Centre LSD Catalysed the Operation and Achievement of the Nigeria Open Alliance, Edaten Ojo, OGP Co-Chair
Centre LSD through her OGP project funded by the MacArthur Foundation (MAF) has become a life saver to the Nigeria Open Alliance (the CSO arm of the OGP).
The Nigerian Open Alliance, a loose coalition that predated the Nigeria signing onto the OGP was constituted in 2014 with just 3 organisations (Media right agenda, BudgIT and PPDC). The alliance was formed to campaign for Nigeria’s membership/signing on to the OGP and organised to decide critical issues that should be in the NAP. As at the early stage of formation, the alliance was a loose structure, self-funded, and was constrained by funds. Similarly, at that time, the Alliance was at the point of supporting the drafting of the NAP. This therefore required series of stakeholders’ engagements and planning meetings which the alliance was unable to effectively host because of the unavailability of funds and the high cost of these consultations. This, therefore, limited the alliance engagements only to the national level engagements and their meetings were irregular. The only fund that was supporting the few meetings of the alliance then was from BUDGIT.
In 2016 Nigeria signed on to the OGP and thus the alliance was expanded to accommodate other organisations like Centre LSD, CISLAC, CODE, and NRGI, etc. at this time, (after Nigeria joined the OGP), the Open alliance which was the CSOs arm of the co-creation was not as active as it should be and thus was not able to contribute to the take-off of the OGP in Nigeria as the only organisation that was funding the alliance then was no longer able to bear the huge cost due of such expansion. This also was as a result of the fact that membership was growing and there were no funds to organize meetings and invite all members of the open alliance.
In 2017, Centre LSD began to support the Open alliance with funds from her OGP project funded by MAF. With this support, the alliance grew from 4 to 10, then to 40 initially. As at October 2018, this number has risen significantly to 270. Apart from the increase in the membership of the Open Alliance as a result of Centre LSD’s support, the alliance has also been able to host 3 large meeting, as the need arose. Centre LSD also supported the steering committee meetings, regional trainings, monthly newsletter, advocacies, capacity building for secretariat and members of open alliance to deliver, facilitated regional engagements and advocacies as well as the secondment of the past two coordinators of the Alliance (Abayomi and Stanley)
Centre LSD’s support has therefore led to increase in Open Alliance membership; strengthened the structure; increase advocacy meetings; increase the number of engagements both at the national and sub-national engagements; state levels sensitization; regional meeting encouraging state to set-up their own local open alliance and to engage the state government; and many more. With Centre LSD’s support, the Open Alliance has been able to effectively discharge her co-creation duties.
Thanks to the Centre for being a lifeline to the alliance through her MAF project.