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Project ECSELL: Enhancing Civil Society Effectiveness at the Local Level - Training Manuals



Project ECSELL (Enhancing Civil Society Effectiveness at the Local Level) is a project of IFES which began in 1997 with an assessment, in the fall of that year, of the challenges facing District Assemblies and civil society at the district level. The assessment missions led to the design of Project ECSELL, a project which seeks to:

·         increase the capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) to achieve their set objectives and to advocate the interests of their members to local government;

·         increase the capacity of local government to respond to citizens; and

·         provide support for civic and government leaders to work together effectively to resolve local problems at the local level.


Project ECSELL will work to enhance the capacity ofCSOs and local government by holding a series of workshops designed to foster professional development of CSO leaders and local government officials as well as to strengthen collaborative relationships between both sets of actors. The workshops will be sponsored by IFES and led by Ghanaian experts who will employ participatory methods in the context of real world issues and action.


The project will proceed in two cycles over a period of four years. In the first cycle, IFES will conduct approximately six workshops in 20 districts throughout Ghana (2 districts per region) between February 1998 and the third quarter of 1999. Workshops will be conducted at an average rate of one workshop per district every three months. In four of the workshops, CSO leaders and local government officials will meet separately to address on professional development topics relevant to their areas of focus. Professional development workshop topics will address such issues as strategic planning, financial management, and coalition-building. In two other workshops, the two sets of leaders will meet together to examine community problems and develop joint problem-solving strategies.  

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