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Partos event

Community-based legitimacy for advocacy organisations: experiences from Ghana and Kenya

How do community members value the activities of their advocacy partners? Which sections of local communities are reached through these activities, which voices gain prominence, and who may be left out? Join us for the launch of a toolkit on community-based legitimacy for advocacy organisations and listen to the experiences of advocacy representatives from Ghana and Kenya!

  • Date and time 13 December 2023, 10:00 - 11:30 CET
  • Where Online, via Zoom
  • For whom Partos members and other representatives of advocacy organisations involved in development, human rights and/or peacebuilding worldwide

Why you do not want to miss this

In this workshop, we will discuss the latest findings of a research project conducted at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam based on observations, interviews and the development of ‘science comics’ in Kenya and Ghana. A toolkit for advocacy organisations will be presented, and civil society representatives from Ghana, Kenya and the Netherlands will share their reflections. All interested organisations are then invited to discuss how the findings relate to their own experiences, and how the toolkit might assist them in assessing their legitimacy towards communities in the field.

Toolkit presentation: Maaike Matelski, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Facilitation: Barbara van Paassen, independent consultant

Reflections from representatives of advocacy organisations:

  • ActionAid Kenya
  • Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (Kenya)
  • Oxfam Ghana
  • Wacam (Ghana-based human rights and environmental mining advocacy organisation)
  • ActionAid Netherlands

Context of the research and toolkit

This project builds on previous research into the theory of change of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ former policy framework Dialogue and Dissent. Under the programme New roles of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) for inclusive development a research team conducted a study with land rights advocacy organisations in Kenya. They found that sources of CSO legitimacy are context, time and actor-specific and that CSOs therefore have to balance the competing demands of community members, governments and donor representatives. The current project further explores community-based legitimacy for CSOs, especially in relation to rural, remote and otherwise marginalised groups. It focuses specifically on the role of local intermediaries who operate as spokespersons for their communities towards CSOs and other partners. Based on follow-up research in Kenya and in Ghana, a toolkit has been developed that addresses their experiences and positioning in advocacy campaigns. The toolkit also covers broader academic and field-based discussions on the legitimacy of advocacy CSOs in relation to local communities and will be available for free downloading.

Register here!