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In the last two quarters of 2018, activities geared towards project completion and improved communication of outcomes to regulators, donors, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the general public.
UPDATE ON PROJECTS
Projects updates are presented below, in categories that fit the theme of each project:
PROTECTION OF CIVIC SPACE
The NNNGO-CAMA research and training team led by the Executive Director, met with the Corporate Affairs Commission and National Assembly on July 18th and 19th 2018, respectively, to discuss issues around the new amendments to the Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, CAMA and how to ensure sustained strengthening of statutory frameworks for CSOs in Nigeria.
Sequel this, a planning committee was established to monitor the organization of the tool kit workshops. The purpose of these workshops is to train member NGOs on how to use the tool kits for optimal organisational management. To kickstart the training and planning process, an invitation email was sent to selected participants for the first Compliance training, scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt on Oct 22nd and 23rd. At the training participants were educated on actions and processes needed to strengthen regulatory framework policies (Compliance to Part F of CAMA, AML/CFT compliance, Financial Management) that have been put in place to ensure smooth operation of their various organisations.
The Kaduna leg of the training for nonprofits in the Northern region of the country was to be held on the 25th and 26th October 2018. This could however not hold given the ethno-religious crisis in Kaduna around that period which necessitated a cancellation.
Reporting for the 2nd year commenced immediately after the workshop, with focus on the workshop evaluation report, minutes of meetings, workshop reports, CF narrative report, CF performance framework and CF financial report for overall monitoring and evaluation of the project.
The documents were sent to the Commonwealth Foundation for final approval which marked the close of the project activities for the 2nd year.
In the last two quarters of the year, the lifeline project was instrumental in bringing to the fore the important work that civil society organisations do in the country as well as debunking misconceptions about transparency and accountability within the sector. The Lifeline project entailed civil society organisations at state, regional and national levels interacting with their representatives at National and State Assemblies through the use of letters; these letters contained important information including the impact that these organisations have had within their communities since inception.
In addition, the letters as well as an information pack about the existing frameworks within the Nigerian third sector were sent to donors, the Committee Chair of the National assembly, and elder state men.
Series of info-graphics, posts and pictures were developed to drive home the point and justifications for the civil society’s call for the death of bill 585. Some of the successes recorded in these quarters were responses from legislatures who had received letters and acknowledged the campaign while noting their willingness to support the third sector in its fight for improved working environment.
These letters and many more important pieces of information shared by these nonprofits formed a basis for the creation of publications and various communication outputs which the Nigeria Network of NGOs used to further advocate for the protection of the rights of nonprofit organisations and the civic space as a whole.
Some of these publications include; How NGOs are regulated in Nigeria?, Nonprofit Regulatory Trends , Background on the non-profits sector, What we heard on the NGO Bill, and Shadow Report Public Hearing on Bill 585.
In the third quarter of 2018, the NNNGO-CRI team embarked on a trip to Gbopa community, Ido LGA in Oyo state in continuance of the Citizens’ Report Initiative. As done in the two communities visited during the second quarter, the team conducted a reconnaissance visit on July 11, 2018, carried out citizens’ hearing with residents of the community on July 22, 2018 and proceeded to conduct survey on 200 households between July 23 and 27, 2018. The conclusion of data gathering for the project then gave room to data analysis and the production of a report titled, “Measuring Society’s Progress on the SDGs; a lens from 3 regions in Nigeria” in September, 2018.
This report was presented to policy makers at the National House of Assembly with a view to driving change, discourse and development for better implementation of the SDGs.
In a bid to strengthen the advocacy capacity of CSO coalitions in support of allocation and release of funding in Lagos State for Family Planning (FP), the NNNGO-PAS team organised the first NNNGO-PAS/LASAM sub-committee meeting and supported the Local Governments RH/FP Managers meeting. As a result of these engagements, the Lagos State Local Governments FP Financing Scorecard Developed and the RI operation plan scorecards were produced. The team also ensured all publications; scorecards, policy briefs and articles relevant for advocacy purposes were circulated to appropriate authorities including the Director Medical Services and other key officials in the Lagos State PHCB.
In a bid to improve project visibility, the NNNGO-PAS Program Officer served as a panelist during the Lagos State Health Financing Advocacy event; highlighting pressing budgetary issues for Family Planning and Routine Immunization in Lagos state. Also, in the last two quarters, NNNGO-PAS contributed to the development of the advocacy tools during the LASAM Advocacy Tools Development Workshop, participated in the SERICC Quarterly Meeting, charting way for civil society representation for the first time, provided support in the review of the RI Finance Tracking Tool for the Local Governments and the Lagos State 2018 RI Workplan for the LASAM CSO advocacy committee.
NNNGO-PAS also provided support for the production of final copies of the 2018 RI Budget tracking tool, used the final copies of the 2018 RI Budget Tracking tool and the Updated 2018 RI CIP as advocacy tools to relevant stakeholders involved in RI funding in the state, supported the development of the 2019 RI Costed Implementation Plan before the end of 2018, supported and participated in the presentation of CSO Advocacy Asks during the 2019 Budget Preparation. Very importantly, between the last two quarters of 2018, NNNGO-PAS generally intensified advocacy efforts towards improved allocation and timely releases of Family Planning (FP) funding in fulfilment of state governments’ commitments to FP through the domestication of Federal government policies and the introduction of state specific programs.
In the last two quarters, the project, Improved Engagement between Nigeria Network of NGOs and its Members, sponsored by International Forum of National NGO Platforms (FORUS) was introduced. This project aims to build capacity and strengthen partnerships among member organisations of the network as well as between the Network and said organisations. To implement this project, the Network will, from January, 2019, embark on: strengthening communication between members and the NNNGO secretariat using tailor made communication tools; developing a sector wide capacity needs assessment report for use by the Network and stakeholders; Improve transparency and accountability amongst Nigerian nonprofits through the adoption of a standard operational manual. The operational manual will serve as a tool kit/guide on how CSOs can operate effectively thereby improving their transparency and accountability.
The Istanbul principle will serve as a guide to the IFP-FIP (FORUS) supported project. The principle set a standard for how organisations should carry out their work and it provide guidelines on how to improve developmental results. Applying these Principles facilitates accountability between an organisation and their partners. also, it enables organisation give account of their activities and explain to donors what they can expect when they support them to carry out development initiatives. Overly, it establishes credibility for the international development sector at all levels—community partners, public, governments, and donors.
All activities embarked upon during these quarters signified NNNGO’s continued commitment towards National development and attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. While some of these projects and activities were finalized in the course of the year, the Network will continue to work on the implementation and completion of the others and many more.
Part of what was learnt in the year was the need to further intensify efforts, leverage on existing partnerships, cultivate new relationships and present success stories using platforms that our audiences can better relate to, in order to ensure continuity and sustainability.
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