We provide uniquely tailored support to pro-reform leaders, governments and civic movements that are committed to free and fair elections, democratic governance and accountability.


THE PROBLEMs

Across Africa, democracy has been in steady retreat as political freedoms decline, attempts are made to restrict civil society activism, and restrictions on term limits are lifted. Over the past decade, numerous studies have shown an overall decline in the respect for basic democratic rights, a phenomenon that has coincided with highly flawed election processes. A primary cause of this problem has been a lack of sustained public advocacy, which has allowed highly entrenched, corrupt and often abusive regimes to prolong their stay in power without the outside world taking note and without consequences. At the same time, pro-reform leaders -- both inside government and those operating on the outside -- often lack the support and global solidarity that is required to create lasting social change. 

Vanguard Africa fills this evident void and addresses the root causes of Africa’s democratic retreat by partnering with the region's best, bravest and brightest pro-reform leaders to advance their visions of change. At Vanguard Africa, we help connect these courageous individuals with the necessary resources to advance democracy and good governance at home, and build a network of likeminded advocates who stand up for and support free, fair, peaceful and fully transparent elections.


Our SolutionS

Vanguard Africa offers a holistic program of support to strengthen the capacity of pro-reform leaders in Africa, while highlighting the need for free and fair elections. Vanguard Africa's cohesive efforts -- informed by decades of experience working in Africa and other challenging environments across the world -- will address the fundamental obstacle that leaders often face: supplementing their vision and political acumen with the vital resources, support, and global connections that are required to advance a reform agenda. 

Our tailored support simply does not exist elsewhere. Among the strategic services that we can readily provide: 

  • International Media Support – Access to international media outlets and top journalists is crucial for pro-reform leaders, particularly those who operate in highly repressive environments where increased media attention can help to add a vital layer of security. Additionally, a sustained international spotlight on African elections is often missing, allowing abusive leaders and their machinery of repression to thrive in the shadows. Our invaluable media network will counteract these negative trends, leading to your increased influence and notoriety -- domestically, regionally and internationally -- while also positively impacting your fundraising efforts by opening up crucial new channels of potential support. 
     
  • Third-Party Channels – Opening lines of communication and building trusted relationships with international NGOs, civil society leaders, influential elected officials and other shareholders in your country's future are often overlooked components. We will partner with these individuals and constituencies to help form a compelling narrative on your campaign, including an emphasis on the promotion of the rule of law, democratic governance, and the need for free and fair election processes.
     
  • Branding and Messaging – Insights gathered through research and personal consultation will be used to develop a compelling narrative for your reform campaign and requisite messaging. These cohesive efforts will raise your international profile, increase focus on your campaign's strengths and boost your association with pro-reform policies.
     
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Research – We are positioned to organize polls and focus groups for leaders to measure existing levels of support, which will in turn inform a branding and messaging strategy. Demonstrating the existent demand for democracy and ethical leadership -- and highlighting its evident lack of supply -- will help to form the foundation of this support. 

At Vanguard Africa, we are here to ensure your long-term success and impact. Given our expertise, extensive professional networks and unique backgrounds, we can provide a range of additional services that are tailor-made to fit your specific needs. From coalition building to media training and marketing communications to embedded on-the-ground support, we are here to assist you.


Photo: Flickr/Kabwe

Photo: Flickr/Kabwe

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