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Nominate an African Scholar to be part of the AROCSA Initiative

Friday, March 11, 2016   (0 Comments)
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AROCSA - Overview

Africa in the 21st century faces many challenges, but it has incredibly valuable opportunities as well, requiring the attention and collaborative action of scholars and researchers, practitioners in civil society, business, and policymakers alike. The Association for Research on Civil Society in Africa (AROCSA) seeks to create a platform for meaningful engagement of these and other stakeholders, with the goal of knowledge generation and dissemination on civil society by African scholars and practitioners, reflecting global excellence standards and propelling development on the continent.

AROCSA was founded in September 2015 in Accra, Ghana, under the auspices of the Association for Research on Non-Profit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), to promote and advance a community of excellence in research and practice on civil society in the service of African development.

There are multiple, stand-alone efforts to encourage research and knowledge-sharing on the ‘third sector’ globally, and this is evident in the existence of various organizations, conferences, academic journals etc. in various parts of the world. In Africa, the contemporary complexities of governance and relationships between sectors – public, private, non-profit, and academia -- has led to the rise in the relevance of civil society and the citizen sector in general. It is therefore crucial to have a continent-wide organization that will serve as the bedrock of advancing knowledge and practice in the area of civil societies in Africa. This is why AROCSA was set up.

AROCSA expects to operate in the five areas listed below:

1. The creation of a fund to support research and scholarship on civil society in Africa

2. An annual conference bringing together scholars and practitioners for networking, learning, and skills-building

3. A regional academic journal focused in African civil society

4. Fellowships for doctoral students and civil society professionals

5. Training for scholars and civil society organization (CSO) staff on applied research methods and evidence-based work.

The work of AROCSA is to be guided by these core values:


a. We value and practice accountability, transparency and professionalism

b. We value and work with courage of conviction

c. We strive for the highest ethics, being intellectually and materially honest

d. We are non-partisan and non-sectarian in our positions and actions


a. We promote rigorous, high-quality research and practice

b. We aspire to be globally competitive


a. We acknowledge, embrace and accommodate diversity

b. We are intentional in including people and ideas from multiple demographic backgrounds

c. We maintain and sustain democratic principles

d. We are pan-generational, gender-sensitive, multilingual, community-focused, pan-African, and tolerant towards multiple viewpoints

AROCSA is currently registered as a 501(c)3 organization in the United States of America and is physically located in Lagos, Nigeria, where legal status is to be pursued. While the initial group of founding members comes largely from West Africa, AROCSA’s membership will be continent-wide and will seek to build bridges across the entire continent of Africa. In May 2016, the Association will convene stakeholders in Lagos to share ideas and lessons and to map out the onward journey of AROCSA. Click here to nominate a participant from Africa to this May 2016 convening.

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The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) is a diverse community of scholars, educators, and practice leaders that strengthens the field of nonprofit and philanthropic research in order to improve civil society and human life.

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