Civil Society Leadership Institute (CSLI) East Africa

The Center for Public Sector Reforms (CPSR), is a think tank based at Moi University, KENYA, which conducts and facilitates research and training to inform public policy and practice, to create opportunities for discussion and debate, and to improve analytical capacity in Kenya. CPSR’s intention is to significantly improve the quality, impact, and accountability of local, national, and international policy and decision-making in Sub Sahara Africa in order to promote a more peaceful, just and prosperous society. Our philosophy is premised on the belief that public policy must be informed by reliable data, objective analysis, and thoughtful debate.

CPSR recently established the Civil Society Strengthening Programme to reinforce the capacities of civil society in East Africa. It seeks to strengthen the institutional and operational capacities of civil society organizations through capacity strengthening programmes for increased and effective policy engagement, and the promotion of development, good governance and democratic values in East Africa. Under this programme, we envision a region of efficient, effective, and influential civil society functioning as strategic partners for democracy, good governance and sustainable national development.

Our Theory of Change- to enhance the capacity of civil society to adequately and effectively partner with government and the private sector to achieve sustainable development in East Africa.

Our main sector(s) and target group(s) of operation, and location of operation is country-wide. We support capacity and institutional development for youths, government and non-governmental organizations within this county and East Africa.

CPSR and partners has implemented more than 20 capacity building programmes that have benefited over 400 practitioners from 16 organizations in Kenya. These programmes equip civil society practitioners to competently play critical roles in promoting transformation in East Africa. These programmes have made significant strides in empowering civil society practitioners to strengthen internal governance systems of CSOs. CSOs have responded to society’s challenges through achieving concrete project goals with the skills gained from these trainings

Moi University was established as the second university in Kenya by an Act of Parliament, the Moi University Act of 1984. The university boasts of a battery of qualified professors and researchers in different carders to offer their professional services when required. This means that we lead in:
• Sharing policy analysis and information to key audiences in both state and non state actors;
• Facilitating policy dialogue amongst global actors in development and international relations;
• Engaging with the policy processes and adopting a long term perspective to development initiatives;

East Africa’s flourishing civil society has had a direct impact on reducing deplorable levels of poverty in the region, through a process where skills, institutions and knowledge are built, utilized, retained and nurtured to respond to a development challenge and which has shaped the region’s lively civil society. Capacity building is like a fertilizer necessary to encourage the healthy growth of civil society. It also helps civil society withstand the threats from unpredictable governance and instability in the region.

Post-2018, we predict the civil society environment may change considerably due to the shift from a focus on the millennium development goals to the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a new development agenda. The relationship between civil society and other development stakeholders may change based on emerging donor trends.

Capacity building has a vital contribution to make, but it needs to be done well. We have learnt that key ingredients of this effective fertilizer are ownership, use of local knowledge, an organization-focused approach and cultivating new leaders. Such quality capacity building requires quality support from far-sighted funders and increasingly from working in partnership with the private sector.

Civil society survival is not enough. The needs in East Africa are too great. We need to cultivate civil society capacity in such a way that it develops into a healthy, resilient sector that makes a sustainable contribution to development in the region.

INSTITUTION Centre for Public Sector Reforms, MOI UNIVERSITY
TYPE OF INSTITUTION Research institution or centre
NAME OF THE PROGRAMME Erasmus+ / Learning mobility of individuals (KA1)
PROJECT TOPIC Civil Society Leadership Institute (CSLI) East Africa