To support implementation of key democratic reforms in Nigeria, the Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement (SACE) program is working to increase the capacity of citizens across the country to be more involved in democratic reform processes. By fostering an environment of engagement and advocacy, the program helps Nigerian citizens better influence institutions whose function it is to serve public interests. Funded by USAID, the program aims to boost participation of marginalized populations — such as women, youth, and the disabled — and emphasize the importance of leadership and innovation.
SACE has four main strategies, each of which contributes to the goal of strengthening advocacy. First, the program is building the institutional and technical capacity of civil society organizations. Such efforts help these groups create and push targeted democracy and good governance initiatives. Second, SACE is strengthening partnerships between civil society organizations and the Nigerian government. This broad-based collaboration ensures that all key stakeholders are monitoring reforms strengthening transparency, accountability, and the responsiveness of government institutions.
A third goal is to foster public awareness, discourse, and support for key democratic issues, in particular those related to accountability and good governance. Finally, the program is working to build partnerships between business membership organizations and civil society organizations in the Niger Delta. Cultivating these networks ensures that economic reforms will be inclusive and lead to equitable growth.
SACE supports the USAID Forward initiative, which aims to increase the number of direct procurements with local organizations. In line with this goal and concurrent to improving civic participation in governance, the program also works with select Nigerian organizations so that they will be better positioned to receive USAID funding in the future.