There is a record increase and improved collaboration amongst civil society organisations (CSOs) in Edo state due to a peer learning platform introduced and supported by the Agents for Citizen-driven Transformation (ACT) Programme.
The lack of collaboration and coordination among CSO groups has been a lingering problem across the country, and Edo was not excluded. Over time, many CSOs have decided to work alone because of a trust deficit. For others, it is a matter of competition without recourse to the benefits of enhancing results through complementary and learning efforts.
ACT selected 20 CSO partners in Edo state to develop their capacity according to the outcomes of a needs assessment that was conducted in 2020. To address some of these gaps, ACT encouraged and supported CSO groups to meet every 4-6 weeks to share knowledge on performance and challenges, and generate new ways of working together and learning from each other.
The CSOs are already taking ownership of the process with minimal technical support from ACT. The platform is becoming a strong practice amongst CSO partners as they are experiencing the benefits of discussing issues as peers.
As a result, CSOs are becoming more accountable. Twelve of the CSOs partners have registered with the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering and sixteen are now registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission. There has also been an upsurge in the way external relations are being managed across the board.
“The peer learning sessions supported by ACT have been of immense benefit to NEXTGEN. We have learned how to go about getting our tax clearance because of idea sharing with a sister CSO.”
Dr Chinedu Samuel, Executive Director, Initiative for the Development of the Next Generation