“Capacity development” of local civil society organizations (CSOs) in sub-Saharan Africa has become a key strategy among prominent international donors and international intermediary organizations. This raises critical questions about who has power in charting and supporting a CSO’s path to strengthened capacity – and what roles different actors can or should play in advancing the organizational vitality of the African CSO sector. In this thought-provoking conversation, co-sponsored by the Aspen Institute’s Aspen Planning and Evaluation Program and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, four experienced CSO leaders explore the power dynamics between funders, International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) based in the Global North, and CSOs founded and based in sub-Saharan Africa.

Our discussion draws in part on findings from the Aspen Institute’s recent report on its evaluation of the Hewlett Foundation’s strategy for supporting local advocacy in sub-Saharan Africa. This brief PowerPoint summarizes key findings on power sharing and capacity strengthening practices.

Watch the full video about Africa's civil society organizations at The Aspen Institute.