Why Branding Matters for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs)

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From Charles Kojo Vandyck: The last couple of years, my colleagues and I at WACSI [West Africa Civil Society Institute] have initiated passionate discussions about branding and its value added to strengthening the institute’s relevance, identity, cohesion and capacity. We have shared a lot of ideas about this intriguing subject; hitherto, a lot of us associated it with only for-profit businesses.

From our discussions, it is apparent that many of the successful CSOs we are associated with continue to use their brands primarily as a fundraising tool. However, we also recognise that it is important for CSOs to develop a broader and more strategic approach, managing their brands to create greater social impact and resilient organisational cohesion.

We have become truly passionate about branding because we strongly believe that CSOs especially community based organisations (CBOs) can benefit from having strong brands which can help them to tell their stories so that development partners support their organisations in a sustainable manner. An investment in branding can also stimulate a sense of trust from the general public and the civil society sector and that is beneficial to all of us.

Crowd-pleasing radio

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Author: Amensisa Tefasilasie, DATE 2014 - The Jember team pulled in the crowds when they set out to meet listeners face to face in Ethiopia’s Amhara region.

Mother-of-two Addisie Beryihun visits her local market occasionally but today she’s in for a surprise. At the upper end of the crowded square, above the rows of colourful stalls that sell virtually everything - from clothes and animals to dried red pepper – is an improvised stage full of dancers. The Jember radio roadshow has arrived in Chagni, a town in Ethiopia’s north-western Amhara region.

"Please, ask my husband"

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Author: Aniqa Hossain, March 23 2016 - Women in Bangladesh tend to see political debate as "men’s business" but the female viewers of BBC Sanglap are an exception.

Discussing politics over a cup of tea at a roadside stall is common practice for men - but not, it seems, for women - in Bangladesh.

Towards SDG 5: Why rights and justice based process and outcome indicators are important

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The Goal 5: "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls" has ambitious targets - listed at the end of this post. 

Weaving to the rhythm of The Tea Cup Diaries

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Author: Lay Min Pyae Mon - Slender fingers rhythmically work at the brilliantly-coloured threads; legs undulate like a dancer’s as foot pedals are pushed down - the cloth on the loom growing a little larger each time. The faces of the weavers, covered in pale thanaka paste, scrutinise the next set of motifs in the pattern. Weaving is the craft where colour beats the rhythm. And this is the weaving shed of The Manaw Star Weaving Company.

Persistent Optimism

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Author: Ellyn Ogden, March 1 2016 [cross-posted from The Ethiopian Herald, linked below] - The work of a community vaccinator is vitally important, but rarely easy. Once, while working with an immunization team in Angola, my WHO [World Health Organization] counterpart turned to me and said, "Walk exactly in my footsteps to the village.

Mother tongue: boosting maternal health through mobile phones

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Author: Bindi Thakka - Our producer looks at the importance of tribal language - and how it can be used to help provide life-saving advice to mothers in India.

In India an incredible 1,652 different languages are spoken. Jharkhand, a state in the country’s east is a classic example of this, with a bouquet of 19 “mother tongues” spoken there.

We’re just about to launch our life-saving mobile health (mHealth) services in this multilingual state.

The darker side of Valentine's Day in Cambodia

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Author: Vy Yaro - The presenter of Love9 looks at why Valentine’s Day in Cambodia is the perfect time to talk about sexual and reproductive rights.

Valentine’s Day is extremely popular in Cambodia. But the celebration isn’t always a happy one. Here’s why.

FGM: Making a voice heard

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Author: Akwumaba Esther Adaji - Reporter, Akwumaba describes how deeply she was affected after interviewing a woman who had experienced female genital mutilation aged seven, and how radio has helped her shared her story.

“I saw these huge women - one of them was on my left thigh and one on my right… Then I saw razor blades… It was when I started feeling some pain that I started to scream.”

The Nepalese girl whose story touched thousands

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Author: Bidhya Chapagain - Bidhya Chapagain, presenter of Sajha Sawal (Common Questions) - a weekly debate show broadcast across Nepal on TV and Radio - writes a letter to Ujeli, a 15 year old girl she got to know while visiting earthquake survivors in Selang.

In a special episode of Sajha Sawal, Bidhya stayed with people in the village, eating and sleeping there to share and report on life within a community still living in temporary shelters built after their houses were destroyed by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in April 2015.

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