A little over a fortnight ago, I was invited to participate in a meeting with civil society organizations (CSOs) working on governance in Nigeria. It was organized by UNDP’s Democratic Governance for Development Project. Through the course of my career in development, I had worked in a couple of international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that work in the “governance” space and they have all had to deal with the Nigerian government in one way or the other. This was however, the first time in my career that I was attending such an event as an independent consultant, and not a representative of an organization whose interest I had to look out for, I could therefore look at things with some refreshing freedom of perspective. My specific role at the event was to assess if the involvement of Nigerian CSOs in advocacy and governance had gone beyond being subservient to the tasks specified by donor agencies.
“Advocacy is a political process by an individual or group which aims to influence public-policy and resource allocation decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions”