USAID Launches $33 Million Programme To Enhance Civil Society Advocacy in Nigeria

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The United States for International Development (USAID) has established a $33 million-funded programme to enhance civil society and business membership organisations in Nigeria with reforms and policies.

According to the USAID, the activity launched on Monday was called Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE), would reinforce the financial, management and advocacy capacity of CSOs and BMOs, while producing a more accountable and democratic Nigeria.This was contained in a statement released by the institution in Abuja on Monday after the launching of the SCALE.

While addressing the participants at the event, USAID Acting Mission Director, Katie Donohoe said, “This investment underscores the depth of the US commitment to strengthen CSO advocacy in Nigeria. 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.”

The statement by the institution disclosed that, “On March 30, 2021, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a new activity that promises to enhance the ability of Nigeria’s civil society and business membership organisations (CSOs and BMOs) to influence policies and reforms across the most critical service sectors.

“The five-year, $32.9 million Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) activity strengthens the financial, management, and advocacy capacity of CSOs and BMOs to create a more accountable and democratic Nigeria with more efficient public service delivery.

“At a launch ceremony attended by a wide variety of governmental and private sector advocates for good governance, USAID Acting Mission Director Katie Donohoe said that Nigerian civil society has the potential to support transformational change in Nigeria.

“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.

“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. Special attention will be paid 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 enhances collaborative advocacy in areas that will improve quality of life for Nigerians, especially women, youth, people living with disabilities, and other vulnerable populations.”

Also, the Minister of Women Affairs, Senator Pauline Tallen at the event, said, “This activity aligns with the government’s commitment for a more accountable and responsive government to the citizens of our great nation, Nigeria. SCALE could not have come at a better time when citizens are looking to us to consolidate on the change we promised.”

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