Communique Issued At The End Of The Two-Day Training-of-Trainers Workshop On Strategic Thinking And Communication Organised By The Human And Environmental Development Agenda (Heda) In Partnership With The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Under The Project On “Support To Anti-Corruption In Nigeria” Held At The Elion House Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria On 11 And 12 April, 2017
The training brought together selected representatives of CSOs from across the country that have carved a niche in anti-corruption advocacy. This training aimed to update CSO capacity and encourage them to step down their knowledge to less experienced organisations in the field. At the training, Mr Olanrewaju Suraj and Ms Kehinde Osotimehin–Olorunleke gave the welcome addresses. Mr Femi Falana delivered the Keynote address on The Role of Civil Society in Promoting Participatory Democracy and Consolidating Transparency and Accountability in Governance highlighting the following:
- Inherent challenges of capacity, funding and human resource as constraints to successfully drive the anticorruption war.
- Lack of support for the anti-corruption war at the state level despite the governing party at the federal level controlling 21 states.
- In spite of the hostile environment, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has worked against the odds to record milestones including the 200 convictions in the last year.
- The need for civil society organisations to link up with relevant grassroots organisations to encourage the Nigerian people to take ownership of the anticorruption crusade.
The training featured other sessions on:
- Enhancing a Culture of Parliamentary Engagement at State Level by Dr Muiz Banire
- The Theory, Strategy and Practice of Communication in Campaigns and Advocacies; Overview of Communication Strategy in Civil Society Community: Status, Challenges and Prospects by Ms Ayo Alli-Balogun
- NGO Leadership and Management in Nigeria by Mr Monday Osasah
- Current Issues in NGO Lobbying and Advocacy at State Level by Dr Tola Winjobi
- Role Play simulation on advocacy meeting of CSOs with parliamentarians on passage of Freedom of Information laws at the State Level
- Effective Engagement and Communication Through Social Media by Minjae Kang
Other key observations and issues for CSOs noted by the speakers and participants include:
- The expressed political will of the nation’s leadership to push for radical reforms in the fight against corruption and for the purpose of influencing policies in states are not being leveraged;
- Horizontal and vertical accountability systems are not adequately enhanced;
- Communications from CSOs need to be clear and understandable to all;
- CSO networking for legislative advocacy in the states have been insufficient and less impactful;
- An urgent need for the enhancement of capacity of CSOs in report writing, proposal writing and other forms of written communication;
- Insufficient expertise in the art of lobbying, advocacy and strategy at the level of the states;
- Inadequate utilization of social media potentials for strategic communication.
The following recommendations were made to the various stakeholders:
- Redesigning a more efficient strategy in prosecuting an organised anti-corruption crusade in order to prevent citizen apathy
- Improved synergy amongst anti-corruption agencies to ensure they do not work at cross purposes
- Ensure prosecution of indicted public officials, bring the culprit to book while whistleblowers are protected.
- Should take advantage of the political will of the nation’s leadership to push for radical reforms in the fight against corruption
- To Execute their mandates with details for both horizontal and vertical accountability systems
- Review communication strategy and ensure adoption of clear and understandable language
- Forge and coordinate effective networking, coordination and partnerships with all stakeholders
- Enhance their skills in report writing, proposal writing and other forms of written communication
- Improve their lobbying, advocacy and engagement skills especially at the state level
- Take full advantage of social media for strategic communication
The participating CSOs commit to step down their training to other CSOs on a continuous basis as well as implement ideas and next steps discussed at the training.
Signed on behalf of other organizations present:
- Mr Olanrewaju Suraj, Human And Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA)
- Mrs. Kehinde Osotimehin-Olorunleke, UNDP
- Dr Tola Winjobi, CAFSO-WRAG for Development