Building Partnerships for Development: Reflections from Financial Resilience Resource Hub (FRRH) Partners on Achievements and the Future of CSO Sustainability in East Africa

Handing Over The Torch: KCDF’s Programme Manager Caesar Ngule passes the leadership torch to Nasim Losai, FCS Business Development and Partnerships Manager, symbolizing FCS’s leadership role in the FRRH steering this year. In previous years, KCDF and Civfund held this role.

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in East Africa are recognizing the critical importance of effective collaboration, learning, resource generation, and management to advance social justice goals within the East African civil society ecosystem.


This sentiment was articulated during the East Africa Financial Resilience Resource Hub (EA FRRH) meeting held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on January 30th and 31st, 2024. The FRRH is a collaborative effort involving CivSource-Africa, the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS), and the Kenya Community Development Foundation, working together to support organizations navigate challenges such as shrinking civic space, declining donor funding, and the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Nasim Losai, FCS Business Development and Partnerships Manager, emphasized the challenges facing East African civil society, stating,

’In several African countries, the space for civil society is closing due to legal and socio-political hurdles in accessing funding that is crucial to their work,’’ Losai continued. ‘For most civil society actors, the operating environment dynamics has shifted, necessitating adaptation and innovation.”, she said.

FCS Business Development and Partnerships Manager Nasim Losai giving remarks to FRRH partner implementors during the FRRH reflection session in January.

Losai stressed the hub’s significance in responding to these challenges by promoting afrocentric solutions and fostering conversation on decolonization of aid, stating, “The hub is essential as it addresses challenges facing the civil society sector. The hub has managed to provide technical and financial resources to advance the capacities of civil society, community-based groups and other formations’ ability to fundraise, manage resources, comply with financial requirements, and diversify their funding base to advance their financial resilience goals’’


The Financial Resilience Resource Hub is well coordinated, with a shared vision to enable effective collaboration and learning to build a financially resilient civil society in East Africa.”


Nicholaus Lekule, FCS Project Coordinator, highlighted the hub’s initiatives, including tailored technical assistance, capacity building, and cross-learning platforms across the east African region.


Kelvin Bwire, Project Coordinator at KCDF, Kenya, emphasized the hub’s role in providing capacity support, compliance assistance, and creative grant-making. “The Financial Resilience Resource Hub has conducted financial boot camps for CSO leaders in East Africa to strengthen their organizational and financial muscles,” Bwire remarked.


Justice Rutenge, FCS Advisor, outlined specific outcomes of the hub, noting increased compliance among small and medium-sized east African civil society organizations, improved access to financial and technical capacity services, and reduced dependence on foreign funding.


The efforts of the Financial Resilience Resource Hub underscore the importance of collaborative initiatives in building a sustainable and resilient civil society across east Africa. Through partnership and innovation, CSOs are better equipped to navigate challenges and drive positive change within their communities.