Africa: Call For concept notes : Strengthening Pan-African Citizens’ Voices for Security Sector Accountability (SPaCVOSSA) in Africa During and Post COVID 19

Period:  April  2021  –   September  2021  

The COVID-19 pandemic has spread across the globe with the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring it a global pandemic in March 2020. The first case was recorded in Africa in Egypt on 14 February 2020, and the number of cases across Africa has since reached  3,  914, 044  with  104, 382  deaths as at  3 March  2020. Following recommendations by local health experts and the WHO, at least 42 African governments  have implemented  partial or full lockdown measures and movement restrictions to contain the spread of the disease.  In responding to the pandemic, most African governments have relied on a securitised approach with enforcement of lockdown measures by the security forces and checkpoints erected across countries and closure of borders. There have been outcries about security sector excesses and human rights violations in countries that  include Kenya , South  Africa and  Zimbabwe during implementation of public health emergency measures or lockdowns or curfews. By June 2020, 11 people had been killed and 230,000 arrested in South Africa during implementation of lockdown measures. Over 21 people were killed by police in Kenya over the COVID 19 related lockdowns  in the same period . In Zimbabwe, over  4 00,000 people ha d  been arrested  by mid-February 2021  over flouting lockdown measures in addition to a rise in political repression.

Across the continent,  p eople arrested under lockdown restrictions included health workers, informal traders and other workers finding it difficult to get transport to go home after work, precisely because of the early start of the curfews. Thus, people had confrontations with the security forces as they were simply trying to go out or return from work and fend for themselves and their families – bringing into question the appropriateness of the security measures taken.

Many countries declared state of emergencies and suspended parliamentary sittings, thereby leaving the executive with unchecked power. There have often been debates when it came to the need to extend or lift the state of emergency, and in some cases, the executive branch has extended emergency measures against sentiments from citizens and other arms of government raising serious concern particularly with regards to the executive bypassing parliament. Furthermore, academic freedom and media freedom has also been restricted in the name of security.

These developments have led to accusations that the emergency measures have been used by governments as a cover to lockdown democratic expression using the security forces.  Indeed, what began as a public health crisis has in many ways morphed into a human rights crisis in many countries across the continent.

Call for  Concept Notes :  

Under its Governance Program,  TrustAfrica   is inviting   Concept Notes  from  potential  civil society partners  in   implementing a project geared towards  Strengthening Pan-African Citizens’ Voices for Security Sector Accountability  ( SPaCVOSSA )  in four  (4)  countries in  four  (4)  Regional Economic Communities (RECs)  of the African continent namely Zimbabwe (Southern Africa ) , Nigeria (West Africa), D emocratic  R epublic of  C ongo  (Central Africa) and Kenya (East Africa).   The project’s  goal is to strengthen the voices of  African  citizens in security sector accountability during and post-COVID 19 with the following specific objectives :

  1. To provide a platform for the voices of African citizens, civil society and social movements to analytically discuss the impact  on communities  of policy measures and securitised enforcement  regimes  to combat COVID-19 .  
  2. To produce country-level and pan-African  level researched  knowledge products to highlight the  community  impact of securitized policy measures in response to COVID-19.  
  3. To develop a common African position by civil society on responsible conduct of security forces during Covid-19 and make recommendations to shape national and continental policy.   

A pplication s   should be  in the form of  Brief   C oncept  N ote   and budget  from civic society organisations in  any of  the  four  target countrie s  describing how  to  carry out the following:

  • Country-Level Citizens Forums  to analyse the impact of legal and policy framework s adopted  during COVID 19 from input by experts and citizens’ lived realities in partnership with media houses for wider engagement and leveraging on the se  reflective conservations reimagine the future and build solidarity and action towards it.  
  • Country-Level Impact Assessment Field Research  to ascertain the impact  of lockdowns in vulnerable communities and sectors such as informal traders and commuters, including focus group discussions with community representatives  
  • Country-Level Policy Advocacy Campaign  by identifying policy  sites identification and engagements, sharing recommendations from Citizens Solidarity Forums (CSFs) with stakeholders, including policy makers such as legislature, constitutional commissions and executive through breakfast meetings/ townhalls, and partnering media/artist partnerships for publicity of the recommendations .  

Concept notes should include the following sections :

  1. Context and  Problem Analysis   
  2. Project Goal and  Objectives  
  3. Specific  A ctivities  
  4. Partnerships and Stakeholder s    
  5. Risks analysis and management  

Eligibility to Apply for  TrustAfrica  Grants:

Before beginning the process, applicants should make sure their organizations are eligible to apply for a  TrustAfrica  grant.

Pre-selected  candidate will be invited to submit a full application  usi ng  TrustAfri c a’s  grants portal .  You will have the opportunity  to create  your  profile by completing  a detailed  online f orm to provide information on  your  organization’s governance structure and accountability, both financially and operationally .  As part of our due diligence process  the   documents  below  will be required:

  • A  valid  registration  certificate    
  • The m ost r ecent financial statements, preferably audited  
  • The b anking information of the organization  for an account in the name of the organization  
  • The IRS  form, which  is an affidavit containing organizational information  
  • A letter recommendation  ( first time applicants only ), usually from a former donor  
  • The resumes of key staff involved in the project