs objectives are to eliminate, within the Member States, customs duties and any other import / export taxes on goods; abolish, within the Member States, limitations and all other hindrance to freetrade; Set-up and upholding of community customs rates; establish a commercial policy with non-community states; promote within the member states free movement of people, goods, services, capital and establishment rights among others.

The Arab Maghreb Union (UMA)

The Arab Maghreb Union (UMA) was established in February 1989, with Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania as its members. It aims to strengthen the economic cooperation among the countries to engender economic integration under the prerequisite of respecting every member countrys political, economic and social system and to coordinate a single stance in the fields of foreign affairs and national defense in order to safeguard the regions interests and strengthen Arab unity.


The Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD)

The community of the Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) is a sub-regional African organisation which comprises 23 member states. The Treaty of the CEN-SAD was signed in Tripoli, Libya on April 4, 1998 by the leaders of Libya, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad and Sudan. In Chad summit in 1999, Djibouti, Republic of Central Africa, Gambia, Eritrea, Somalia and Senegal joined the CEN-SAD. In Khartoum summit in 2000, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Nigeria joined the CEN-SAD community. In Sirte summit, Libya in 2002, Togo and Benin joined the community. The Community was established to achieve the following objectives: the removal of all restrictions hampering integration of member countries; free movement of persons, capital and interests of nationals of member states;


right of establishment, ownership and exercise of economic activity; free trade, movement of goods, commodities and services originating from the signatory countries; promotion of external trade through an investment policy in member states; increase of means of land, air and maritime transport and communications among member states through execution of common projects; granting nationals of the signatory countries the same rights, advantages and obligations granted to their own citizens in conformity with the provisions of their respective constitutions; and harmonisation of educational, pedagogical, scientific and cultural systems in the different cycles of education.

National Gender Machineries in Africa: The Case of Ghana

The Ministry of Women and Childrens Affairs, (MOWAC) has been spearheading a vigorous national drive to ensure that Gender Mainstreaming, gender-responsive budgeting, and women empowerment concerns become integral parts of Ghanas medium to long term development agenda. As the National Gender Machinery, MOWAC formulates and coordinates gender policies and programmes within the domain of Ghanas National Development Policy Framework (GPRS II) and in line with the MDGs to achieve specific timebound outputs and outcomes. MOWACs gender implementation strategy is predicated on effective collaboration and coordination of efforts between key sector ministries, the UN System, other Development Partners, NGOs, and Civil Society Organisations Since 2006, MOWAC has been pursuing strategic interventions to address feminized poverty, human rights violations including human trafficking, domestic violence and other forms of violence against women, sexual and reproductive health issues and related development. Attention has also been placed on promoting womens participation in decision making at all levels, critical issues underpinning the health status of Ghanaian women and children, and engaging in policy dialogue to ensure that gender effectively becomes one of the core priority areas of the governments development agenda. In 2007, the Ministry collaborated with key sector MDAs and Development Partners to move national gender equality, Rights promotion/protection and womens empowerment a step further, to be in line with the National development aspirations of Ghana. Specifically, through a joint UNDP/ UNFPA Annual Work Plan, support went towards (i) building capacity



of MOWAC personnel at the national and regional/district levels to provide policy advice on gender issues (ii) developing competencies to mainstream gender, including gender budgeting, monitoring and evaluation, data collection and analysis; and (iii) strengthening capacity to increase womens participation in public decision-making. Attention was also given to developing a national plan of action to implement the Domestic Violence Act and for its enforcement. Major achievements include the full integration of gender issues in the annual work programmes of key sector agencies. Gender Budgeting was piloted in three Ministries in 2008, a Policy document and Plan of Action for implementing the Domestic Violence Act was drafted and shared with development partners and there was commitment from the government to earmark funds to ensure gender mainstreaming and budgeting across sectors.



Session Objectives:
To provide conceptual understanding of policy advocacy to users To help users develop effective strategies and communication tools for policy advocacy

Training Resources
Flipchart, markers, projector (optional)

30 minutes

Brainstorming and Mini-lecture

Community Advocacy1
The Serabi community has been requesting for development from the government for long time. The community needs good roads, improved health facilities and schools. Recently the Local government won a bid to build a bridge in the community to improve access to bigger cities. The bridge building commenced quickly and in no time the community was full of tractors and building equipment. This has hampered movement in the community which is predominantly by riding bicycles or walking. The proposed bridges path blocks the road women take to the stream to fetch waterwhich means women now have to take a longer route to get
1 T. Ekiyor, Leadership Handbook. WACSI 2009


to the stream resulting in a delay in the completing household chores, which in turn causes tensions in homes. The influx of the construction workers in the communities has also introduced a high rate of prostitution previously unknown to Serabi and in some instances teenage pregnancy. The Local Chiefs are aware of the problem but say and do nothing because the Construction companies pay monthly royalties to the. Women in the community believe that this is wrong and needs to stop but are unsure of how to bring about change. They all want Serabi to become more developed but do not want the high social costs associated with the development. They have decided to seek advice from a womens group in Buchanan called Concerned Women for Progress

Mini lecture: Advocacy

Advocacy is an action directed at change

It involves: Putting a problem on the agenda Providing a solution to that problem Building support for that solution; and For the action necessary to implement that action Authoritative government action

What is Public Policy?

Public policy is action implemented by the government body which has the legislative, political and financial authority to do so. A reaction to real world needs and problems

Public policy seeks to react to the concrete needs or problems of a society or groups within a society, e.g., citizens, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or government bodies.


Goal oriented

Public policy seeks to achieve a particular set of elaborated objectives which represent an attempt to solve or address a particular need in the targeted community A course of action

Public policy is usually not a single decision, action or reaction but an elaborated approach or strategy A decision to do something or a decision to do nothing

The outlined policy may take action in an attempt to solve a problem or may be based on the belief that the problem will be solved within the current policy framework, and therefore takes no action. Carried out by a single actor or a set of actors

The policy may be implemented by a single government representative or body or by multiple actors A justification for action

A decision Made

Public policy is a decision already made, not an intention or promise

What is Policy Advocacy?

Policy advocacy is a strategic, concerted effort of individuals or groups to put a problem on the policy agenda. Policy analysis is any systematic analysis of any and all components of the policy process Identify gaps in current knowledge or debate, or needs that are not being addressed. Determine your own organisational position, and ability to respond.

What is Policy Analysis?

Steps in Carrying Out Policy Advocacy



The outlined policy usually includes a statement of the reasoning behind the policy

Identify concrete ways that the current policy or response should change. Identify Allies and detractors Prepare to defend your proposals. Decide the best way to intervene.

Clearly Define the Problem

This requires gathering as many reports, surveys, personal observations and other resources that accurately describe the problem you wish to address. It is difficult to effectively address problems in the environment with simply an intuitive, we see a number of youths without much to do. Know, among other things, the number of youth arrests, injuries and other incidents; what options (if any) do they have; what young people actually think about the situation.

Name the Policy Strategy

Let the name of the campaign reflect the purpose

Develop Policy Goals


In your assessment you should ask yourself: what constitutes victory? How will this policy address the problem/have an impact on the quality of life of your constituents/members and/or community? Take time to assess each of the objectives you must achieve to meet your campaign goal.

Assess Your Ability to Undertake the Campaign

Can you win? Do you have the right information? Do you have the requisite skills? What partnerships or coalitions do you need to build? What are the comparative advantages of partners involved in the advocacy?

Build Coalitions
Building broad, cohesive coalitions is critical to these efforts to policy advocacy. One way to think about coalition building is by developing a


list of groups and individuals who share the different parts of the problem youd like to address and what would each party gain from supporting the effort.

Identify Policymakers
Who is the advocacy targeting? Once youve decided what institutions or individuals have power or influence to enact your policy, then you must (through research) determine all the ways you can access and influence the process (personal contacts, media, as voters or taxpayers, freedom of information requests, etc.).

Develop an Action Plan

Once youve assessed your organisational and community capacity, Your allies Opponents Gatekeepers who have the power to enact your policy,

Develop an action plan for your campaign. The actions you take should be flexible and engage your community. Make sure that your target is clear and that the policy recommendation(s) are: within its/their power; specific; and can be articulated in a way that is easily understood

Agenda Setting

Policy Termination or Change

Policy Formulation

Policy Evaluation Policy Implementation

Policy Legitimation


What Is Your Policy Objective?

Highlight an issue or problem that the government is currently ignoring. (Agenda setting) Propose or explore potential policy responses to a given issue. (Policy formulation) Influence the selection of a potential policy response. (Policy legitimation) Improve the implementation of a law/policy/programme (implementation) Evaluate a law/policy/programme that has been implemented. (Evaluation) Change/ terminate an existing policy (policy termination or change)

10 Tips for an Effective Policy Intervention



Dont assume knowledge on the part of the decision-makers or legislators.

2. Target your intervention. 3. Provide positive proposals and options. critique. 4. Keep it short and focused. 5. Provide case studies for illustration. How did this policy affect person x? 6. Use national and international documents to support your position. Constitutions, ECOWAS, AU, WHO, UN, EU, etc. 7. Use proxies wherever possible. Stay away from mere


Opposition politicians. Larger NGOs. Coalitions. 8. Start with international best practice, and make recommendations to close the gap. 9. Link your position to resources. 10. Evaluate your intervention and build your credibility.

Examples of Positive Policy Interventions

Pro-active vs. Reactive Interventions Write a formal policy document on an issue Organise a policy briefing for legislators Letters to decision-makers Use of media

Primary or secondary research

Mini-Lecture: Considerations in the Policy Making Process

View Policy Work with a Long Lens
It is important to be aware of the time it normally takes for policy-making processes to occur (anywhere from four months to a year from the time a commitment is made to articulate a policy). CSOs need, therefore, to formulate work plans with a longer lens. However, it is also important to recognize that policy processes can be radically shortened by events like


a leadership transition or a minority government, particularly if an issue has strong public resonance.

Think like Government

CSOs need to be able to clearly show policy-makers why a policy is important given the policy-makers priorities. CSOs need to come up with answers and clearly articulated alternatives, in order to increase the chances of being heard.

Carry Out Political Landscaping

Political landscaping involves finding out who in government has the power to make changes, and learning about the leadership dynamics and the real and imagined constraints to your policy proposal within government. Clues about government priorities can be found in publicly available documents such as the Speech from the Throne, new budgets, election platforms and interviews with officials and MPs.

Current policies are usually available on departmental web sites. It is important to be aware of allies and adversaries, in government and elsewhere. It is also important to show that your idea unites and does not divide public constituencies and stakeholders, and that your organization or group is capable of building consensus even with unlikely suspects.

Research and Monitor

It is important to review all aspects of an issue, including legal, administrative, economic and social aspects. Any policy proposal also needs to have well-researched alternatives and fall-backs. Conduct ongoing evaluations and solicit feedback on policy positions. Constantly work towards better communication and refinement of what you are advocating. Horizontal policy coherence across government is starting to matter more. This includes creating public policy which is important both domestically and internationally, and creating


convergence between domestic, continental and international policies.

Be Innovative
New ideas and innovation count in the policy-making process.

Put Effort into Dialogue and Relationship building

The number and variety of actors involved in influencing policy are on the increase, and the public policy market is becoming ever more crowded. Despite all this change, the fundamentals still apply, particularly the importance of relationship-building with parliamentarians and government officials at all levels.

Consider Media and Public Pressure

It is important to think about how media and public engagement relate to policy work. Engaging with the media can be risky, in that control can be lost over the content of an advocacy effort. However, media coverage can assist in establishing a campaign for policy change, raising profile and strengthening ones hand with those who are not inclined to support the change. It can also shore up support for allies within government, and develop and accelerate momentum. It is important to have a clear process for handling media and informal inquiries (e.g., spokespeople).

Be Persistent
It is important to be persistent to demonstrate an ability to stick to the issues and produce information when needed (i.e., be helpful). Due to their limited resources, CSOs cannot afford to dabble. They need to be focused, disciplined, flexible and patient. Change takes time.



Session Objectives:
To provide information about international instruments to users To build the skills of users to influence policies using instruments

Training Resources
Flipchart, markers, projector (optional)

30 minutes


Brainstorming and Mini-lecture

Mini-Lecture: What are international instruments?

International instruments are bodies of international law that establish legal rules, which apply among sovereign states and other entities that have an international character. Examples of these include: United Nations resolutions, the Africa Union Charter, and protocols and treaties of regional economic communities such as the Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). In discussing international instruments, it is important to distinguish among the various types of instruments: treaties, conventions, resolutions and protocols, as these are used interchangeable.


Treaty: This is an international agreement concluded among states in the written form and governed by international law, whether embodied in a single instrument or on two or more related instruments and whatever its particular designation(Vienna Convention: 1969). This definition was expanded in the 1986 Vienna Convention to include international agreements involving international organisations as parties. In this regard, a treaty is now defined as a binding agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely states and international organisations. Treaties are called several names: treaties, international agreements, protocols, covenants, conventions, exchange letters, and exchange notes. Convention: This is an international treaty concluded among states in written form and governed by international law. Though employed in the past for bilateral agreements, it is now generally used for formal multilateral treaties with a broad number of parties. Conventions are normally open for participation to the international community as a whole, or to a large number of states. Conventions are generally binding. Protocols: This is a treaty of international agreement that supplements a previous treaty or convention. It can amend the previous treaty, or add provisions. Parties to the earlier agreement are not required to adopt the protocol; sometimes, this is made clearer my calling in an optional protocol especially where parties to the first agreement do not support the protocol. It can be called an additional protocol. Resolutions: These are formal decision of the meeting agreed to by a vote. There are not laws and therefore are not binding. Governments follow resolutions because they represent the worlds opinion on major international issues. Resolution can be theme-specific (for example United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security), country specific (for example United Nations Security Council Resolution 1700 on Iraq), or conflict specific ( for example United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 on situation in the Middle East, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1681 on the situation between Eritrea and Ethiopia). Governments must adhere to the instruments that they have signed, for example ratification.


How to Use International Instruments


Policy-makers must ensure that governments implement instruments they have ratified. Awareness must be raised among citizens on the existence of instruments. Civil society and citizens must hold governments and policy-makers accountable for implementing instruments.

Engendering Instruments and Mechanisms

Engendering mechanisms means ensuring that gender issues are taken into account in the conceptualisation, design and implementation phases of new instruments. The key questions to ask in the process of engendering instruments are: Were women and men part of the conceptualisation process of the instrument? Were women and mens issues and concerns identified in the design phase of the instrument? Were women and men involved in the drafting and the design of the instrument?

Are women and men going to be involved in the implementation of the instrument? Are women and men going to be part of the processes to evaluate the implementation of the instrument?

International Instruments and Mechanisms for Women in the Context of Peace and Security
There are a number of international instruments and mechanisms for women in the context of peace and security. These can be categorised into global, continental, regional and national (local).

1. Global (International)
UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000): This call on the governments and the UN to ensure the participation of women in maintenance of peace and security. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination


Against Women (CEDAW) 1979: This seeks to eradicate discrimination in all areas of womens lives; and calls for the increased participation of women in decision making processes at all levels. Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPFA), 1995: This document highlights 12 critical areas of concern regarding women, and calls for the full participation of women in decision-making, conflict resolution and all other peace initiatives. Though it is not a binding document, signatories do have a commitment to fulfil their obligations. CEDAW Optional Protocol (1999): This strengthens enforcement and compliance with CEDAW and allows for the submission of written claims of violations by non-state actors (individuals or organisations) directly to the CEDAW committee that monitors compliance. Beejing +5 (2000): This is a five year review of the BPFA. It call for the mainstreaming of gender perspectives into national policies, and efforts to promote education and training for women in leadership, advocacy and conflict resolution. The Commonwealth Secretariat Plan of Action (PoA) fo Gender Equality 2005 -2015: This works towards the attainment of the millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and gender equalities as expressed in the BPFA and Beijing + 5 Political Declaration and Outcome Document. It adopts a rights-based approach to all critical areas; and prioritises four critical areas: Gender, democracy, peace and conflicts; Gender, human rights and laws; Gender, poverty eradication and economic empowerment; Gender and HIV/AIDS


Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC)s Guidelines on Conflict, Peace and Development Cooperation (1997): The recommendation of OECD members that they reinforce local capacities to influence policy, and tackle social and political exclusion; and actively engage women in peace-building and policy-making processes.


2. Continental (African)
There has been significant progress in engendering instruments on the African continent.

a. The African Union

The African Union in its organs and instruments have highlighted the importance of including and involving women in all aspects of decisionmaking, including peace and security. i. The Consultative Act of the Africa Union highlights gender equality. The Commission of the African Union, which drives the agenda of the Union, will have 50 percent representation of women. It has also established a gender promotion directorate in the office of the Chairperson to co-ordinate all activities and programmes of the Commission. All these initiatives convey that womens political participation is important and has improved at the continental level. The protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa is a landmark agreement that has focused on women at the continental level. It is a document that seeks to address the shortcomings of other international instruments in dealing with the African womens human rights. It has vastly improved the existing African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, by dealing specifically with issues relevant to women such as: Womens equal rights in marriages, separation, and divorce; Womens right to participate in political and decision making processes; Womens rights to education, economic and social welfare and health, including reproductive health; Womens rights to protection in armed conflicts; Widows rights and inheritance rights; Womens protection from harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation; and Womens reproductive rights including authorisation of abortion in cases of sexual assaults, rape, incest, and where pregnancy endangers mother or foetus.


The protocol also explicitly sets standards for addressing public and private violence against women in Africa. Article 4, for example, charges state parties with taking appropriate and effective measures to address issues of punishment for perpetrators of violence against women, rehabilitation



of victims of violence, trafficking in women, amongst others. Article 11 refers to the protection of women in armed conflicts and calls on states to respect rules of international humanitarian law applicable to conflict situations push states to protect women and ensure perpetrators are brought to just before a competent criminal jurisdiction.

b. The New Partnership for Africas Development (NEPAD)

The partnership is designed to address current challenges facing the African continent. Issues such as escalating poverty, underdevelopment and the continued marginalisation of Africa needed a new radical intervention, spearheaded by Africa leaders, to develop a new vision that would guarantee Africas renewal.

Key objectives of NEPAD


To eradicate poverty; To place African countries, both individually and collectively, on a path of sustainable growth and development; To halt the marginalisation of Africa in the globalisation process and enhance its full and beneficial integration into the global economy; and To accelerate the empowerment of women. Good governance as a basic requirement for peace, security and sustainable political and socio-economic development; African ownership and leadership, as well as broad and deep participation by all sectors of society; Anchoring the development of Africa in its resources and the resourcefulness of its people; Partnership amongst African people; Acceleration of regional and continental integration; Building the competitiveness of African countries and the continent; Forging a new international partnership that changes the unequal relationship between Africa and the developed world; and

Principles of NEPAD include:


Ensuring that all partnership with NEPAD is linked to the Millennium Development Goals and other agreed development goals and targets. Peace and security; Democracy and governance; Capacity-building. good, political, economic and corporate

Priority areas of NEPAD include:

Regional co-operation and integration; and

NEPAD has a Gender Directorate for Women, Gender and Development and a NEPAD Gender and CSOs Unit that ensures the implementation of their AU Solemn Declaration for Gender Equity in Africa.

3. Regional Instruments
a. Southern African Development Community (SADC): The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is made up of 14 member states. It evolved from the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADC) in 1992. The primary goal of the Community is regional integration and economic development; however, given that stability is a key factor for achieving these goals, the objectives of the community also include a focus on the promotion of peace and security. In this regard, the Organ in Defence, Politics and Security Co-operation was established in 1996 to oversee issues relating to peace, security and stability. In 2001, the Organ adopted a Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security. Some of the key instruments in SADC that promotes womens rights in the context of peace and security include the SADC Plan of Action on Gender (1999); the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) adopted by the Head of States and Government extraordinary summit in 2001; and the Strategic Indicative Plan for Organ (SIPO) of 2004. b. Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS): ECOWAS was established in 1975 with the primary goal of promoting regional economic integration. Due to instability in a number of its member states, ECOWAS expand its scope to include issues relating to peace and security. It began to intervene in the conflict in its member states in an effort to ensure that an environment of relative peace and



stability (a prerequisite for economic development) is maintained for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping and Security, thus providing ECOWAS with the capacity to operate in the areas of conflict prevention, conflict management and resolution, peace-keeping, humanitarian support, peace-building and sub regional security. The ECOWAS Mechanism as it is usually calledestablished several organs that address the peace and security situation in the sub region. These include Mediation and Security Council; the Defence and Security Commission; the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Monitoring Group (ECOMOG), a standby peacekeeping force; an early-warning system; and a Council of Elders. In the ECOWAS Secretariat, there is a Department of Political Affairs, Defence and Security, which is responsible for policy formulation and implementation in all military peacekeeping and humanitarian operations, and for the control of the observation and monitoring centre (both in the secretariat and in the hubs). In 2001, a Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance was adopted to complement the Mechanism, but, except for one clause each, both the Mechanism and its Supplementary Protocol are silent on the issue of gender (especially on womens issues).

c. Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Eastern Africa was created in 1996 to supersede the intergovernmental Authority on Droughts and Development (IGADD) which was founded in 1986 with a narrow mandate to address the issues of drought and desertification. The priority areas for co-operation for IGAD member states are: conflict prevention; management, resolution and humanitarian affairs; infrastructure development (for example, of transport and communications); food security; and environmental protection. Its structure consists of an Assembly of Head of States and Governments; a Council of Ministers; a Committee of Ambassadors; and a Secretariat. As regards peace and security, IGAD has been largely involved in the peace efforts of its member states Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea and on conflict early-warning. d. The peace and security structures of all three regional economic commission described above are highly militaristic in nature and focus primarily on the security of states rather than the security if persons.


Given that the military institution in Africa is largely perceived as a mass preserve, this separation between the security of the state and human security entrenches the systematic non-or underrepresentation of women in these structures. When analysed from an institutional perspective there is little or no correlation between these regional peace and security structures and regional gender bodies in these commissions. Each operates independently from the other and addresses their respective issues in a compartmentalised manner. There is a strong argument for increased collaboration and synergy between the region peace and security structures and gender units of directorates.

5. Local Instruments
Local instruments are the key to realising the aspiration engender. Often Africa governments commit to regional and continental instruments related to gender and womens issues, but they do not abide by those same principles in their countries. For examples, though the AU is striving for 50 percent representation of women in decision-making processes, many African countries have still not reached the previous 30 percent quota. Local instruments also vary in terms of the customary and religions laws that influence society. For example, in some countries Sharia law influences the implementation of instruments. For a long time, the language of national constitutions reflected the fact that women were not part of the conceptualising or design phase or, if they were, they were not gender sensitive women. For example, the previous constitution of Nigeria contained sections that said .... The President...He Shall. This conveyed the message that the presidency was the domain of men. Constitutions reflect the psyche and beliefs of the people of a country, and language is an important indicator of that psyche. The table below summarises policy instruments and legal mechanisms that exist in Africa:


Policy Instruments and Legal Mechanisms in Africa

CONTINENTAL African Charter and its organs African Commission African Court on Human and Peoples Rights African Court of Justice Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa

West Africa ECOWAS Treaty ECOWAS Mechanism on Conflict Resolution East Africa IGAD Treaty Southern Africa SADC Declaration on Gender

National constitutions Relevant nationals law, for example Rwanda genocide law Traditional systems of conflict resolution, for example, Gacaca Religious mechanisms, for example, Islamic law (Sharia)


Regional Indicative Strategic African Union Development Constitutive Act Plan (RISDP) and its organs NEPAD Conference on Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation in Africa (CSSDCA) Strategic indicative Plan for the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security (SIPO)


GROUP WORK: Strategies for including women

What strategies can female decision makers use to ensure that continental instruments are implemented at the national level?

Exercise: Know your constitution

a. What aspect of your constitution specifically provide for women? b. In which ways does your constitution discriminate against women?





Session Objectives:
To provide a conceptual understanding of the nature of civil society in Africa To proffer knowledge on the constituents of civil society and its relationships with other sectors

Training Resources
Flipchart, markers, projector (optional)

30 minutes


Brainstorming, Exercises and Mini Lecture

a. Read the following definition of civil society. Underline the words that you think are key to defining what civil society means to you as an African woman.
It is the space of organised activity not undertaken by either the government or the private sector. It includes formal and informal associations such as: voluntary and community organisations, trade unions, faith-based organisations, co-operatives, political parties, professional and business associations, youth organisations, informal citizen groups and social movements. Participation in or membership of such organisations is voluntary in nature.


b. Name five different types of Civil Society Organisations

a. . b. . c. . d. . e. .

Mini-Lecture: Understanding Civil Society in Africa

The Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) of the African Union defines civil society as comprising social groups; professional groups; NGOs, community-based organisations (CBOs), voluntary organisations; and cultural organisations, among other segments in which women, children, national diasporas and elements of the private sector such as market womens associations and the media are listed. The World Bank defines civil society as the wide array of nongovernmental and not-for-profit organisations that have a presence in public life, expressing the interests and values of their members or others, based on ethical, cultural, political, scientific, religious or philanthropic considerations. Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) therefore refer to a wide of array of organisations: community groups, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), labor unions, indigenous groups, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations, and foundations. Civil society in Africa is associational and has gradually become a platform for public policy dialogue, research and capacity building. As an associational platform, it is characterised as the space of organised activity not undertaken by either the government or the private sector. It includes formal and informal associations such as: voluntary and community organisations, trade unions, faith-based organisations, cooperatives, political parties, professional and business associations, youth organisations, informal citizen groups and social movements. Participation in or membership of such organisations is voluntary in nature.



In addition, civil society has become an arena for public deliberation and the exercise of active citizenship in pursuit of common interests. It is the public space in which societal differences, social problems; public policy, government action and matters of community and cultural identity are developed and debated. These public spaces might be physical in nature, such as capacity building centers, or virtual, such as on-line social networking platforms. Civil society in Africa finds expression in the following types of organisations and groupings: Non Governmental Organisations Faith Based Organisations Community Based Organisations Traditional Chiefs Queen Mothers Associations Youth Movements Market Women Associations Media Public Policy Institutes Academia

Trade Unions

Non Governmental Organisations

Non-governmental organisations (NGO) are legally constituted organisations created by natural or legal persons with no participation or representation of any government. In the cases in which NGOs are funded totally or partially by governments, the NGO maintains its nongovernmental status insofar as it excludes government representatives from membership in the organisation. In many jurisdictions these types of organisations are defined as civil society organisations or alternative terms.

Faith Based Organisations

Faith Based Organisations are philanthropic in nature, constituted as a charity or non-profit, and aligned with one of the worlds major


religions. They are charcterised as organisations that are religious in nature and separate from government, public or private secular organisations.

Traditional Chiefs
Traditional Chiefs play a role in maintaining local cultures and traditions in a specific community. Many also form the group of Kingmakers who select the traditional ruler. The chief positions are hereditary. When a traditional chief dies, their families perform rites and then meet to determine the new chief. Once one or more candidates are chosen by the family, they are presented to a local group of Kingmakers who make the final decision.

Queen Mother Associations

Queen mother associations are a group of organised queen mothers (the mothers of traditional rulers) who form a voluntary group to develop a specific community, region or locality. They are very influential in African society and have been known to be involved in the process of choosing a king or chief.

Youth Movements

Youth movements are an attempt to organise individual young people into a unified identity. In Africa, these movements find expression in youth organisations, community watchdog associations and keep-fit clubs among others. Also, a growing number of organisations and individuals are calling for a worldwide youth movement, built around information technology, political and social action, and other platforms. There are a seemingly infinite number of youth movements in Africa, both historical and contemporary in nature

Market Women Associations

Market women associations are groupings of women who have come together to participate in the administration and supervision of activities in informal markets in Africa. For instance, they have played crucial roles in maintaining public places of convenience and ensuring that traders pay their taxes.


Media which is sometimes referred to as the fourth estate of the realm is the sum of the public and private mass distributors of news and entertainment across newspapers, television, radio, broadcasting, which may require union membership in some large markets such as newspaper guilds and text publishers. Media practitioners include journalists, broadcasters, talk-show hosts, on-line publishers among others. Media can exist in a number of forms including mass media, advertising media, electronic media, hypermedia, multimedia, print media, broadcast media, published media, news media and new media.

Trade Unions
Trade unions or labor unions are organisations run by and for workers who have banded together to achieve common goals in key areas such as wages, hours, and working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members (rank and file members) and negotiates labour contracts (collective bargaining) with employers. This may include the negotiation of wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring, firing and promotion of workers, benefits, workplace safety and policies. The agreements negotiated by the union leaders are binding on members and the employer and in some cases on other non-member workers.

Public Policy Institutes

Public Policy Institutes are private, non-profit organisations dedicated to independent, nonpartisan research on international, regional and national economic, social, and political issues. In addition, some of these institutes engage in capacity building and policy advocacy interventions.

Academia is a community of students and scholars engaged in higher education and research. It has come to connote the cultural accumulation of knowledge, its development and transmission across generations and its practitioners and transmitters. Examples of Academic Institutions of higher learning include Universities, Colleges, Polytechnics, Institutes and Vocational Institutes among others.





Session Objectives:
To provide knowledge on the relationship between governments and civil society in Africa To build collaborative capacity between civil society and governments in Africa

Training Resources
Flipchart, markers, projector (optional)

30 minutes

Brainstorming and Mini Lecture

Mini-Lecture: Strengthening Civil Society and Government Relations

Civil society is known as the third sector in society. This sector exists between the public sector or government, and the private sector. Civil society has long existed in West Africa but became dormant reverting to hidden and less obvious forms of resistance and struggles during the early post-colonial phase of neo-colonial consolidation. During the late 1980s civil society was at the forefront of large numbers of political protests and massive coalitions for multi-partism and democratisation. Currently, civil society in Africa consists of a large body of associations and civil institutions, most of which are modern, though they assume



traditional forms and symbols. They are mainly urban based and include labour unions, religious associations, ethnic associations, womens organisations, professional associations, employers and occupational bodies, student and youth groups, cooperatives/mutual help associations, special interest groups such as human rights organisations, and a new range of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as community and neighbourhood groups and philanthropic and welfare associations. Their new approaches, global linkages, and publicised advocacy have prompted the rediscovery and emergence of a new breed of civil society actors Civil society cannot be analysed in isolation from the state. CSOs and government are mutually dependent on each other. The state provides the legal framework for CSOs, and may assure rules of engagement, procedures for consultations, and even financial resources. Governments can also create an unfavourable enabling environment for civil society to function. Conversely, civil society can contribute to the state as a link between state and citizens, in promoting democratic values, building institutions, producing information and ideas, and building social capital. In the specific context of weak states, this relationship takes a different form and is often much narrower. In its most extreme form, CSOs substitute for an absent state and perform tasks normally carried out by the state, for example during conflict situations as witnessed in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote dIvoire. State, civil society relations are also antagonistic and adversarial during autocratic regimes as civil society is viewed as the voice of opposition to the state. However as the state becomes more functional and democratic, the role of civil society changes but should remain relevant. In these instances, it is important that civil society and state interactions are not mandatorily adversarial. Civil society should serve as a watchdog ensuring that the state fulfils the expectations of citizens. Civil societys professional expertise should also be available to strengthen state institutions and structures. Similarly, the state should provide parameters for civil society to function through objective and appropriate legislation.



Seeking Productive CSO Government Policy Dialogue

In seeking to undertake policy dialogue with government, there are several factors that CSOs should consider.

Dialogue Toolbox The Content

Productive policy dialogue depends on openness on the part of government to participate in such dialogue and to take on board new ideas. The policy dialogue between government and the CSO is important, actual openness to input at specific times or on particular issues may vary. CSOs need to familiarize themselves with the political landscape in order to have a sense of whom (politicians, senior civil servants, midlevel servants) open to dialogue, on what issues, and for what reasons. CSOs need to have a good idea of where issues are in the decision making process. During the earlier stages of policy development, when options are still open, a different type of dialogue may be possible than later in the process. It is also important to understand the difference between consultation and dialogue. Simply stating positions or exchanging information is not dialogue. Government openness to listening to input from CSOs does not necessarily mean openness to dialogue, which implies some mutual engagement, exploration and taking on-board of new ideas. CSOs themselves also need to be ready to dialogue, have a good understanding of the issue and of the broader environment, and be open to engaging, debating and adjusting their positions. And of course, the policy process being the complex and sometimes unpredictable process that it is, even productive policy dialogue processes may not yield the results anticipated. Larger political factors- elections, new Ministers, budget concerns, international events- can lead to rapid changes in policy direction. Neverthless, good policy dialogue has benefits in terms of building relationships between policy makers and CSOS and deepening understanding of issues in both sectors.

Organising Opportunities
CSOs should seek innovative ways to dialogue with governments. Dialogue forums should be designed in areas governments what their policies to be known. CSOs should not organise forums that seem like



traps for government officials. The strategic benefit of engaging these forums should be clear to both sides. Preparation is vital; succinct issues papers prepared and distributed all participants well in advance will help focus discussion Ideally, planning of such events should also be done in collaboration, with ongoing consultation on process and content. Roles should be clear and leadership shared. Different dialogue processes based on deliberative dialogue, for example, may be appropriate in some cases It is also important to pursue opportunities for ongoing, more informal dialogue and relationship-building with policy makers

Mini-Lecture: Existing structures to enable CSO- Government Interaction in Africa

Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union (ECOSOCC)
The Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union (ECOSOCC) was established under the provisions of Articles 5 and 22 of the African Unions Constitutive Act, ECOSOCC is the vehicle for building a strong partnership between governments and all segments of African civil society. The Statute of ECOSOCC, adopted by the Heads of State and Government at the Third Ordinary Session of the Assembly in July 2004 define it as an advisory organ of the African Union composed of different social and professional groups of the Member States of the African Union [Assembly/AU/Dec.42 (III)]. The composition of ECOSOCC includes African social groups, professional groups, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), and cultural organisations. The distinctive character of the African Unions ECOSOCC is that it is an opportunity for African civil society to play an active role in charting the future of the Continent, organizing itself in partnership with African governments to contribute to the principles, policies and programmes of the Union.



The West African Civil Society Forum

ECOWAS in partnership with key civil society organisations founded the West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF)2 in 2003. WACSOF is a network of civil society organisations from the 15 ECOWAS states. WACSOF members are from diverse backgrounds with experience in peace building, education, health, democracy, human rights, and gender. The rationale for creating a regional civil society forum was based on the need to formalise dialogue between regional civil society organisations (CSOs) and the ECOWAS secretariat in Abuja, Nigeria. WASCOF involves civil society in the process of elaborating, implementing, monitoring and evaluating political, security, economic, social and cultural programmes of ECOWAS. The aims and objectives of WACSOF broadly include the pursuit and promotion of continuous dialogue and engagement between civil society organisations in the sub region, ECOWAS and national authorities on vital issues that affect the citizenry, and to support the process of political and socio-economic development and integration of the sub region. In doing so, WACSOF seeks to promote and improve human security, peace, and regional integration.
2 The West Africa Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) was pioneered by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Nigeria, and International Alert, London.




Session Objectives:
To provide a clear understanding to users on media advocacy To strengthen the media advocacy skills of users

Training Resources
Flipchart, markers, projector (optional)

15 minutes

Brainstorming and Mini Lecture

Mini-Lecture: How to Use the Media for Policy Advocacy

Media advocacy is the strategic use of news making through television, radio and newspapers to promote public debate, and generate community, national, regional and international support for changes in norms and policies.


This is an information piece about your message or event that is sent to the news media. To grab the attention of news editors and assignment desks, advisories need to: be clearly, concisely and cleanly written


contain all the vital information of WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW have a contact name and telephone number for more information or interview arranging


This is an information piece about your message, news story or event with more depth and detail than an advisory. News releases are especially helpful to smaller newspapers and radio stations that cant write or get out to every story. Parts of a good news release will be printed or used in a news short just as submitted. It tells a story and comes to life with: facts and figures names and quotes calls to action


Community groups can generate news interest by creating events for the media. The goal is to achieve coverage not for simple publicity purposes, BUT for spreading your advocacy message. Media events need to be: brief simple new information and/or action focused strategically timed for television they must also be visual for radio they must have good sound

These can be very effective for advancing your advocacy goals, BUT require careful planning and preparation. Do your homework be prepared with


main talking points, data, arguments and counter arguments. Before accepting an interview invitation, know all you can about the station or paper. Be clear about their ground rules, the host and any politics. Is the host or interviewer truly interested in serious discussion OR just going to provoke conflict and confrontation? If you are not sure, remember not all exposure is good exposure.


These go into one of the most widely read sections of newspapers. Letters from readers create a public forum. They are heavily read and help to define community sentiment on current issues. These letters need to brief and well focused on a single point. Many newspapers publish guidelines for writing and submitting letters in their letters section.

These are columns usually opposite a newspapers editorial page. While usually written by established journalists, many papers will publish guest columns or opinion pieces by issue experts in the community. It is important to know a papers policies and requirements regarding guest Op-Eds. These columns, being longer than letters, provide the opportunity for more in-depth presentation of issues and solutions.


These may be useful as part of a larger media advocacy design. However, production costs, lack of control over if and when they are broadcast, and political sensitivities regarding message content suggest PSAs are not that practical or effective an element in media advocacy activity.

Media advocacy, like all aspects of public policy advocacy, must be strategic. You need to have a clear sense of your objectives, of who you need to reach and move, and a plausible plan for how to do that.



What Are You Trying To Accomplish?

Be clear about who your audience is for your media work and what you are trying to achieve public awareness, changing votes, pressuring a lawmaker, promoting your organization. The way you use the media will be different for each one.

Designing Your Message

All media work is ultimately about communicating a message, hopefully an effective one. First, have a message that genuinely appeals to your audience, not just yourselves. Then frame that message in a way that puts your position in the best light and your opponents in the worst. Use symbols to make your message powerful people, places and images that have public meaning. Finally, communicate your message in short sound bites that reporters can use.

Make Your Story Newsworthy

Your story is in competition with dozens of others happening on the same day. You can make your story more attractive to the media if you focus on making it new, making it human, creating a debate, linking it to something else big that is already in the news or even better, all four at once. You also help yourself by building solid relationships with media practioners.


Media Materials - The Tools of the Trade

Effective media advocacy uses a specific set of tools and materials: media lists for your area and issue; news advisories to let the press know of an upcoming event; news releases which write the story your way and include all the facts; and other background information, whatever reporters will need to write the story.


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http:/ /en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youth_movement