Civil society benefits from ACT's online training programme during COVID-19 ©

Arne Hoel / World Bank

October 2020

The Agents for Citizen-driven Transformation (ACT)  programme continues to build the capacity of civil society organisations (CSOs) in focal states, despite constraints due to COVID-19. Since August, eight training sessions have been delivered virtually for CSOs in Abuja, Kano, Lagos, and Sokoto. 

The trainings focused on the following subjects: advocacy; rights-based approach to development; stakeholder mapping and analysis; financial control management; project cycle management; and gender and social inclusion; monitoring and evaluation (M&E). The trainings were delivered in English and local languages. 

The training areas were developed according to the results from the CSO organisational capacity and system assessment (OCA) carried out during the inception phase of the programme. The OCA was primarily a self-reflection exercise for CSOs to identify and categorise their strengths and weaknesses. A training needs analysis was implemented as part of this process.

The trainings were delivered on ACT's new e-Learning platform (primarily on Microsoft Teams, Zoom and WhatsApp). CSO partners were able to access course content in different formats (text, images, sounds) and interact with trainers, mentors and colleagues electronically via message boards, forums, chats, video conference, and other types of communication tools.

Feedback from participants indicated that CSOs are now acknowledging the need to improve their internal processes and are beginning to adopt new practices to enhance their organisational systems. CSOs were also receptive to the new ways of learning via the programme's new online platform.

‘I would like to extend my appreciation to ACT for the opportunity to participate in the financial management and M&E trainings. I look forward to using the new skills and knowledge acquired to improve my work.’ 

Farouk Umar Garba, KSCF

‘The OCA process was very constructive for our organisation. We took steps to review various policies (human resources, administration, gender and social inclusion, sexual harassment and finance) and held a retreat to train staff on the policy improvements.’ 

'We hired new staff in human resources and communications.’

‘We developed a manual to improve the financial management of the organisation. We also now perform periodic internal auditing.’

CLEEN Foundation

‘The virtual trainings helped us to improve our knowledge – which we would not have been able to do during COVID-19.’

Lagos State Civil Society Partnership (LASCOP)