Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Assembly, respect of human rights, innovations within the CSOs sector are core to the work Hub Afrique is doing. During the year 2018, the Hub reinforced its actions for a strong and open civic space. What was done exactly?
- To cover the whole African continent with its actions and enable CSOs to benefit from its services, Hub Afrique launched a series of Pop-Up events. Held in Uganda, Nigeria, Liberia, Morocco and Gambia, the Hub got introduced to activists and CSOs across Africa as all these countries are based in different regions of the continent;
- As the Hub is concerned about innovations, a call for funding of innovative projects on transparency, accountability and natural resources management was launched. Named the Social Innovation Challenge (SIC) 2018, this contest aimed to fund five (5) innovative projects across the continent by providing 12,000 US dollars grants support to each winner;
- The Hub came up with an innovative governance plan which consisted of selecting Regional Connectors (RCs) that could easily reach out and work with CSOs in each of the continent’s sub-regions. The Hub has a total of five RCs (Southern Africa, West Africa, North Africa, East Africa, Central Africa). These RCs are supported by National Chapters that help the Hub develop its offline membership and provide assistance to CSOs with no or difficult access to Internet;
- The Hub also came up with mapping CSOs and advocacy activities – to identify CSO capacity gaps in policy and influencing;
- The Hub found alternative and innovative ways of funding CSOs by organizing a workshop in Accra, Ghana and inviting more than 30 CSOs and activists across the continent to discuss alternative funding models for CSO initiatives; and
- Hub Afrique also assisted financially and technically the campaign ‘’Jeunes Nous Pouvons’’ in DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) which aimed at encouraging youth to stand for elections, get involved in decision making processes, and fight for a transparent and fair presidential election in December 2018.
How does Hub Afrique measure its achievements?
With all that was achieved in 2018, it was important that the Hub conduct an evaluation, which led to the Developmental Evaluation (DE) exercise; aimed at assessing all of the activities for the past year. What the Hub wanted to know was if it had achieved its goals, and essentially, made an impact aross the continent. The DE exercise allowed the Hub to reflect, look at its way of working and look at its results. For instance:
- How do the Hub’s innovations relate to civic space? As a response to this question, the Hub outlined the Social Innovation Challenge (SIC) as one of its key activities, which was based on a needs assessment of what was needed in the Hub. It was a prototype activity that was done for the first time on the continent; aimed at looking at innovative ideas in the region related to accountability, transparency and natural resource management. It also aimed to find new ways innovation could be implemented as related to these topics. Hub Afrique selected 5 proposals from each sub-region except North of Africa. The innovation was the new way implementation was described by each of the proposals submitted, and this really allowed civic space to be creative and expand. An example of this is ‘’The Farmers Project’’, that could not believe that such implementation was possible.
- How can the Hub know if it is really on track with the general issues it attempts to solve? As the Hub aims to expand civic space, freedom of speech and human right issues, the DRC campaign – described above – gives a full picture. Being convinced that the Hub was on the right path, this exercise allowed it to build on our its future activities from its past ones.
- As the Hub continues developing innovative solutions for CSOs, it believes that providing DE assistance to CSOs across the continent will be a great step toward strengthening civic actions and civic space. Failures in civic space are partly based on the fact that DE is not practiced enough while it is crucial for an organization looking to make real impact and survive over time. DE is an opportunity to document, track and learn from your previous experiences. This can serve CSOs across Africa and help strengthen their actions.