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Organizational strategy and change

We are experts in supporting strategy or change processes geared towards developing impactful and progressive civil society organizations, networks, and social businesses. We do not simply transfer concepts from the for-profit world but have developed our toolkit that suits the for-purpose world. 

Our facilitators have drive and empathy. Most of us have leadership experience in the for-purpose world. We can lead you through participatory processes that result in desirable and feasible changes and priorities, not a castle in the air. 

However, we love design thinking and use it in all of our processes. It provides exposure to out-of-the- box solutions and uses the creativity of the team to sense the future and design new paths for your team or organization. This means that real change is envisioned and subsequently implemented. If you want to keep the status quo or just fill a strategy template, don’t come to us.


  •  The double diamond is our process map for strategy and change processes. The graphic shows a strategy process. In larger change processes, there would be pilots and feedback loops in the second diamond. 

  • We have the toolkit Impact Navigator to help you assess your organization, and explore and develop new options for the future. The toolkit also includes the Impact cards and the Playground for change,

  • We tested and adapted a wide array of cutting-edge methods for strategy and change such as the Drivers of Change, Scenario Development, a Theory of Change, and a Strategy Matrix. 

  • We use engaging facilitation methods that balance: the “I”, the personal needs and expectations of the participants; the “We” to create togetherness and collective learning; and the “Content”, the analysis and intended change.


  • We have supported strategy and change processes in a range of countries and across different kinds of organizations or units.

  • About 15 strategy processes for country offices of international development organizations.

  • Strategy processes for networks in five African countries

  • Multiple strategy and change processes of civil society organizations.

What others say about us

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Constanze vonOppeln,

WHH Land for Life

"The Land for Life initiative profited immensely from the close accompaniment of CSA. Above all, CSA supported us in mainstreaming a “process-oriented and adaptive mindset” among the team: ensuring regular reflection, learning, and replanning. Today, we navigate the complexities of this land governance policy intervention with increased confidence."



Maitri India

"The process with CSA on developing multi-annual strategy, leadership and organizational development, and fundraising have been very good. A very important component has been 'reflection."



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Topics: Leadership, Organisational Development, Fundraising, Youth Empowerment

Dirk has been committed to the civil society sector for more than 25 years. With his passion, positive energy, optimism, and autonomy, he likes to see people grow and find their true purpose and values. His empathy and international experience in leadership positions throughout Asia and Africa made him an exceptional facilitator, trainer, and coach: Dirk would love to work with you in one of the CSA courses. In addition, he is also a qualified outdoor trainer. His family and nature are central to Dirk's life.

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Joachim Schwarz

Topics: Leadership, Social Innovation, Advocacy,
Multi-Actor Partnerships, Coaching

Joachim is passionate about social justice and is on a mission to support like-minded civil society actors and social entrepreneurs to become more powerful and innovative. Hence, in 2014 he left his NGO career to build the Civil Society Academy. He is an outstanding facilitator and coach with expertise in social innovation, leadership, organisational change, and advocacy. After more than 20 years in Africa and Asia, he is now based in Berlin.

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Dr. Petra Speier-werner

Topics: Leadership, Multi-Actor Partnerships,

Petra’s mission is to be a source of inspiration and love that holds a space for everyone to grow and flow. She has been working in different sectors in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Being an organizational psychologist, economist and political scientist with a doctorate in change management, her trainings, lectures, and coaching are nurtured by her interdisciplinary approach.

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Retta Menberu

Topics: Leadership, Advocacy, Human Rights Based Approach

Retta Menberu Woldetsadik (M.D., MSc) stands up for civil society-state dynamics, good governance, advocacy, and a rights-based approach to development. Since 2018 he has been part of CSA, built up, and leads the Africa office to advocate for change and empower the youth. After working more than two decades in development and health leadership, as a trainer, researcher, and consultant in clinical medicine and public health, Retta developed himself to a broader development leadership and facilitation role by operating as Country Director for ActionAid International, and as regional Strategy Adviser for Rush Foundation. Additionally to his work with CSA, he works as a coordinator, researcher, adviser, and facilitator of international development and humanitarian organizations, alliances, and multi-actor partnerships in diverse contexts across Africa, Asia, and Europe.


Sohini paul

Topics: Leadership, Social Accountability, Advocacy,
Human Rights-Based Approach, Coaching

As a facilitator and coach of Civil Society Academy, she has focused on providing trainings and workshops on leadership and team management in several countries across Asia and Africa. She also facilitates trainings on advocacy and human rights-based approach.  Sohini has a Social Science background with master’s degrees in Geography and Regional Planning. She is a certified Life and Leadership Coach. She has more than two decades of experience in the development sector, during which time she supported the work of numerous social change organizations, working on issues of local self-governance, right to information and land rights. She has worked on capacity building of civil society organizations, from grassroots community groups to large networks.  Sohini is passionate about civil society strengthening and holds space for those who are ready to learn and be happy - this is reflected in her facilitation style.​​

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