USAID Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement

The USAID Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) in Nigeria is a five-year activity that commenced in October 2020. SCALE, implemented by Palladium, has the mandate to strengthen the financial, management, and advocacy capacity of local civil society organizations (CSOs) and business membership organizations (BMOs) in Nigeria to create a more accountable, transparent, peaceful, and democratic Nigeria with more effective and efficient public service delivery. The SCALE Activity will strengthen organizational capacity of Civil Society Organizations and Business Membership Organizations (CSOs/BMOs) as well as their capacity for collaborative advocacy and accountability on priority policy areas that will improve quality of life for Nigerians.

Civil Society in Nigeria

Local CSOs continue to play a key role in addressing development challenges such as poverty, corruption, service delivery, poor participation of citizens in democratic governance, gender equality and social exclusion. However, many CSOs lack the managerial, financial, and technical capacity required for sustainability of their organizations and interventions. As such, the SCALE Activity will strengthen the capacity of local CSOs to improve their technical and management capabilities and in the process, help solidify civil society’s critical role in Nigeria

SCALE works closely with local partners on five intervention areas

Improve Organizational Capacity

IR1 focuses on improving the internal governance, procurement, finance, and succession management processes of select CSOs and BMOs for performance and sustainability.

Improved Policy and Regulatory Enabling Environment for Civil Society

IR3 focuses on creating a nonrestrictive environment for CSOs to operate, allowing them to address governance issues and mobilize citizens to demand transparency, accountability, and good governance across all sectors without restrictive regulations.

Sector Strengthening and Advocacy

IR5 aims to reduce the prevalence of SGBV and CEFM, improve collaboration among stakeholders, improve citizens’ awareness of SGBV, and improve support mechanisms for survivors by CSOs, government, and other stakeholders.

Enhanced Capacity for Improved CSO Advocacy, Collaboration and Management

IR2 focuses on enhancing the capacity of CSOs and BMOs to hold the government accountable to key policy, democratic, and development reforms at all levels.

Countering Trafficking in Persons

IR4 supports the improvement of Nigeria’s anti-trafficking response with increased CSO capacity, coordination, service provision, and greater awareness/understanding of trafficking in persons, as well as a better public understanding of CTIP in Nigeria.



Drive implementation through co-creation with diverse stakeholders, including CSOs, BMOs, faith-based institutions, development partners, advocacy and accountability champions, representatives from vulnerable communities, private sector, and federal and selected state governments and the media.

Promote principles of collective impact by aligning the actions of many different actors to have an impact that goes beyond what one organization can accomplish.

Mainstream thinking and working politically by embedding Political Economy Analysis (PEA) in all aspects of Activity planning and implementation

Use sub-awards to propel “learning by doing” across all components to build organizational capacity, advance advocacy and accountability efforts, achieve policy wins across priority sectors.

Integrate Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) considerations into all areas of Activity implementation and ensuring that strategies and activities promote the participation of women, young boys and girls, and persons living with disabilities.

Promote Conflict Sensitivity to mitigate unintended negative effects of its interventions, and to influence conflicts positively wherever possible by adapting the “Do-No-Harm” principles.

Technical Approach

The SCALE implementation approach is built on a foundation of proven methodologies for improving governance in Nigeria at the federal, state, and local levels.

Co-Creation & Start-Up

Learning and Collaboration




Gender, Equality and Social Inclusion Sensitive

SCALE is committed to GESI and will involve women, youth, PWDs, and other vulnerable populations in project decision-making through participation in the committee. We will work with vulnerable populations to review existing GESI analyses to identify priorities and inform project design, ensuring strategies are context appropriate, address vulnerabilities, and empower marginalized populations.

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