New OSIWA Research Grant to Protect Civil Society Space

Open Society Initiative for West Africa  (OSIWA) has awarded SPACES FOR CHANGE [S4C]  a new  grant to support research, outreach and public engagement activities to promote a free, open society for democratic engagement and civil society operations in Nigeria.  The objective of this award is to support an advanced legal research for the generation of indepth evidence on the (in)adequacy of the legislative and regulatory systems for preventing the exploitation of charitable resources in the country.


Under this project, S4C will engage a wider group of organizations, and work together with them to analyse available data, threats, trends, and initiate broader inter-agency discussion about the responses to the multiplication of oversight regimes governing the non-profit sector. It is an innovative, knowledge-production programme that aims to promote transparency and maintain public trust in the non-profit sector.


OSIWA was established in 2001 to promote open society values characterized by effective citizens’ participation, transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s emerging democracy. The organization has in the past ten years, supported interventions to strengthen constitutionalism and rule of law, and promote respect for the rights of citizens including women and other vulnerable groups that would otherwise be excluded.

civilsociety-pix23This grant is SPACES FOR CHANGE’s second award from OSIWA. The first award was in 2013 in support of S4C’s Oil Sector Legislative Engagement and Accountability Project (OSLEAP). That grant enabled S4C to undertake a comprehensive analysis of Nigeria’s oil reform bill’s (the Petroleum Industry Bill’s), provisions on the environment and community participation in the oil and gas industry; raise awareness of those provisions in oil producing communities; and undertake legislative advocacy for the reform of the country’s oil and gas industry.


Excited about this latest research opportunity and continuing collaboration with OSIWA, S4C’s director, Victoria Ohaeri stated that “integrity and transparency are ethical principles that must ground civil society operations. We hope to use this project to increase public confidence in the country’s non-profit sector, and help governments and donors make informed regulatory decisions”, she said.

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