Call for Applications: West Africa Regional Connector (RC)

 

 

 

I4C Africa Hub is pleased to announce this call for applications for a West African Regional Connector/RC. The West Africa Regional Connector/RC will encourage collaboration with organizations in the West African Region to support the following Key Focus Areas, which align with the I4C Africa Hub’s Work

Plan and mandate:

  1. Building Camaraderie Through Mobilization – improving civil society’s capacity to foster solidarity amongst countries and individuals affected by closing civic space.
  2. Creating Digital Resources – Sustaining an interactive and easy to use online resource centre essential to campaigning for a more open civil society.
  3. Offering Legal Solutions – providing analysis of regulations and administrative decisions and referrals for individuals or organisations spanning the continent.

The I4C Africa Hub encourages Youth Organizations, CSOs, community and/or people’s organizations, based in the West African Region, to apply. These organizations must be fully registered and have a footprint across West Africa spanning a minimum of three (3) years.

Introduction to Innovation for Change (I4C)

Innovation for Change (I4C) is a growing global network of people, organizations and online Hubs with seven (7) connected regional centres in Africa, Central Asia, East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), South Asia and the Pacific. An eighth (8th) Global Innovation Hub, co-facilitated by CIVICUS, supports project implementation and drives innovation across the entire network.

Here, people connect, partner and learn together to find positive approaches to overcome barriers to closing civic space and restrictions to our basic freedoms of assembly, association and speech. As a community-led network, these shared working spaces inspire the exchange of ideas, the sharing of successes, debates about the challenges of today and the creation of sustainable solutions and opportunities that can shape positive social change for tomorrow. Our networks spark collaborations within civil society as well as partnerships with social and technology businesses and academia. We help power methods, create campaigns and drive programme development across sectors by offering advisory services, education and training, convening and network building, fundraising, free online tools/digital literacy and support with technology product development.

Innovation for Change (I4C) Africa Hub

Civil society around the world is under significant and growing pressure as restricted freedoms, including those on funding, barriers to registration, interventions on how and where to operate, funding limitations, and open political harassment have become the norm. This internal and external pressure is leading to dwindling space for civic engagement as well as a shrinking role for civil society in advocacy. The existence, survival and sustainability of many civil society organizations (CSOs) now depends on innovative responses that allow for inventive options to scale up and continue the critical work they are currently undertaking.

Launched in 2017, the Africa Hub – based in Nairobi, Kenya – has been working to strengthen the capacity of civil society through promoting home-grown African solutions to problems and uniting civil society, HRDs & activists to create a common voice across the continent, bringing all of Africa together to fight for an open operating environment. As a result of being part of a global network, it offers network members access to the latest thinking, resources and collaborations, as well as seeks to create platforms for connecting civil society, minority & indigenous groups working in closed, closing & open spaces, to combat many of the restrictions placed on civic freedoms and the expansion of civic space.

It has become a vital new physical and online space for regional ideas and social innovations, powered by its dynamic, growing community of civic space advocates, including CSOs, technologists,

and cross-sectoral partners.

 

What are Regional Connectors/RCs?

Since its inception in 2017, the I4C Africa Hub has continuously engaged regional partners and/or organizations to assist with the implementation of the Hub’s sub-regional activities in support of

civic space expansion initiatives. The I4C Africa Hub works with implementing partners in each of the continent’s following sub-regions/locations:

  • Central Africa
  • East Africa
  • North Africa
  • Southern Africa
  • West Africa

As a pan-African organization that fosters home-grown African solutions to problems, the I4C Africa Hub works with regional partners to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Helping to unite civil society, human rights defenders and activists to create a common voice across the continent, bringing all of Africa together to fight for an open operating environment;
  1. Being a multi-stakeholder platform for innovation, that emphasize new ideas, practices, creativity, insight, empowerment and services which arise through interaction, with the aim of building expansive networks and improving existing situations;
  1. Establishing a community of practice that brings together all actors for experience and knowledge sharing of best practices; and
  1. Building and retaining a Hub membership that is all-inclusive.

Specific Objectives

By supporting civil society, the I4C Africa Hub aims to facilitate and convene various actors across the region through strengthening and connecting them, matching resources to priority needs and advising on key issues as well as providing capacity-building support. Specifically, it aims to:

  1. Develop and sustain an interactive and easy to use online resource centre essential to the campaign for the opening and maintaining of civil society space.
  1. Provide rapid support and legal analysis of regulations, administrative decisions and referrals for individuals or organizations in Africa.
  1. Improve the ability of civil society to mobilize and provide solidarity to countries or individuals affected by closing civic space.
  1. Facilitate and coordinate alliance building among networks and relevant organizations across Africa and beyond.
  1. Grow and sustain the Hub’s position as a continental platform for protecting and expanding civic space in Africa.

Scope of Work of the West African Regional Connector (RC)

The West African Regional Connector/RC plays a key role in supporting the Africa Hub to implement its programs and projects. It also assists in the development of the Hub’s network as a whole; as well as drive innovation, new practices and learning by:

  • Providing technical input into the I4C Africa Hub’s activities to ensure that they are relevant and culturally appropriate; and, to ensure and strengthen engagement with the local civil

society organizations, marginalized groups, youth and tech organizations;

  • Supporting the visibility of the Africa Hub across the region, through mapping of civil society organizations and enabling them to become part of the Innovation for Change (I4C) Platform;
  • Providing management, organizational and logistical support to local, regional and continent-wide training and networking events, including supporting participant identification and logistics, identifying and managing the venue, and developing and managing conference programs;
  • Mobilizing and reaching out to participants and organizations in support of the Hub’s events (online and offline);
  • Collecting data and research information through consultation with various the I4C Africa Hub Consultants; and
  • Providing support to the I4C Africa Hub Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) activities within the sub-region; including data tracking and management.

Why Apply to be a West African Regional Connector (RC)?

The West African Regional Connector/RC will receive a sub-award as and when funds are available and dedicated for the sub-region, in alignment with the I4C Africa Hub’s Work Plan, to support the I4C Africa Hub’s continued efforts to protect, respect, strengthen, recover and expand civic space across Africa. The sub award will build off earlier efforts to expand the Hub’s reach. This includes building a support system and increasing the capacity of the Hub’s network members, providing critical support and services to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and creating more demand-driven initiatives from the field and through various organizations, individuals and groups whether community-based, networks, grassroots or technical organizations who might require specific support and/or services.

In addition, further benefits of being a Regional Connector (RC) for the Africa Hub include:

  1. Numerous networking and collaboration opportunities to increase the impact and sustainability of your organization’s work and provide visibility to it amongst national, international, and local NGOs, research and policy think-tanks, the private and public sector and the media;
  2. Being part of a strong civic movement and network membership with similar values; interested in contributing to work around civic space expansion and the development of a sustainable Africa;
  3. Exchanging Lessons Learned, Best Practices, and learning about solutions being used by other organizations in the region and stay abreast of the latest industry developments; and broader access to a wider range of resources and new and valuable knowledge.

Reporting Lines

The RCs will work closely with I4C Regional Hub Manager and the Programmes Implementation Unit (PIU). The assignments will be supervised by the I4C Africa Hub’s Regional Manager who will also be the contact person for the duration of the project.

How to Apply

To register your organization’s interest, please submit the following documents to

africa@innovationforchange.net before Friday, 9 September, 2022:

  1. Application Letter/Expression of Interest detailing why your organization would be a good fit
  2. Organization Profile
  3. Organization Registration Certificate
  4. Bank Letter of Good Standing
  5. Letter of Support from a CSO Partner