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WOMAN: The Untapped Reservoir

WOMAN: The Untapped Reservoir

Since the existence of human, women have always been the inferior gender. Society over time has placed labels amongst the two genders (man and woman). For men, they are: superior, the provider, the shield and head of the family. While women have been labelled as the: inferior, weak, house/home keeper and child bearer.

Women from past centuries have amazingly changed the world which have in some ways paved way for a better society. During the historical period, several women achieved awesome goals but still remained unequal and inferior to men. The historical woman could not vote, hold an everyday job nor a place in politics. They primarily managed the home front, they were seen and not heard, they had voice but were voiceless.

And so came the gender parity, the fundamental human right.

The Charter of the United Nations, signed in 1945, was the first international agreement to affirm the principle of equality between women and men. Since then, the UN has helped create a historic legacy of internationally-agreed strategies, standards, programmes and goals for women so they could stand as equal partners with men in achieving respect, sustainable development, peace and security.

The United Nations thus declared 1975 through 1985 DECADE FOR WOMEN. Four world conferences on women were held; Mexico City 1975, Copenhagen 1980, Nairobi 1985 and 1995 Beijing Conference. These conferences directed searchlight on a variety of issues affecting the status of women in the society, the issues which include; Violence against women; Women’s Rights; Women’s Reproductive Health et all.

Since those early years, International Women’s Day has thus begun to assume a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women’s movement, which has been strengthened by these four global United Nations women’s conferences, have helped to build support for women’s rights and participation. Celebrated in many countries around the world, IWD is a day for women’s recognition for their social, economic, cultural and political achievements, a day which calls to action for accelerating gender parity for global transformation.

No doubt, the 21st century will be the century of the female gender, that is if the world is indeed ready to embrace this paradigm shift. Women today are much different than historical women. The modern woman is consumed with many obligations, duties and responsibilities. Women are beginning to step out of their historical role of house manager dependents to a more independent, sophisticated gender. The roles of women in the society have significantly changed, goals and opportunities are more abundant for women and the modern woman is taking advantage of them in a positive and healthy way.

Today, women can vote and be voted for; the political space is present (although still narrow); today’s women have career choices and are more diligent so much so that they are beginning to have rising wages. Today, more than 70% of women work full time or part-time paid jobs which contributes an emphatic part of households’ income. Sadly, this social phenomenon is breeding profound changes that carries financial, emotional and psychological implications for both men and women, particularly in a conservative society as ours.

World over, there is increasingly an understanding of the need to unleash the untapped potential of women. There are evidences to show that when women participate even in leadership, the impacts extend far beyond the ordinary.

Common with women all over the world, African women face a variety of social, economic, legal and political constraints. Indeed, some laws somewhere still treat women as MINORS. We hear that in Congo, a woman must have her husband’s consent to open a bank account.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation with approximate 180 million citizens (CIA World Fact Book 2015) recent studies reveal that modern Nigerian women are on the lowest ladder of you name it area. Nigeria with her male dominated environs have women as subordinates and underrepresented, report shows that in the nation’s 8th National Assembly, women occupy just 7 out of 109 Senate seats and only 22 out of 360 seats in the House of Representatives.

Political inclusion for women should be a fundamental aspect of modern democracy in Nigeria and world over and so the female gender must be encouraged. Improved representation of women have massive impacts so much so that testimonies of improved policy changes, more friendly laws (especially for married women), economic growth, sustainable peace and development abound.

Women who successfully combine careers with families have been termed lucky but the irony of life is that all may not come out with such luck, for there is a rise in marital instability as evidently seen in the last two decades; domestic violence; promiscuity; child marriage; human trafficking (International Labor Organization estimates that there are about 20.9 million victims of human trafficking globally, 55% of whom are women and girls).

Be that as it may, women have exceeded much expectations with their numerous hands working magic; a modern day woman can simultaneously work on her laptop, cook in the kitchen, tend to a teary-eyed baby, do laundry and still attend to the sexual needs of her husband. Regardless of all these responsibilities, she strives still to thrive even in her chosen career.

International Women’s Day – An interview with WHYTE SPRINGBOARD INITIATIVE

International Women’s Day – An interview with WHYTE SPRINGBOARD INITIATIVE

To celebrate International Women’s Day, Sylvia Obiajulu Mordi, founder Whyte Springboard Initiative wants to challenge stereotypes that limit women and girls. NNNGO’s correspondent, Olaife Ilori caught up with the game changer for women development, ever confident to voice her views and ideas, read how Sylvia chooses to reject gender-biased attitudes with a strong belief in creating an incredible present and future for the female gender world over.

Follow the conversation:

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Do you think women are well empowered in this 21st century?

 

I would say that women are not well empowered, well I must say there are improvements but a lot still needs to be done, I say this because most times opportunities are taken away from women because the society seem to factor a woman’s personal life with her professional decisions. Also women are only empowered in a particular trend of skills, especially business, trading, cooking, fashion etc. leaving technical and professional skills out and so our foundation is going all out in ensuring that the female gender acquires that empowerment.

What is FEMINISM and why does the world especially the developing nations find it difficult to embrace this movement/advocacy?

 

Feminism is the advocacy for the political, economic and social rights of women, in the sense that the same opportunities given to men should also be made available for women to participate in different spheres of life if they want to rather than being deprived of such opportunities.

Developing countries find it difficult to embrace this advocacy because like the saying goes that CHANGE is difficult to accept and FEAR a bigger obstacle than the obstacle itself. The fear of changing the cultures and the deeply ingrained bias towards women. The fear of changing the long taught norm that men ought to speak out loud while women listen.

 

What does the International Women’s Day Theme 2019, #BalanceforBetter mean to you?

BALANCE FOR BETTER is practically an equal opportunity for men and women. You know the future is just ahead, there is need to build a gender-balanced world that drives a better working world

 

There’ s a stereotype attached to career women. Many women, get caught up on internal i\ssues of what sacrifices they need to make even as they grow in their career. Do you think women get enough support system? In what ways should the society create best support system for career women especially at home without jeopardizing their career?

 

Indeed, there is a misconception that most career women focus more on their career rather than getting married and paying attention to the home front. Women should begin to have enough support system, many abandon their career just because they find it difficult to strike a balance between the home front and career life. The society can help by creating flexible working system for women, while men should become more supportive especially in house hold decisions and chores. Society must also stop prioritizing a man’s career over that of a woman.

 

So many women across the world are still unable to reach their full potentials, how is your foundation working on empowering women?

 

Our foundation is providing a support system by changing the perspective of women through coaching and mentoring to break away from the norm; we want to give them the opportunity to prove themselves in all spheres even in male dominated professions

 

Some 150 years ago, women and all she owned belonged to her father or her husband. How does your organization ensure this practice remains forever buried?

 

Women are striving hard to no longer inherit the silence of their mothers by seeking avenues to be enlightened and empowered. In this light, our foundation is ensuring this practice remains forever buried by supporting women through educating them on knowing their fundamental human right.

 

Women make up 51% of world population. There are no reasons women shouldn’t be able to represent more than 40% of top level jobs and corporate board seats. What is your take on this?

Yes, women should be able to represent more than 40% of top level jobs and corporate board seats. We must accept that change does not happen overnight, it is a gradual process, what matters is that our path are henceforth pointed into a new direction. So many organizations have sprung up and have become catalyst for change for women in this era. So there is hope that in the near future, we will have a good number of female representative in top jobs and corporate board seats.

 

What do you say to that woman who wishes and desires to excel in her career and would want to simultaneously keep an excellent home front?

 

She should stay strong and fearless, everything can be achieved for a determined heart for desires backed by faith knows no such word as IMPOSSIBLE

 

What main change would you like to see for young girls in the next generation?

 

I would want to see more of female participation and equal representation in politics, health, science, ICT and technical skills.

 

On International Women’s Day, what advice would you give to women?

 

They should constantly keep evolving by seeking personal and professional development, seek personal approval rather than societal approval. Dream big and go for it. We all deserve better. Women do not apologize for being fierce and confident, silent the external noise and listen to the voice within you, keep reinventing yourself for relevance.

 

 

 

 

 

Incorporation of Trustees (February, 2019)      

Incorporation of Trustees (February, 2019)      

Boards of trustees are pivotal to the growth and success of nonprofits. Their role is to serve as governing bodies, safeguard the core values of an organization and ensure the fulfillment of its vision and supervise the overall operation.

A Board of Trustees is made up of a number of different representatives, often an odd number; between five and thirteen persons or as stipulated in the organisation’s founding document and is often elected or appointed at an Annual General Meeting, for a specific period of time.

Board members can be drawn from all sectors of the community and a founder could form a recruitment panel amongst existing staff or some members of their current board in order to get different views on prospective candidates for a new board so that a more informed decision is taken.

As the governing body of a nonprofit, the board oversees policy approval and is legally accountable to public as well as beneficiaries of the organisation it serves. By law, it is required that the Board meets on a regular schedule to make decisions regarding the organisation, however, the frequency of meetings can be guided by the decisions that the Board needs to make or events, within a timeline, that facilitate management’s ability to effectively implement those decisions.

The Director of a nonprofit sets the agenda to shape the work of the board, therefore he or she is expected to attend Board meeting, however, since every decision the board makes relating to budget and compensation will impact the him or her (in cases where the Director is a paid employee), there may be conflicts of interest.

To handle this, the Director could be excluded from discussions involving budget and compensation, but be allowed to have a vote and remain a part of the board for other business. Alternatively, he or she could be invited to board meetings as a guest rather than a voting member.

This publication has been produced with the Commonwealth Foundation and the Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO). However, the contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Commonwealth Foundation or the Nigeria Network of NGOs.

Part F of CAMA and its Implication for Nigerian Nonprofits (January, 2019)

Part F of CAMA and its Implication for Nigerian Nonprofits (January, 2019)

Corporate entities and nonprofit organizations in Nigeria and beyond have continued to support and engage in charitable causes, which have met the yearnings and aspirations of individuals, groups and the society at large. In carrying out these charitable activities there are regulations nonprofits need to adhere to in order to ensure smooth operations within their organisations.

One of such regulations is the repealed and enacted Part C of Companies Allied Matters Act (CAMA), now referred to as Part F of CAMA, in the newly released amended version by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in May 2018; the Companies and Allied Matters Act is a regulatory manual on how NGOs should be established and run. The Part C, now part F, provides for incorporated trustees.

It was the determination of the Nigerian Federal Government to reform the law regulating the affairs of companies and its administration in Nigeria that led to the promulgation of the CAMA and established the Corporate Affairs Commission.

Nonprofit charitable organizations are governed by Board of Directors (sometimes called Trustees); the Part F helps explain processes to incorporating trusteeship, file annual returns, common seal, preservation of accounting records, developing an organisational constitution and other regulations which aids the smooth running of nonprofits.

The implications shown from the new amended Part F is that it seeks to establish an efficient way of registering an organisation with ease, minimizing compliance burden of nonprofits as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to bring Nigeria’s foremost commercial law in line with international best practices.

Further Reading
http://www.mondaq.com/Nigeria/x/753410/Corporate+Commercial+Law/The+Companies+And+Allied+Matters+Bill+2018+Implications+For+Businesses+In+Nigeria

This publication has been produced with the support of the Commonwealth Foundation. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of NNNGO and should in no way be taken to reflect the views of the Commonwealth Foundation.

Press Release – NNNGO Partners TechSoup West Africa to Provide Affordable Technology to CSOs in Nigeria

Press Release – NNNGO Partners TechSoup West Africa to Provide Affordable Technology to CSOs in Nigeria

The Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO) has partnered the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) to provide technological tools at discounted prices to nonprofits organisations in Nigeria under the TechSoup West Africa technology donation programme. TechSoup West Africa is a technology donation programme which provides technical support and technological tools to nonprofit organisations across West Africa at little or no cost.

NNNGO’s partnership with WASCI will provide services to Nigerian Nonprofits through technology donation, training and technical assistance at subsidized rates thus, creating a system through which Nonprofits can become more productive and efficient through access to advanced technology.

Nana Asantewa Afadzinu, the Executive Director of WACSI, noted that “this is an opportunity CSOs/NGOs in Nigeria should take full advantage of. It offers the chance to get otherwise expensive but also relevant software for CSOs/NGOs at heavily discounted prices, and enables them to save funds that they can reinvest into other core operational costs. It’s a win-win either way!”

CSOs will be afforded the opportunity to offset their operations cost from IT equipment and infrastructure to support their social mission. This opportunity will strengthen the institutional and operational capacities of CSOs to become more collaborative, responsive and resilient through the use of technology thereby putting Nigerian nonprofits on the map towards global recognition and sustainability.

The Executive Director, NNNGO, Oyebisi, B. Oluseyi noted that “NNNGO is interested in initiatives that build the capacity and improve the quality of work within civil society. This partnership with WACSI is a welcome development and will positively impact the sector”.

Since inception, TechSoup and its global partners have reached more than one million and twenty thousand nonprofit organisations and donated over 10.1billion USD in technological tools and philanthropic services. TechSoup is present in more than 236 countries and territories across the globe and has been implemented in Northern, Eastern and Southern Africa.

To receive discounted product as low as 4-5% of their retail value, kindly visit www.techSoup.global , register your organisation and place an order.

Contacts

nnngo@nnngo.org or call 09069460107

2019 Letter to Nonprofit Leaders

2019 Letter to Nonprofit Leaders

Dear Nonprofit Leader,

As we reflect on the sector in 2018, we think about how the work you have done in communities across the country have touched and inspired hope in the less privileged. We have been most influenced by your resilience, empathy for the downtrodden and found motivation in how you are doing so much with very little resources.

Twenty-seven years ago, when our founding mothers and fathers first began to work on the idea that would become the Nigeria Network of NGOs, they were convinced as much as we are now, that nonprofits play an important role in the fabrics of our development and democracy as a nation. They believed that the resources and approaches of the sector if well leveraged by government and the private sector can have a bigger impact together in the attainment of our national development goals than in silos.

They imagined a Network that can improve the operational environment for nonprofits to thrive. In the last 5 years we have had the opportunity of translating this imagination to reality through our sustained engagement with the executive and legislative arms of Government on the operations of nonprofits. In May 2018, we were proud to see the results of our work in the repeal and reenactment of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) which included our recommendations for the review of the Part C which is now Part F of CAMA in the version passed by the Senate.

As we look into 2019, three key challenges stand out for our sector, testing our values.

Our ability as a sector to remain non-partisan

With the 2019 elections only few weeks away, our sector will need to balance its strong links to beneficiaries and more generally to the bottom billion, high level command of public trust and confidence with the political preferences of nonprofit leaders. It is essential to note that nonprofits cannot give their support to a political party or candidate. How our sector manages itself especially in demarcating between activism, advocacy campaign and political campaign will be tested in 2019 and will serve as a benchmark for the 2023 elections.

Civil Society Diversity

Our differences in opinion, perspectives and understanding of issues while an asset will continue to test our common stand on issues such as rights to freedom of speech, assembly and association. We are witnessing a growing trend in our inability to stand up for each other and to clearly define what the protection of civic space means to our sector and our organisations. Our sector will be challenged on how it responds (collectively) to the arrest and prosecution of human right defenders especially those perceived to have political affiliations and interests including how we rally support for nonprofit organisations (local and international) that may be labelled or victimized as anti-government for their work on protecting the rights of the disadvantaged.

Family

Civil society, being an array of organisations outside of government and private sector, derives its strength from the family unit. Our beliefs and thoughts on family planning will shape how as organisations and leaders we support the need for Nigeria to focus energies on managing its population dynamics through improved funding by the Federal, State and Local Governments to family planning programmes- allocated from their domestic resources. It is increasingly clear that our rate of population growth will continue to lead to hunger, malnutrition, housing shortage, inequality and increased crime rate.  Our sector will be challenged by how civil society actors, influencers, leaders and institutions within civil society understand the role of family planning in attaining the SDGs and in coalescing around initiatives that call for increased funding to family planning programmes and services.

Addressing these challenges will be our focus in 2019 at the Nigeria Network of NGOs. Rallying sector leaders around proffering solutions to these challenges, navigating through their wisdom, integrity and influence including coalescing for better results and impacts are the key successes we want to see in 2019.

Certainly, this will be a “long walk to freedom”. We are confident that with you, the journey will be short, adventurous as well as challenging; but in the end, VICTORY WILL BE CERTAIN.

Thank you for coming with us on this journey!

Oyebisi, B. Oluseyi

Executive Director, Nigeria Network of NGOs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practical Guide on Writing Annual Reports For Nonprofits

Practical Guide on Writing Annual Reports For Nonprofits

This guide has been developed to help nonprofits who are new to writing annual reports to easily get the process started while staying transparent. If properly done, annual reports are an important tool for keeping stakeholders informed about your activities and to keep them engaged. Developed based on our experience at the Nigeria Network of NGOs, this guide offers information on how to plan and create valuable engaging annual report that you can submit to regulators and one that your friends, donors, beneficiaries and other stakeholders would want to read.

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Beware of the NesProgram implying association with the Nigeria Network of NGOs.

Beware of the NesProgram implying association with the Nigeria Network of NGOs.

The Nigeria Network of NGOs has been made aware of various correspondences being circulated via e-mail, from Internet websites, text messages and via regular mail associating us with NESprogram at https://nesprogram.com We are alarmed by the false and unauthorized use of our logo on the NESprogram website and all communications related to this organisation.

The Nigeria Network of NGOs wishes to warn the public at large about our non-association with the NESprogram/and or its official and to note that the Nigeria Network of NGOs is not in any way associated and neither are we sponsors of the NESprogram.

The Nigeria Network of NGOs does not run such schemes and strongly recommends that recipients of any correspondence from the NESprogram should exercise extreme caution in respect of such. We encourage anyone having issues with the NESprogram to report directly to the Special Control Unit on Money Laundering via info@scuml.org .

We have written officially to NESprogram through helpdesk@nesprogram.ng asking for the removal of our logo from its website at https://nesprogram.com/ and all communications products that may have our logo. We have also reached out to Tucows Domains Inc registrants for this website to report this abuse. We are aware that this site was registered by Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 0153041206 with telephone number +1.4165385457 and nesprogram.com@contactprivacy.com , we are now asking our lawyers to contact our Canadian counterparts to take necessary legal actions.

The Nigeria Network of NGOs remains committed to its vision of promoting interconnectivity at the grassroots, provide opportunities for CSOs/NGOs/CBOs and PVOs to contribute to the advancement of national and global peace through developmental activities focused at the grassroots, whilst networking with each other and other national and international agencies, with the aim of meeting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

NNNGO 2018 SECOND QUARTER UPDATES (APRIL-JUNE)

INTRODUCTION

In the second quarter of the year 2018, the Nigeria Network of NGOs, in line with its mission and vision, intensified efforts towards national development through its ongoing projects and activities. Projects built upon were within the purview of protection of civic space, building capacity within the Nigerian civil society community and attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while other activities in line with national development were also organised and supported by the Network.

UPDATE ON PROJECTS

Projects updates are presented below, in categories that fit their themes:

  1. PROTECTION OF CIVIC SPACE
  • Strengthening Statutory Regulations for Civil Society Organisations In Nigeria: Amending Part C of CAMA

In line with its mission to protect civic space, the Network continued work on projects that focused on strengthening the laws that guide activities and the environment in which civil society organisations and nonprofits work. Therefore, with the support of the Commonwealth Foundation and as part of activities for the “Strengthening Statutory regulations For Civil Society Organisations In Nigeria: Amending Part C of CAMA” project, and in the wake of the repeal and enactment of Part C of the CAMA by the House of Assembly on May 15, 2018, NNNGO carried out activities that informed the progress of the project.

After careful review of the amended sections of Part C of the CAMA which was spearheaded by the Corporate Affairs Commission, the NNNGO-CAMA research team identified that the amended laws had featured and incorporated some of the recommendations made by the Network and its members at sector-wide consultations held in 2017. Suggestions and recommendations that were made at these consultations were thereafter incorporated into policy briefs which were then presented to policymakers by the NNNGO-advocacy team led by the Executive Director, Oyebisi B. Oluseyi.

Taken into consideration were recommendations in the area of review of penalties, refusal to incorporate organisations with similar names, the requirement for a statement of purpose, name and relevant information needed for registration, amongst others. Below is a break-down of the amended sections that feature NNNGO recommendations:

Clarifications:

Section 580 features the need for the commission to state the purposes, name and relevant information needed for registration by NPOs who need registration. This amendment drew from the suggestion made by NNNGO to 590(5) of the previous law.

Review of Fines:

In line with suggestions made by member-NPOs who participated in the consultations, Sections 581, 582 and Section 604, subsection 3, feature review of fines from previous incommensurate amounts in terms of comparison of crime to penalties. NPOs who attended consultations hosted by NNNGO had suggested that in order for organisations working in the civic space to better understand the enormity of noncompliance, adequate punitive measures need to be attached.

Related Association:

Section 587 of the amended law is same as the suggestion made in subsection (6) of section 590 of the old law which stated that a corporation having a similar name with another corporation would not be incorporated. The amendment to the law makes this dictate clearer to intending registrees.

Financials

Amended Section 602 is same as the suggestion made to section 607(10)2,3 by the NNNGO in the policy briefs presented which stated that there should be an annual financial review and that there should be an approved annual financial statement by the director. In addition, Section 604, subsection 2 of the amended law features the recommendation made to section 607(11)1 by NNNGO where it was stated that there must be a report on the audited financial statement by the corporation which will be in line with the approved auditing standards and principles set by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria.

Another milestone recorded in this quarter was the development of a toolkit by the NNNGO-CAMA research team. The toolkit was developed after a thorough review of the annual returns-filing processes, conduct of in-depth research and online as well as offline consultations with over 2,000 Nigerian NPOs on how best to engage the process of incorporating a trusteeship alongside appropriate fees, setting up a governing board within an organisation and appointing an executive director and directors.

The purpose of developing the kit is to create a document which can serve in the capacity of a compliance manual through which NPOs could better understand the dictates of Part C of CAMA and therefore, effectively carry out their obligations and duties as stipulated in the laws. The kit is also intended to act in the capacity of a check for NPOs in order to effectively run their organisations in line with global best practices.

The toolkit will be launched and presented to NPOs who are member-organisations of the Network at training that will be hosted in Port Harcourt and Kaduna.

  • The Lifeline Project supported by World Alliance for Citizen Participation, CIVICUS

In continuance of the campaign to protect civic space and strengthen regulatory frameworks guiding the operational environment of Nigerian nonprofits, NNNGO with the support of World Alliance for Citizen Participation, CIVICUS continued its campaign against the NGO regulation bill (HB 585).

The Network intensified efforts to popularise the campaign by leveraging on the strength of numbers. This was done by including other CSOs, NGOs and NPOs, especially those at the grassroots; to achieve this, over 2400 grassroots, national and international nonprofit organisations were reached via emails and text messages with over 900 reached via telephone calls with the message to join the campaign against the enactment of the NGO regulatory bill.

These organisations were encouraged to reach out to their representatives at the National Assembly by sending them letters which would carry their individual messages regarding the bill. To this effect, interested NPOs were sent a sample letter which served as the campaign tool. This a sample campaign letter was drafted based on the outcome of a sector-wide consultation conducted by the Network with nonprofit organisations operational in Nigeria in 2017. The sample letter was a template through which NPOs interested in the campaign could make a case by giving their representatives an overview of their organisations and how the enactment of HB585 would impact the work they do.

As part of activities for the lifeline project, the Network, on June 28, 2018, organised a workshop which 78 participants from 11 states of the country, and one participant from the United States of America. The aim of the workshop was to examine the trending policies in the Nigerian nonprofit sector while focusing on ways to ensure the development and sustainability of the sector. Participants at the workshop were taken through a course on NGO management and record keeping. A report titled “Nonprofits Regulatory Trends” was then produced.

  • Universal Periodic Review Supported by World Alliance for Citizen Participation, CIVICUS

In the first quarter of 2018, NNNGO, supported by CIVICUS, submitted a Universal Period Review (UPR) relating to Civic Space in Nigeria. Following this submission and in the run-up to Nigeria’s review at the United Nations Human Rights Council, UNHRC in November 2018, NNNGO embarked on advocacy in relation to the UPR process. The aim of this was to assess the level of implementation of previous recommendations made to Nigeria by UNHRC during the second review cycle and to take appropriate steps toward the implementation of recommendations accepted by Nigeria especially in relation to civic space.

Therefore, a one-day workshop on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Advocacy Strategy was hosted by the Network on June 6, 2018, in order to sample the opinion of CSOs. The workshop gathered seventy-one (71) participants comprising member non-profit organisations of the Network, CSOs, and Centres for developments, actively involved in human rights activism.

To this effect, an agenda was mapped out and delineated into four key areas. The purpose of this was to incorporate the key essentials of the UPR and garner participants’ responses and feedbacks, according. An overview which included insights on the previous (2nd) UPR of Nigeria was provided by the NNNGO-UPR researcher; it included information on the reinstatement of the 219 recommendations by 88 states made to Nigeria; 184 were accepted and 35 were noted. Accordingly, Nigeria received 10 recommendations relating to civic space, all of which were accepted to be implemented.

Furthermore, an analysis of the recent UPR report was carried out and participants noted that the methodology is adopted for the research. It was also noted that the initial 10 recommendations received by the Nigerian government in the previous UPR relating to civic space had not been fully implemented. Insights on why it was important for the civil society to be actively involved in the UPR process were therefore made.

A break-out session was then held for Advocacy Strategy Planning. Here, participants were split into four groups to develop a strategic plan for the UPR using the SMART Advocacy Strategy Worksheet. In this brainstorming session, participants provided answers on who to involve in implementing the strategy,  their SMART objectives, identified the policymakers related to their set objectives, reviewed their context on what is already happening outside their organisation that may impact their strategy (presenting obstacles and opportunities), gave a better knowledge of their decision makers (i.e. what they value and how best to gain their support), they considered various ways to argue their case (providing evidence to support their objectives, completing a five-point message box for their decision makers and determined the messenger for each decision maker). A work plan and budget on how to access internal resources, specify advocacy activities and assign responsibilities; how to set benchmarks for success and concluded by reviewing assignments and next steps on how to implement the UPR were also drawn up at the workshop.

The breakout session ushered in the plenary session, where participants presented varied views on how best the advocacy strategy should be carried out. The workshop concluded by affirming the need for all stakeholders especially CSOs and NGOs to be actively involved in the UPR process to ensure the rights of people are not clamped down and the government implements the accepted recommendations through advocacy and awareness creation.

  1. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
  • Citizens’ Report Initiative

As part of its work on Sustainable Development, the Nigeria Network of NGOs with the support of African Monitor continued implementation of the citizens’ report project. In the second quarter of 2018, the NNNGO team which comprised a focal point, four youth champions and a research consultant embarked on citizens’ hearings and survey in three communities from three states across the country.

Between June 1-3, 2018, the NNNGO team conducted a community entry and project launch in Malete community, Moro LGA of Kwara state. This was a reconnaissance visit to the community by the team aimed at introducing the project to leaders of the community and providing a general framework for implementation of the project.

On June 11, 2018, a citizens’ hearing in form of a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) was conducted on 72 community members of Malete community while the survey was conducted on 200 households within that community between June 12 and 15, 2018.

Reconnaissance for the second community, Ogor community in Ughelli-North LGA of Delta state was conducted between June 18-19, 2018 while the citizens’ hearing was conducted on June 26, 2018. Survey instruments in form of the questionnaire were administered to 200 households within the community by the NNNGO team between June 26- 30, 2018.

  • Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health@ Scale (PACFaH@Scale)

In the first quarter of 2018, NNNGO with the support of development Research and Projects Center (dRPC) began implementing the PACFaH@Scale (PAS) project under the NNNGO-PACFaH@Scale (NNNGO-PAS) brand name. The program which focuses on two areas; RI Financing Strategy & FP Funding in Lagos state was launched with the hosting of a CSO mapping meeting in the first quarter of the year. After the success of a CSO mapping conducted in view of incorporating the civil society into RI issues in Lagos state, a report was developed.

The second quarter of 2018, thus featured the production of the CSO mapping report as well as Policy Briefs on RI and FP funding. These documents were developed as part of advocacy tools to be used in monitoring the implementation of the RI 2018 budget.

Subsequently, the NNNGO-PAS Policy briefs on RI and FP funding in Lagos State were presented to the Director Medical Services, Lagos state and other key officials in the Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board (PHCB).

As part of activities included in the NNNGO-PAS workplan, the team also provided support to the LSMOH and LASAM Advocacy sub-committee in tracking the implementation of the 2018 RI Budget and obtained the commitment of top officials in the Lagos State Primary Health Care Board to attend the meeting with NPHCDA on the New GAVI Strategy Plan in Abuja and encourage closer working relationship between LSPHCB and the NPHCDA.

In a bid to create more visibility for the project, NNNGO-PAS program team led by the Program Officer, Ayo Adebusoye appeared on Talk time on Morning Delight on the Lagos state television on April 4, 2018, to speak on the theme, Nigeria’s Health Infrastructure -Need for State of Emergency with the aim of creating awareness about challenges bedeviling the Nigerian health sector and beaming the torch on the activities of NNNGO-PAS.

On April 27, 2018, the Program Officer, again presented a paper at a Media Roundtable program hosted by Lagos State Accountability Mechanism for Maternal and Newborn Health, LASAM with the theme, “FP Budget Allocation & Timely Release – The Great Imperative “.

The paper focused on the need to increase awareness on issues relating to routine immunization and family planning as well as advocate the timely release of FP and RI budget allocations.

Conclusion

All activities embarked upon during this quarter were in furtherance of projects which began implementation between Y2016, Y2017, and Y2018.  While there are success stories recorded in the course of implementation, the past four months have only proven that more work is needed in various areas to ensure eventual success for the projects.

Part of what was learned during this quarter was the need to further intensify efforts, leverage on existing partnerships and cultivate new ones in order to ensure continuity and sustainability.