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The Nigeria Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project is a five-year project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Palladium through a cooperative agreement with USAID. The goal of the project is to improve public accountability, transparency, and sustainable service delivery in Nigeria. The strategic objective is 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 Project emphasizes leadership and innovation and explicitly aims to engage marginalized populations, including women, youth, persons with disabilities, and other minorities in the process.


The project has five main components:

  • 1. Improve Organizational Capacity; Managerial, Financial, and Institutional capacity.
  • 2. Enhance Capacity for Improved CSOs/BMOs Advocacy, Collaboration, and Management.
  • 3. Improve the Policy and Regulatory Enabling Environment for Civil Society.
  • 4. Countering Trafficking in Persons (CTIP); and
  • 5. Sector (Sexual and gender-based violence, Child and Early Forced Marriage) Strengthening and Advocacy


SCALE’s theory of change states that the project goals can be achieved IF: (i) CSO capacity (managerial, financial, and advocacy) is enhanced; AND (ii) CSOs collaborate effectively with each other and with government; AND (iii) the CSO enabling environment is permissive (legislative, policy, and practice); THEN: civil society can effectively engage citizens to influence government in key development reforms at national, state, and local levels to improve public accountability, transparency, and sustainable service delivery. The key assumptions in the theory of change are based on there being a conducive environment for CSOs and BMOs to influence policies in transparency, accountability, and good governance; CSOs and BMOs being able to sustain activities with local capacities and resources that promote transparency, accountability, and good governance in priority sectors; and the Nigerian state ensuring a healthy enabling environment for CSOs.


Purpose of Funding Opportunity
Nigeria Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) (the “Project”) is seeking to issue grants under the SCALE Innovation Fund (SIF) for innovative approaches that will promote citizen and government engagement towards creating a more accountable, transparent peaceful, and democratic Nigeria with more effective and efficient service delivery across the project’s priority sectors. The motivation of the SIF is to identify organizations with innovative initiatives and solutions for tackling the different complex governance issues in Nigeria, ranging from citizen participation to effective governance.


Instructions to Applicants
Applications are invited from all qualifying organizations, nationally and sub-nationally. Applications are to focus on innovative approaches that promote improved partnership and engagement with key stakeholders; and/or strengthen and improve public awareness and engagement in governance.

Innovations for the purpose of this funding opportunity are defined as: completely new ideas being currently tried and tested, and the application of existing ideas in a new, innovative way, or to a sector or field in which that idea has not yet been applied. Under this award, SCALE will support innovative projects or ideas that have the potential for expansion and replication.


Activities could include:

  • Programming designed to resolve gaps/bottlenecks in the policy reform process from the perspective of partnership, engagement, or public awareness.
  • Innovative approaches that increase civic partnership and engagement with key government stakeholders
  • Innovations that strengthen public awareness, engagement, discourse, and support for issues that improve transparency, accountability, and good governance, as well as promote inclusive economic development, enabling environment, and a peaceful Nigeria.
  • Support for scaling up/replication of good practices at the local level to shape national policy and have a broader national impact.
  • Programming to improve the coordination and communication among the various actors involved in the proposed policy area
  • Addressing gaps in data by conducting policy-relevant and timely research and analysis, including strengthening, or expanding research currently under development
  • Innovative approaches to monitoring the implementation of policies, preparing policy recommendations, and implementing advocacy campaigns.
  • Activities to develop and disseminate policy recommendations based on citizens’ views and policy research to raise awareness and garner support from policymakers and other key actors, including the public. This could involve publishing research/information on citizens’ views, attending and organizing seminars, forums, or conferences.
  • Conducting consultative process among CSOs, research institutions, political parties, parliaments, government officials, and other stakeholders.
  • Innovative ideas that address issues of Peace and Security in Nigeria.
  • Innovative approaches for expanding the civic space as we approach the 2023 elections
  • Innovations that address issues of safeguarding and gender equality and social inclusion

The above list of illustrative activities is by no means exhaustive. Creativity and innovative thinking are required from applicants.

Please see attached Notice of Funding Opportunity for full specifications and requirements for submitting a concept note.