Get to know Agency, our organization, approach, and team
Co-Director & Co-Founder
I’m Nonso. I have extensive experience supporting civil society in the global south, particularly in Sub Saharan Africa, using mixed methods from design thinking, design research and ethnographic research. As a systems thinker and human centered designer, I have worked with government agencies, civil society organizations and coalitions on diverse projects and programs. As the Sub-Saharan Regional lead at The Engine Room, I supported many transparency and anti-corruption organizations across the region and beyond to leverage data and tech for their advocacy and engagement goals. At social impact firm, Reboot, I led program management in West Africa, for media development, open government and open data. Prior to working in international development, my background is in business administration and started a few business and social enterprises.
Based in Abuja, Nigeria
Co-Director & Co-Founder
I’m Anca. Over the last ten years, I’ve allied with dozens of civil society across the global south, particularly in Latin America, to help them drive their organizational growth and strategy. As a political scientist and development practitioner, I have been able to support initiatives from the anti-corruption, transparency, and civic tech space. Formerly the Latin American and later Global lead of Matchbox at The Engine Room, I worked with both nascent and well established advocacy organizations to strategically integrate data and tech into their projects and organizations. At the Chilean Ciudadano Inteligente, I co-founded and led Desarrollando America Latina, the regional network of 16 organizations in 12 countries working to open data related to social change and AbreLatAm, the annual open data and open government event from the region.
Based in Mexico City, Mexico
WHO WE ARE
Agency is a South by South organization. We are advancing the resilience and future preparedness of civil society ecosystems in Africa, Latin America, and across the global south through our commitment to collective action and responsive funding.
The global south civil society – organizations, their networks and movements – fighting for social justice on the ground are often working with scant and restricted resources, which limit their agility, independence, and ability to proactively anticipate and respond to changing trends. They are also often working with ineffective strategies, due both to a lack of funding and to the influence of external, less-informed actors. The funders and international organizations with the power and resources to take action many times lack the context and incentive to respond to the trends.
That’s not to say that no organization is creating impact – many are, at the individual level. But working alone, they are not powerful enough to reach a critical mass, to create sustainable models, and to permanently move the needle of change.
At the root of this problem is a simple fact: Power is unequal within civil society. The way forward is in shifting power to local actors, who understand the context, and who are most directly affected by the problems at hand. To make this possible, funding must be available and flexible enough to enable agile leadership and proactive problem-solving.
Importantly, this power shift must avoid the risk of reproducing existing, unequal power structures at the local level. That’s why we envision power in the hands of not only individual civil society organizations, but their networks and movements—to create a thriving ecosystem of accountability and justice.
Continue reading about how we work to support civil society in Africa and Latin America with Our Work.
Interested in chatting more?
Are you a civil society organization in Africa or Latin America? Member of a network or movement? Funder of these civil society organizations? We’d love to hear from you about your organization, work and ideas on how we can support and ally with you.