by Innocent Odoh,
Nigerian partners of the United States Aid For International Development (USAID) – Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project has hosted media executives across the country to explore partnership opportunities for addressing some of Nigeria’s development challenges.
SCALE strengthens the financial, management, and advocacy capacity of local civil society organizations to create a more accountable, transparent, peaceful, and democratic Nigeria with more effective and efficient public service delivery.
The business breakfast meeting in Abuja according a statement from SCALE deepened the understanding of the media on the SCALE project objectives, interventions, and approaches to building the capacity of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Business Membership Organizations (BMOs).
This, it said, is for a stronger and more sustainable civil society sector with access to resources, tools and new competencies that enable them to fully engage with citizens and government to bring about good governance in Nigeria.
In her opening remarks, the Chief of Party of the SCALE Project, Lydia Odeh, reiterated the need for the media to partner with development organizations to help share results on how development effort is bringing about positive change.
“A strengthened relationship between CSOs and the media would enable the telling of lesser-known but important stories that provide an opportunity for the voices of the people most affected by these stories to be heard,” she said.
She added that “by the end of the project, CSOs working in priority policy areas including Health, Education, Trafficking In Persons, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, civic space, elections, inclusion, youth development, etc will collaborate more effectively, resulting in effective governance and improved services for Nigerians.”
Speaking on behalf of SCALE partners, Dr. Otive Igbuzor of African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD), highlighted that SCALE results will be delivered through Nigerian partners who will take on increasing responsibility over the project lifespan.
“Positioning us to implement future USAID CS strengthening and advocacy projects, while putting beneficiaries at the center of implementation assures that solutions will be locally led thereby increasing the likelihood of the project’s monumental success. I know this is what our media partners and Nigerians will be proud of.” Dr. Otive added.
In the past year, the SCALE project reached a total of 1,825 individuals (1,006 male, 819 females, inclusive of 453 youth and 42 persons with disabilities [PWD]) through various project interventions, such as, capacity building activities, civic space dialogues, citizen-private sector engagements, co-creation activities, and coordination events.
The project upholds gender equality and social inclusion in all its activities to ensure everyone, especially women, young boys and girls and Persons With Disabilities are empowered to contribute to decisions that affect them.
Nigeria Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) is a five-year activity with support from the American people through the USAID. SCALE is implemented by Palladium.