AU Watch

How the Programs Work

NGOs operate in an ever-changing global context. New great powers are rising around the world. There has been rapid growth in the demographic, scientific, economic, and military power of many nations and other regional leaders.

That calls for community-driven organizations to empower people at the local level to hold power to account. Many organizations have realized the power and importance of a decentralized structure. AU Watch is no different.

AU Watch is accountable to a fifteen-person Governing Council as laid out in its constitution. Governance responsibilities for the operation and management of the AU Watch reside fully with the Governing Council led by its Chairperson and Vice Chairperson (the Bureau) and further assisted by eleven highly autonomous units (Directorates) within the overall AU Watch structure. These autonomous units are located in different countries all over Africa. Each Directorateis run as if it a separate organization or business. In the day to day management of AU Watch, the Governing Council is assisted by the Strategic Leadership Group (SLG). The SLG are all staff members.

There aren’t any organizational, preset benchmark goals. Instead,the Governing Council in conjunction with the SLG (which is made up of all the Directorates)imposes standards based on a particular unit’s functions. Each Head of a unit must usually submit to a monthly local Board and weekly general meeting with thePolicy, Programs and Administrative Directorate, headed by the Executive Director.

NGOs operate in an ever-changing global context. New great powers are rising around the world. There has been rapid growth in the demographic, scientific, economic, and military power of many nations and other regional leaders.

That calls for community-driven organizations to empower people at the local level to hold power to account. Many organizations have realized the power and importance of a decentralized structure. AU Watch is no different.

AU Watch is accountable to a fifteen-person Governing Council as laid out in its constitution. Governance responsibilities for the operation and management of the AU Watch reside fully with the Governing Council led by its Chairperson and Vice Chairperson (the Bureau) and further assisted by eleven highly autonomous units (Directorates) within the overall AU Watch structure. These autonomous units are located in different countries all over Africa. Each Directorateis run as if it a separate organization or business. In the day to day management of AU Watch, the Governing Council is assisted by the Strategic Leadership Group (SLG). The SLG are all staff members.

There aren’t any organizational, preset benchmark goals. Instead,the Governing Council in conjunction with the SLG (which is made up of all the Directorates)imposes standards based on a particular unit’s functions. Each Head of a unit must usually submit to a monthly local Board and weekly general meeting with thePolicy, Programs and Administrative Directorate, headed by the Executive Director.

AU Watch Departments

1. Policy, Programs and Administrative Directorate
2. AU Organs Directorate
3. Media, Outreach and Education Directorate
4. Sustainable Development Directorate
5. Judicial and Human Rights and Directorate
6. Publishing, IT, Innovation and Communication’s Directorate
7. Finance, Human Resources and Audit Directorate
8. Fundraising and Grants Directorate
9. Climate Change and Natural Resource Management Directorate
10. Chapter / Section Directorate
11. Women’s Directorate

The rationale for decentralization in the context of our own specificities include economic efficiency, public accountability, and empowerment, giving greater voice, choices to citizens to influence decisions that affect their lives and allowing local AU Watch structures to respond dynamically to communities. Community/local level checks and balances also ensure that the various units are held accountable to their respective constituencies and local Board, in the countries where that unit is based. It also provides a powerful impetus for enhancing the scaling up potential of CDD operations. We have discovered that by incorporating local expertise right from the outset, and by building strong partnerships between local communities and community-based organizations, we are able to achieve scale and sustainability, while improving systems of local governance by building downward accountability towards citizens.

We have designed an organization that belongs firmly to Africa. Set up by Africans and for Africans, our approach to AU Watch’s structure, Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation (DME) aims to ensure the active participation of Africans, enhance the relevance, impact, and effectiveness of our programs, ensure accountability and inform decision-making.

What AU Watch has set out to do is ambitious. We are fully aware that it is huge project that requires our full and undivided attention. We believe it is achievable and doable. So, we have broken up the organization into smaller units, to give each unit the ability to pay attention to particular issues.

For this ambitious project to succeed, it needs to be well designed, executed, monitored and evaluated. To better align our programs activities with our broader strategic priorities, each Directorate or program in collaboration with its local Board, has a three-year Strategic Plan and Annual Operational Plans that ensure that their program outcomes align with our broad Organizational Goals and Plans, and include clear indicators of progress and success. Lessons learned and recommendations of prior external evaluation are important component of our program design.

Our programs are divided by policy themes (from AU policy matters, governance and rule of law matters, sustainable development issues, insecurity, human rights, transnational threats and geo-economics to climate change and security). Drawn from all over Africa and beyond, AU Watch’ scholars and experts including established world-class strategists deliver impartial, rigorous analysis.

AU Watch’s program staff includes country specialists, lawyers, journalists, analysts, advocates, and academics of diverse backgrounds and nationalities. These experts conduct promotion and fact-finding missions and investigate a range of issues covered by the AU, impartially reporting on all matters in 55 African countries and beyond. The facts are then used in news broadcast and targeted advocacy to promote justice, human rights and change in Africa.

The organization’s Policy, Programs and Administrative Directorate offers strategic advice and political-risk analysis to commercial and government clients.

Monitoring and Evaluation Under AU Watch’s 2020 -2024 Strategic Plan

Program objectives have been aligned to our four-year Strategic Plan (2020-2024), and our work will be evaluated against our progress meeting these priorities. We are developing an Institutional Results Framework to provide a “dashboard” of indicators to monitor progress towards the strategic objectives as outlined in our Strategic Plan and to ensure that our work remains aligned with these overall goals. This framework will be the basis for annual reporting to the Board, donors and other stakeholders, and will contribute to our own learning and reflection.

AU Watch will also regularly contract independent consultants to evaluate our work; either as part of grant agreements or independently. We have adopted a policy to evaluate all programs over a two-year cycle. We are using the evaluation criteria from the OECD-DAC “Guidance on Evaluating Conflict Prevention and Peace building Activities”, with modifications to our different areas of work on the AU and AUMS.

The modified criteria are:
• relevance,
• effectiveness,
• impact, sustainability,
• efficiencyand,
• coherence.

We will also conduct internal evaluations to assess an AU Watch project. Once an evaluation is complete, the policy will be that programs develop “Management Evaluation Responses” that summarize and reflect on the findings, and develop operational plans to respond to recommendations and address weaknesses that have been identified.


We have also developed monitoring systems to identify and capture consistent, rigorous data from our programs to measure our progress in fulfilling our very ambitious objectives. We are finalizing a monitoring policy that will mandate and provide minimum standards for data collection for all programs. Data will be collected by program staff, with support from AU Watch’s Design, Monitoring and Evaluation specialist.

We recognize that not all programs or projects will have the same level of resources, and as a result we will be using variety of approaches to monitor efforts. In special focus countries with larger programs, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt Mali, and South Africa we are developing detailed monitoring and evaluation plans. These will follow a results-based approach (using results frameworks) and rely on precise data collection plans with explicit indicator definitions, methods of measurements, sources of data, collection frequencies, and clearly defined responsibility for collection. In smaller programs that cannot support such intensive monitoring activities, we will implement measures to capture consistent and reliable data on outputs of our most common activities.

We aim to ensure that indicators and data collection methods are consistent across the organization, and that they provide a comparative measure of our outputs in each project. This data will inform the institutional results framework in our four-year Strategic Plan (see section below).

AU Watch’s Institutional Learning unit (IL), a sub-unit within the Human Rights, Outreach and Education Directorate, has incorporated DME procedures into our program management. The unit provides direct technical assistance to all our programs to develop and implement DME systems, assists all program evaluation processes and develops guidelines and policies to ensure effective accountability and learning.

Institutional Learning Unit

Research and Consultancy

The dissemination of reliable news and information should always be underpinned by robust research and investigative work. Research is therefore at the forefront of developing a richer understanding of what we do. At AU Watch we are committed to research across the board, making us distinct as an organization that also gives practical assistance to people and organizations. Each Directorate or program has a dedicated Research Unit, coordinated by the Education Unit within the ‘Human Rights, Outreach and Education Directorate.’ So, in addition to the massive amounts of research produced by the Policy, Programs and Administrative Directorate and the AU Organs Directorate, the organization and its various Directorates and units have the capacity to do fundamental research that strengthens the field and shapes its operations.

Mission and Public Benefit

AU Watch’s raises funds for the fulfillment of its mission to be a world-leading source of independent news, analysis, informed debate and influential ideas on how to build a citizen-based AU, and a sustainably secure, prosperous and just Africa. AU Watch undertakes work for the public benefit.

AU Watch’s Principles for Independent Research

Integrity

AU Watch works to avoid any financial obligation which would undermine or contravene the pursuit of its mission and the principles laid out by the Board of Governors. Sponsorship or financial support of research or events is not an indication of an endorsement of the past or present activities of the source of funding.

Independence and Objectivity

AU Watch always retains independent control over its substantive outputs and public and private events, irrespective of the source of funding. AU Watch fosters objectivity in the research and events conducted under its name, including by pursuing an evidence-based approach to research and engaging a balance of diverse stakeholders in its meetings.

Openness and Accountability

AU Watch applies a culture of openness regarding sources of funding. Anonymity may be granted to donors only in exceptional circumstances and according to specific guidelines. Confidential research and publications can be commissioned from the organization only if this supports its mission and does not constitute more than a small part of its overall annual income, not exceeding five per cent.

Awareness and Responsibility

AU Watch believes that there is no substitute for a culture of awareness among all staff and associates of the importance of these principles. This culture is based on personal responsibility and extends to detailed knowledge of sources of funding and close attention to ethical considerations and potential conflicts of interest.

AU Watch requires the organization’s senior management to promote and support these overarching principles through leadership and by example. Formal processes are in place to ensure that these principles are upheld by all staff in their day-to-day work.

AU Watch Program Staffing

The staff of AU Watch work primarily out of various offices around the world. AU Watch is led by an Executive Director with overall responsibility for the activities of the organization. He is assisted by a Deputy Executive Director. These are joined by a Director of Strategic Operations, Senior Director of Programs, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Finance Officer (SLG members), Directors of Programs, Country Programs Coordinators, Research Fellows and Project Coordinators with specific responsibilities for individual projects.

AU Watch’s staffs and other experts are intellectual leaders in their fields, combining academic rigor and practical experience to increase regional prosperity. Our visiting and non-resident fellowscontribute an added level of knowledge to our work. Many are simultaneously employed at leading universities, institutions, and NGOs around the world. We provide promising young researchers from the region an opportunity to work for one year at our Headquarters. Our complete staff listing includes AU Watch policy analysts, program managers, communications professionals, and research assistants.

AU Watch’s expert staff includes country specialists, lawyers, journalists, advocates, and academics of diverse backgrounds and nationalities. These experts conduct fact-finding missions and investigative missions. Their facts are then used in our targeted advocacy to promote development, good governance, human rights and justice in Africa.

To find out more about the people who work for AU Watch, visit the ‘Our People’ section of the website. Our staff members are from over all the world and we value the diverse range of experience that this brings. We strive to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

AU Watch requires the organization’s senior management to promote and support these overarching principles through leadership and by example. Formal processes are in place to ensure that these principles are upheld by all staff in their day-to-day work.

Our In-house Partners

The staff of AU Watch work primarily out of various offices around the world. AU Watch is led by an Executive Director with overall responsibility for the activities of the organization. He is assisted by a Deputy Executive Director. These are joined by a Director of Strategic Operations, Senior Director of Programs, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Finance Officer (SLG members), Directors of Programs, Country Programs Coordinators, Research Fellows and Project Coordinators with specific responsibilities for individual projects.

AU Watch’s staffs and other experts are intellectual leaders in their fields, combining academic rigor and practical experience to increase regional prosperity. Our visiting and non-resident fellowscontribute an added level of knowledge to our work. Many are simultaneously employed at leading universities, institutions, and NGOs around the world. We provide promising young researchers from the region an opportunity to work for one year at our Headquarters. Our complete staff listing includes AU Watch policy analysts, program managers, communications professionals, and research assistants.

AU Watch’s expert staff includes country specialists, lawyers, journalists, advocates, and academics of diverse backgrounds and nationalities. These experts conduct fact-finding missions and investigative missions. Their facts are then used in our targeted advocacy to promote development, good governance, human rights and justice in Africa.

To find out more about the people who work for AU Watch, visit the ‘Our People’ section of the website. Our staff members are from over all the world and we value the diverse range of experience that this brings. We strive to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

AU Watch requires the organization’s senior management to promote and support these overarching principles through leadership and by example. Formal processes are in place to ensure that these principles are upheld by all staff in their day-to-day work.

We regularly invite distinguished guest researchers for longer or shorter periods of time. The exchange of knowledge that follows from providing researchers with the opportunity to conduct research at AU Watch further enriches the research with additional perspectives and insights. The organization also benefits from having a set of associated researchers linked to it. By continuing to tie experts and distinguished researchers to its various endeavors, AU Watch is further advancing its aspiration of serving as the focal point for African academic and policy discussion regarding contemporary governance, security, human rights and development issues in the region.

 

Cooperation agreements and partnerships, both formal and informal, are central to AU Watch’s programs. At present, cooperation is ongoing with a large number of research institutes both in Africa, North America, Asia and Europe. Furthermore, we strive to create and encourage the continuous development and expansion of our current relationships while fostering new ones with a diverse range of research institutes and universities.

Senior Research Fellows

  • Dr Alfred Bell
  • Dr Winnifred Taylor

Visiting Research Fellows

  • Adama Conteh
  • Robert Cole

Research Fellows

  • Dr Liz Taylor
  • Dr Emmanuel Joof

Junior Research Fellows

  • LaminTuray
  • Dikeledi Frazer

Associated Research Fellows

  • Olufemi Olamide
  • Mustapha Ziko

Research Team

Experts

Since its establishment, AU Watch continues to build a strong global membership comprising a broad network of leading CSOs and organizations, institutions, governments, business professionals, academics and military personnel. We have a particularly unique network of highly qualified and experienced human rights and development individuals in Africa. Members have access to AU Watch analysis through publications, exclusive events, briefings and conferences.

1. The University of The Gambia
2. Legacy University, The Gambia
3. The University of Sierra Leone
4. The University of Makeni (Sierra Leone)
5. The Institute for Human Rights & Development Studies
6. The African Centre for Human Rights and Development

Patrons

(a) Justice MomodouJallow
(b) Yeung Kam John Yeung Sik Yuen
(c) Justice sanjiMmasenono Monageng
(d) Justice Dupe Atoki

Panel of Senior Advisers

1. Ibrahima Kane
2. Professor FransViljoen
3. Julia Harrington

Partners

We work with over 100 partners in over 25 countries around the world. AU Watch is extremely grateful for the kind support of all of those people and organization who believe in our course our donors.

1. The Centre for Human Rights Studies, Pretoria
2. The Institute for Human Rights & Development Studies
3. The African Centre for Human Rights and Development
4. The Coalition for the African Court
5. Kenya Human Rights Commission
6. Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre
7. Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone
8. Minority Rights
9. Amnesty International

Interns and Volunteers

AU Watch offers a wide variety of Volunteer and Internship positions with a focus on challenging and teaching young minds important practical and leadership skills that they will need as front-runners of an Africa that stands at the brink of important changes. Whether it’s helping on various in-country projects, at the country level, or assisting and doing specialized work in one of our hubs, or working side by side with our policy or operations teams on our numerous programs and projects, our interns and volunteers gain a wide variety of skills where they are given the opportunity to learn and flourish. We challenge our Volunteers and Interns, to get the best out of them.

Please see below for a complete list of all available Volunteering and Internship positions. Early applications are highly recommended since the selection process is on a rolling basis. Please note that all Volunteering and Internship positions are at least six months unpaid positions. Only qualified candidates will be contacted.

If you have any questions, please email: volunteering and [email protected]

SOME FINANCIAL INFORMATION
At AU Watch we are committed to managing the money donated to us efficiently and effectively, and are members of the International Aid Transparency Initiative. To find out more about how we spend our money, have a look at our financial information, available in our Annual Report and AU Watch Board Report and Financial Statements.

How we are funded

We are a registered charity with no guaranteed core funding, so philanthropic support from our friends and businesses are essential for us to continue our pioneering and influential work. AU Watchbenefits from a wide range of philanthropic, research-related and donor support. This diversity of global support is critical to the independence of our work.

Funding Guidelines and Principles
To safeguard the continuing independence and objectivity of its (news) reports, research, events, publications and other outputs, AU Watch staff and its Board uphold the principles of integrity, independence, objectivity and accountability in accepting any funds. This approach ensures that all of our activities contribute to the organization’s mission and public benefit.

Further financial information is available in our Annual Report and AU Watch Board Report and Financial Statements 2016.

Donors and Sponsors to our Programs in 2018/2019
The work of AU Watch is made possible through the generous support of donor partners. We work with over 100 sponsors and donors in over 45 countries around the world. AU Watch is extremely grateful for the kind support of all of those people and organization who believe in our course our donors

We would especially like to thank our strategic donors:

The 2019 donors as reflected in the work of AU Watch were:

Donors
1. Open Society Foundations
2. Andrew Sylva
3. Kate Okonkwo
4. Theresa Frazer
5. Dr Feyi Ogunade

Specific Project Donors
1. OSIWA

Sponsors
1. Dr Feyi Ogunade

To find out more about how we spend our money, see our Funding Sources.

Employment & Internships to Our Programs

Are you interested in gaining work experience in a dynamic and international environment? Every year AU Watch admits applications for internships. Candidates will be able to commit six to twelve months of full-time work. Interns could be working on a particular research project, and/or assisting with more general duties, including a variety of media,advocacy and campaigning roles, outreach and preparation of seminars, conferences and other events.

Support AU Watch and Together We Can Change Africa for the Better

AU Watch improves people’s lives through our media and outreach work, cutting edge research, training, teaching technical assistance, grants, and communication. We exist to bring the new analysis about the AU to regional development issues that poor and vulnerable people depend on in order for their lives to be improved. The knowledge we generate plays a significant role in making Africa a better place.

How you can help
To support our work, you can use the online form below to make a regular monthly donation by direct debit or a one-off single payment.

Donate
Legacies
Leaving us a gift in your will is a great way to secure sustainable development and promote and protect human rights in Africa.

By including AU Watch in your will, your legacy to Africa will be a region free from fratricidal conflicts, human rights violations, poverty and injustice.

Making a will ensures that you can help provide for your loved ones after your death. It also means you can leave a little something towards the causes that are close to your heart.

There are three types of legacies you can leave us.
1. A residual legacy: all or part of your will.
2. A pecuniary legacy: a specified amount of money.
3. A specific legacy: a specific item, for example, jewelry, a work of art, property, shares, etc.

Whatever you leave, however large or small, will help to create a prosperous Africa at peace with itself. We however recommend that you consult a solicitor before making or amending your will. He or she will be able to ensure that your will is legally valid and that everything you need to cover is included.

For more information about leaving a legacy, read our FAQs.

Trust and Foundations
Donations from trusts and foundations are vital to the ongoing development and success of our work. This support enables us to address the root causes of human rights violations, conflicts and injustice in Africa.

Why Support Us?
Many trusts choose to support our General Fund. This is helpful because it enables us to direct our resources where the need is the greatest. We are also happy to work with individual trusts to find appropriate projects that match their funding criteria though. If you are a trustee or have links with a trust or foundation and would like to get involved, we’d love to hear from you.

CONTACT US

If you are interested in supporting the work of AU Watch, or just want to contact us, please fill out our online form below.