AROCSA was set up by the Ford Foundation, West Africa, under the auspices of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action. ARNOVA is an association of scholars, practitioners and policy-makers who are interested in researching the nonprofit, philanthropic and voluntary sector with the view to make the sector stronger. We host an annual conference which convenes over 750 members to present over 160 panels and over 500 papers and posters. ARNOVA also publishes one of the leading peer reviewed academic journal of the field, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. ARNOVA has nine Sections and a number of Common Interest Groups to further help members connect over areas of common interest.
ARNOVA received a grant from the Ford Foundation to help create a similar network in Africa. Through this grant ARNOVA convened African scholars, practitioners and policy-makers interested in the nonprofit/civil society sector in Accra, Ghana in 2015. This was followed by a meeting of these scholars at the ARNOVA Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois on November 18 – 21, 2015. This group identified the need to create collaborative networks amongst scholars, practitioners and policymakers committed to research in this sector. This founding group help establish the Association for Research on Civil Society in Africa (AROCSA). AROCSA is registered in USA (501(c)(3) tax exempt status) and is also in Nigeria.
The final step of this initiative was the launch of AROCSA in Lagos, Nigeria from May 19 – 21, 2016, in Lagos, Nigeria.