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Civil Society Organizations provide vital services for communities all across Africa.
Although they vary greatly in type, size and purpose, it’s widely understood that they contribute mightily to well-being on the continent. 

Despite this fact, there is very little credible data and mapping on CSOs– which groups exist and where, what they do, and the impact they have. As a result, many worthy organizations remain under the radar of funders. Insufficient funding means that many CSOs face difficult resource constraints, directly impacting organizational health and effectiveness.

EPIC-Africa tackles this problem by creating a platform that increases  visibility for the sector and facilitates financing of African CSOs. The African CSO Index and The African CSO Excellence Awards provide a clear view of the CSOs that have the capacity to effect the most impactful change and gives the sector a much needed tool to further develop the organizational capacity  of African CSOs.

We harness the power of data and technology to help to build a solid infrastructure for philanthropy in Africa. Our experience of philanthropy in Africa has taught us that organizational effectiveness is key to sustainable program impact. We believe that by providing information and resources that strengthen African CSOs, we can see even more successful programs from African CSOs and tangible changes to the lives of Africans across the continent. To this end, we work in the following areas:

  1. Compile data: The African CSO Index provides data on the sector, fosters collaboration and helps to grow the African philanthropic ecosystem. The index tracks, compares, and ranks CSOs across 7 measures of organizational capacity and effectiveness, making it cheaper and easier for funders to find grantee organizations. Read more about the index here

  2. Capacity diagnosis and planning: Our approach to capacity building is unique in that: (1) it is embedded in a framework and standards carefully tailored to fit the realities of African CSOs; and (2) it integrates capacity building with program strategy, rather than treating it as separate from and secondary to programming.

  3. Customized Due Diligence and other advisory services: We undertake more in depth vetting of individual CSOs or cohorts of CSOs and recommend grantees to funders. Our advisory services enable funders to not only find the most credible groups but also to structure grants in ways that best support grantee capacity and sustainability.

  4. Interpreting the philanthropic landscape: We produce commissioned and noncommissioned knowledge products (reports, country or sector mappings, capacity audits) that contribute to and enrich knowledge about African CSOs and more broadly the African philanthropic ecosystem.