Animal Advocacy Africa (AAA) works to empower animal advocates who are interested in or are working to reduce farmed animal suffering in African countries. AAA shares knowledge, provides connections, and helps advocates build the skills to run an impactful animal advocacy organisation.
This year, we:
- Helped 17 partner organisations raise a total of ~US$85,000. We discuss how much of this we think may have counterfactually happened without AAA’s support in Section 3.
- Provided strategic advice and feedback to 15 organisations, and influenced at least 2 of our partners to adopt high-impact interventions, with one adopting a high-impact intervention in preventing or slowing the growth of industrial animal agriculture in Uganda and one leading a cage-free campaign in Ghana.
- Helped connect at least 6 of our partners to influential figures and organisations in the global Effective Altruism (EA) and animal advocacy movements, with the aim of improving the visibility of the farmed animal advocacy movement in Africa.
- Released two research reports on farmed animal advocacy in the African and Asian contexts.
Next year we intend to:
- Continue our current capacity-building programme, with changes and improvements made based on feedback and monitoring & evaluation findings.
- Start regranting funds to especially promising African advocates and organisations to encourage effective programming and interventions that we think are most likely to help farmed animals in African countries.
- Identify evidence-based strategies and work with local advocates to mitigate the rise of intensive animal farming in Africa as much as possible.
Our primary bottleneck, and that of our partner organisations, remains a lack of funding. Our total funding gap for 2023 is $290,000. We intend to mitigate this by:
- Better emphasising the importance, neglectedness and tractability of farmed animal advocacy work in Africa. This includes improving overall visibility of the movement in Africa by highlighting the work that organisations are doing to funders and the wider international movement, and facilitating networking and connections between African organisations and international advocates.
- Better demonstrating our added value to African groups and to the African movement more broadly. Consistently tracking our progress and showcasing monitoring & evaluation findings more clearly for potential donors. Relatedly, better highlighting our theory of change with key cruxes validated.
- Hiring a full-time Fundraising & Communications staff.
- Increasing and improving outreach to high-net-worth individuals who may be interested in supporting farmed animal welfare in Africa.
- Registering in the United States to qualify for various matching opportunities offered during Giving Season.
2. Why farmed animal advocacy in Africa?
We believe that farmed animal advocacy in Africa is a highly impactful project to work on for several reasons:
- The human population of Africa is expected to nearly triple by 2100. Meat production in Africa has nearly doubled since 2000, and this rate is expected to increase to match the growing population and growing wealth of the continent.
- Of all continents, Africa has the highest growth rate in aquatic farming.
- Farmed animal advocacy is incredibly neglected in Africa — in 2019, Open Philanthropy estimated that only $1 million went towards farmed animal advocacy work in Africa per year.
- Building the farmed animal advocacy movement in Africa before intensive animal farming is locked-in may improve the lives of millions of animals in the near- and long-term future and potentially prevent millions of animals from being born in factory farming conditions.
3. What we achieved in 2022
3.1 Our programme
In our 2021 Yearly Review, we aimed to improve our capacity-building programme implementation by integrating feedback given by our partner organisations and working with more organisations.
In 2022, we expanded our programme from 8 organisations across 5 different countries in Africa to 17 organisations across 8 different countries. We supported them across areas such as fundraising, strategy, and operations and communications. Our outcomes are illustrated below.
|We provided feedback and advice to 9 organisations on their grant applications, project fit and fundraising approaches.
We helped our partner organisations raise a total of $84,902 throughout 2022.
Of this, $23,015 was raised directly because of us, i.e. we made the connection/acted as a reference or made them aware of an opportunity.
For about $20,500 we played a major role as we directly recommended funding opportunities and provided feedback on applications, but it is possible that these grants may have been secured without our support.
For $41,387, we probably played a smaller role. This includes:
$40,500 of the ~$85,000 we helped raise consist of three major grants from Effective Altruism funders for organisations in our programme. One major impact of our programme thus seems to be in introducing African organisations to EA principles and the movement (see strategy section below for further work in this area).
Lastly, we think that our feedback and resources likely enhanced their fundraising/grant writing skills for future applications, but this impact is hard to measure.
|We provided personalised recommendations to 17 organisations and recommended 8 general funding opportunities to all organisations in our programme.
|We facilitated 6 direct connections between organisations and funders, and acted as a reference in 2 cases.
|We are aware of at least 1 case in which a donor found out about animal welfare organisations working in Africa via our database; they then donated a total of $52,220 across 8 different organisations, of which $32,220 went to organisations in our 2022 programme, $12,000 to organisations that were part of our 2021 pilot, and $8,000 to 2 external organisations found from our online database. From our conversation with this donor, we think they would have donated to the African animal advocacy movement anyway, but the information provided by us likely led to them focusing more of their donations towards Africa (vs. other continents) and facilitated their research on suitable organisations to donate to.
|We provided resources, such as templates and guidelines, to 8 organisations to improve their fundraising skills.
|We organised 7 group sessions with a total of 20 organisations attending, covering areas such as leadership and strategic planning.
|Organisations were able to connect with each other and learn more about the fundamentals of running an effective charity.
|We organised 2 group socials with a total of 10 organisations attending.
|Advocates were able to meet one another and survey findings showed the sessions were very well received.
|We provided strategic advice to 15 organisations, including in-person discussions with 5 organisations in Zimbabwe, and detailed virtual feedback to 6 organisations.
We convinced 1 organisation to carry out cage-free activism in Ghana.
We also played a role in convincing an organisation to adopt a higher-impact intervention. After giving strategic advice, we connected them to research services offered by Animal Ask. They produced a report that convinced the organisation to switch to a higher-impact intervention. We remain uncertain of our net contribution, but we think this report, and therefore the change in strategy, might not have happened without us.
Organisations were generally receptive to our strategic advice, but we remain uncertain how much of it was internalised and implemented.
We facilitated greater African representation in conferences, local EA groups, and local and international alliances through general and personalised recommendations.
2 of our partner advocates virtually attended the Animal & Vegan Summit as speakers, 1 attended Effective Altruism Global San Francisco and another attended the Conference on Animal Rights (CARE) with a ~$3,700 financial subsidy.
2 organisations joined the Open Wing Alliance and 1 joined the Aquatic Animal Alliance - it was likely that these networks were made aware by us - at the very least, 1 organisation was introduced to OWA by us.
We connected 3 advocates to effective altruism by introducing them to their national EA group.
We also recommended the EA Zanzibar Residency, leading to 3 organisations planning to apply and at least 1 submitting their application.
|We shared our database of African organisations with 2 organisations to help them connect, and directly connected 3 to each other via email.
|3 organisations in Zimbabwe agreed to avoid carrying out overlapping work.
|We recommended relevant learning/training opportunities, such as Animal Advocacy Careers’ online course, ProVeg’s Africa Accelerator, and a free version of the recently published Routledge Handbook Animal Welfare to all our partner organisations and shared our database of training/capacity-building opportunities with 1 organisation.
Some organisations joined ProVeg’s Africa Accelerator, but we remain uncertain if this was due to our work. Similarly, at least 2 organisations participated or will participate in Animal Advocacy Careers' online course, but we're uncertain if this was due to us.
The outcome of other opportunities shared remains unclear.
|Operations & Communications
|We connected 7 of our organisations to 9 individual volunteers in areas such as website development and social media management.
|New websites were built for 2 organisations; volunteers likely helped organisations improve communications; and at least 1 organisation found operations support helpful.
|We recommended tools for developing the online presence of 7 organisations, such as donation platforms and web-building support offered by Vegan Hacktivists.
|We offered support to 6 organisations with legal charity registration by connecting them to free legal services offered by Animal Defense Partnership and helping them find suitable board members.
|Legal registration remains ongoing.
|We gave 5 organisations operational stipends totalling $846.
|IT capabilities of 5 organisations were enhanced (e.g. improved internet connections) to professionalise their operations and communications.
|We provided resources for operations & communications (e.g. budget, newsletter development) and best practices to 7 organisations; resources for how to set up LinkedIn and social media pages to all organisations; and personalised feedback on communications (e.g. newsletter, website design) for 3 organisations.
|Impact unclear, but organisations received feedback enthusiastically.
|We recommended 5 organisations to be listed on Support Black Charities’s online directory of Black-led charities.
|One organisation successfully listed – impact of listing unclear but likely not net negative.
|4 of our 6 webinars involved organisations introducing their work to a wider audience.
|These 4 webinars were attended by 54 external individuals within and outside of the African animal advocacy movement.
3.2 Research & wider outreach
In our 2021 Yearly Review, we aimed to produce two research reports in 2022 - research on impactful animal advocacy interventions, and scoping research on the internal challenges and bottlenecks faced by farmed animal welfare organisations in Asia. We accomplished this goal.
In May, our Research Intern, Joy Muthanje Mwaniki released a report on animal advocacy interventions that we think are likely to have the highest impact in African countries. We analysed different animal advocacy interventions targeting farm/production animals across five African countries representing each region of the African continent: Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, and South Africa. This study attempted to determine the interventions that are likely to succeed in these countries to inform animal advocates about interventions that may be well suited to each country's context. Joy also shared her findings in a webinar with 24 external attendees and we discussed this in a group session with organisations in our programme to help them apply these findings in practice.
In July, we released a scoping report to understand the internal challenges and bottlenecks faced by farmed animal welfare (FAW)/vegan organisations in Asia. The purpose of our research was to:
- Explore what capacity building actions/interventions are most needed to solve the challenges faced by organisations in the region, and
- Assess whether our capacity building programme should and can be expanded to the region.
We concluded that our current programme was not the best fit for solving the challenges of Asian animal advocacy organisations; however, we think our findings are still useful to other capacity builders, donors, and advocates who are interested in growing the FAW/vegan movement in Asia.
This year, we also conducted wider outreach to develop a more unified animal advocacy movement in Africa. We attended 9 effective altruism and animal advocacy conferences where we gave presentations about the African animal advocacy landscape, highlighted the work that animal advocacy organisations are doing, found like-minded collaborators, and developed plans for increasing the capacity of animal advocates in 2023.
In addition to Joy’s webinar highlighted above, we organised 2 additional webinars to share research on high-impact interventions with a total of 38 external attendees. We further developed our website to include an “Our Reach” page to briefly introduce our partners to a wider audience. We worked on improving our communications and social media outreach, growing our LinkedIn followers from 565 to nearly 1400. In addition, we continuously updated our publicly available databases on areas such as funding sources, mentorship and training, learning resources and research support.
4. Our 2023 Strategy
4.1 Capacity-building programme
We intend to continue building the capacities of animal advocates and organisations that are working on-the-ground in Africa to reduce animal suffering. We have helped 17 organisations across 8 countries this year. Our programme remains focused on helping organisations build the critical components of effective, evidence-based charities and on empowering them to overcome challenges, prepare for growth, and do more work to help animals in relatively neglected geographic regions. But we will be making some changes to it based on internal staff feedback and external feedback from our partner organisations.
Rather than increasing the number of partners we work with, this year we intend to prioritise the most promising and strategically-aligned organisations, that are specifically focusing on farmed animal welfare. We plan to focus on these high-priority organisations, providing personalised and core support to directly improve their strategy and output; while building a wider network of advocates through our general, public work to facilitate connections and develop a coherent regional effort.
We also aim to host an Animal Advocacy Africa summit, bringing together all our partner organisations and other advocates to build relationships, learn from each other, and align on strategies for the farmed animal welfare movement in Africa. However, this remains lower priority for us and is contingent on meeting our funding gaps.
As a lack of capacity is a key bottleneck for animal advocacy organisations in Africa, we continue to believe that our capacity-building programme is a highly impactful way of building the animal movement in Africa. Our funding gap for this in 2023 is $155,000.
4.2 Regranting programme
Next, to address a lack of funding, we plan to regrant to highly promising African animal advocates and organisations. We intend for grants to cover both intervention/programmatic-related expenses and expenses to help them learn, network, and professionalise.
We think regranting will have two important benefits:
- It will encourage effective programming and interventions that we think are most likely to help farmed animals in African countries.
- It will be a two-pronged approach to pair with our capacity-building programme. As we build an organisation’s capacity, this makes them more attractive to regrant to, further improving their capacity.
You can read more about our regranting plans here. Our funding gap for this regranting programme is $100,000.
4.3 Identifying evidence-based strategies to mitigate the rise of factory farming in Africa as much as possible
We recognise that factory farming is in its infancy in Africa, but are concerned with growing signs of more intensive animal agriculture. We want to better understand the current status and growth of factory farming across the African continent, as well as what can be done by and for advocates to prevent or slow the growth of this expansion.
We aim to build an evidence-based overview of the extent of factory farming in certain areas of the continent, the levels of meat production/consumption and imports/exports, public attitudes towards meat and animal farming, and the regulations governing animal farming. We are also interested in identifying the key social, cultural, economic, and political drivers of factory farming, as well as the key public and private institutions involved in the development of factory farming.
Creating a coherent, effective, and adaptable strategy to maximise farmed animal welfare requires planning for various uncertain future outcomes. Since this project is preventative in nature, a strong focus will be placed on making evidence based predictions about possible, probable, and preferred futures in light of various legislative, social, and corporate barriers. By fully understanding the trajectory of factory farming across the continent, we should be better equipped to prevent harmful developments.
We aim to be intersectional and collaborative in our approach to preventing factory farming in Africa. By drawing on contacts already known to and engaged with AAA, we plan to co-create advocacy strategies with our partner organisations, which will inform our recommendations with cultural knowledge and increase buy-in for executing the strategies.
Our funding gap for this project is $35,000.
5. Operational Updates
5.1 Budget and financial information
In 2022, AAA had a total annual budget of $143,616. Total expenses amounted to $100,300. ~83.5% of this was budgeted for our capacity-building program and research, covering areas like staff salaries and stipends given to our partner organisations. ~6.5% was allocated to operational expenses such as travel, office supplies and software subscriptions. Finally, we allocated ~10% as contingency in the event of emergencies.
Our funding this year primarily came from philanthropic funds - including the Effective Altruism (EA) Animal Welfare Fund and an Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE) Movement Grant - and generous contributions from high net worth individuals such as Peter Singer. We also received an increasing amount of smaller donations from multiple individuals within the Effective Altruism and animal welfare/rights movements.
We are extremely grateful for the financial contributions made by individuals and organisations to Animal Advocacy Africa and to our partner organisations.
5.2 Our staff
Our staff are our most valuable resource. Our current team consists of Lynn Tan (Research Lead), Cameron King (Operations Lead), Jenna Hiscock (Communications Lead), Sopani Robert Neba (Programme Manager), Moritz Stumpe (Research Associate) and Sarmad Nasarullah (Part-Time Fundraiser).
6. Our mistakes and key areas for improvement
|How we failed
|How we intend to improve
Similar to last year, we were unable to participate in any of the common donation matching campaigns by Meta, every.org and other organisations during Giving Season. This was partially due to circumstances out of our control such as regional restrictions, but we believe we could have overcome them had we planned ahead.
We also feel there is more room for improvement for channelling more funds towards the work that our organisations are doing, as organisations still tend to quote a lack of funding as a barrier to their work.
We plan to better emphasise the importance, neglectedness and tractability of farmed animal advocacy work in Africa. This includes improving overall visibility of the movement in Africa by highlighting the work that organisations are doing to funders and the wider international movement, and facilitating networking and connections between African organisations and international advocates.
We also wish to better demonstrate our added value to African groups and to the African movement more broadly. We will consistently track our progress and showcasing monitoring & evaluation findings more clearly for potential donors. We also hope to better highlight our theory of change with key cruxes validated.
If possible, we are also considering hiring a full-time Fundraising & Comms manager.
Lastly, we hope to legally register as a 501(c) in the United States to qualify for various matching opportunities offered during Giving Season.
|Volunteers were sometimes unresponsive to the requests of organisations they had been matched with and vice-versa. In our external survey, organisations deemed this the least useful part of our programme.
|We have decided to scrap our volunteer matching programme. Rather, we intend to restructure volunteers as being internal to AAA and only connecting them to organisations in specific circumstances (e.g. organisations looking for skills or support in an area that we have succeeded in previously or where there is no external outsourced support available).
|Strategic alignment with organisations
|We were sometimes unsuccessful in helping organisations think more critically and focus on evidence/impact. It was also difficult to encourage organisations to have a narrower focus to avoid mission creep, given that most organisations are usually capacity-constrained.
|We are particularly interested in working more with early-stage organisations exhibiting traits like open-mindedness, evidence-based, growth and impact-oriented. We intend to restructure our programming into 2 groups: a core group which focuses on more promising and engaged organisations through 1-1 sessions; and a wider group which maintains broader engagement with other organisations through more general capacity building work such as group sessions that most organisations can participate in. Our regranting programme may also further engage organisations and align their strategic direction, but we are wary of potential drawbacks.
|Slow feedback loops
|We have not been as proactive as we could be in obtaining honest and constructive feedback from organisations in our programme. This delayed finding “product-market fit”, as some organisations had feedback about our services that we did not learn about until after the service had been repeated over time.
|We are planning to implement quicker feedback loops by integrating time and space for feedback after our encounters with organisations. This will be done more informally, rather than through surveys, to reduce the burden on organisations. This will also allow us to act on feedback much more quickly.
6.2 Organisational development
|How we failed
|How we intend to improve
|Hiring / Training
We remain unable to hire more staff because of funding and talent constraints.
During our internal survey, our team also highlighted wanting greater feedback loops and more focus on professional development.
Develop our fundraising strategy (highlighted above), with the aim to hire more and better people as we see the need.
We intend to conduct two performance review cycles (May and November) to identify and work on areas of development. We are also considering the feasibility of providing stipends for team members to upskill and developing accountability buddy systems.
|Due to the remote nature of our work, we sometimes had poor internal communications and insufficient visibility into different team members’’ projects. Much of our workflow also remained scattered across a variety of different tools, such as Monday, Airtable, and Google Documents/Sheets.
|In addition to existing weekly meetings and 1-1 check-ins between team members, we are considering implementing short, asynchronous weekly check-ins on Slack so everyone knows what others are working on. We are still considering an effective solution to centralise our workloads across our team.
7. Our bottlenecks and how you can help us
7.1 Help us meet our funding gap
The farmed animal advocacy movement in Africa remains bottlenecked by insufficient funding. It is important that we secure diverse sources of funding, beyond major grants. We want to create a sustainable and varied funding model for not just for ourselves, but also for our partner organisations in Africa.
For 2023, we have a total funding gap of $290,000. It seems unlikely that we will be able to fill this gap solely with our existing sources of funding. If you believe in our mission to build the farmed animal movement in Africa, you can support us with a tax-deductible donation.
We are incredibly grateful to all our current donors and supporters. At this critical juncture in the neglected African animal advocacy space, every dollar donated goes a long way! Your contributions enable what we do - our impact is your impact.
7.2 Give us feedback
We don’t have everything figured out and we are just one organisation tackling a highly complex problem in a vast and diverse area. If you see flaws in our thinking or planning, please reach out or comment below. We always want to do better.
7.3 Connect with us
If you haven’t already, you can sign up to our newsletter or follow us on social media (LinkedIn and Facebook) to stay up to date about our progress and the wider farmed animal advocacy movement in Africa.
Our 2021 review is available on our website.
We remain very uncertain about this figure as it was only qualitatively speculated by our team. We have not formally evaluated this figure with quantitative estimates, discounts, or counterfactual calculations. However, the amounts given in this review should be a conservative estimate, as we are only counting successful applications that we know of and that we know we played a role in. There might well be more successful applications that our support has influenced.
As with funding, we remain somewhat uncertain about this figure, as it is plausible that some of these interactions may have eventually happened without our intervention.
We are currently conducting research to update these numbers and provide more detailed information on the funding situation in Africa. We intend to publish our findings in the first half of 2023.