A new capacity-building advocacy funding to enhance the capacity of Nigeria’s civil society and business membership organizations (CSOs and BMOs) to influence policies and reforms across the most critical service sectors of the economy was unveiled on Tuesday by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
The five-year funding valued at about $32.9 million was unveiled under the “Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE)” activity to strengthen the financial, management, and advocacy capacity of CSOs and BMOs to create a more accountable and democratic Nigeria with more efficient public service delivery.
Witnessed by a number of governmental and private sector advocacy groups for good governance, USAID Acting Mission Director, Katie Donohoe, said Nigerian civil society has the potential to support transformational change in Nigeria.
“This investment underscores the depth of the U.S. commitment to strengthen CSO advocacy in Nigeria,” Donohoe said. “Civic action has achieved significant global impacts in recent years. People here and around the world are expressing their wish for a stronger, better functioning democracy.”
Built on the framework of the earlier USAID Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement activity, Palladium Group serves as the implementer for SCALE in partnership with strong local organizations such as the Policy and Legislative Advocacy Center, Center for Leadership, Strategy and Development, and Nigeria Network of Non-Governmental Organizations.
“This activity aligns with the government’s commitment for a more accountable and responsive government to the citizens of our great nation, Nigeria,” Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, said while pledging the government’s support for the activity.
“SCALE could not have come at a better time — when citizens are looking to us to consolidate on the change we promised.”
SCALE helps CSOs and BMOs exercise their rights to advocate for economic opportunities that lead to better lives by influencing policy reform in critical sectors such as health, education, water and sanitation, governance, agriculture, and extractive industries.
SCALE would pay special attention to the prevention of child marriage, trafficking in persons, and gender-based violence.
By improving the civil policy and regulatory environment at the local level, SCALE would enhance collaborative advocacy in areas that would improve the quality of life for Nigerians, especially women, youth, people living with disabilities, and other vulnerable populations.