Self-regulatory models can aid CSO accountability ©

J4A/British Council

July 2021

Civil society organisations (CSOs) continue to play a greater role in shaping national policy in Nigeria. On 24 May 2021, the Agents for Citizen-driven Transformation (ACT) programme, in collaboration with USAID-SCALE, organised a virtual dialogue for subnational networks and the steering committee on the civil society regulatory environment to discuss self-regulation for CSOs.

The event aimed to establish a National Technical Committee to drive and coordinate the process of developing a “model” self-regulatory framework. The model will include a code of conduct, operational standards, information services, peer accreditation, and other elements.

The session brought together representatives from over 50 CSOs who dialogued on the need for a sector-wide self-regulatory framework. The participants also made nominations for the membership of the committee. The nominations were ratified and include six subnational networks representing the six geo-political zones across the country and three members of the steering committee. 

Since then, the National Technical Committee has held an inception meeting and two follow-up meetings to commence action towards developing the framework. A concept note and budget for the self-regulatory framework “model” development project has been developed. The remaining slots in the committee have been filled with a total of 15 members. 

The ACT and SCALE programmes are committed to funding the activities of the National Technical Committee as they design, develop, and facilitate the voluntary adoption of the CSO self-regulatory framework model. It is hoped that such a model will be replicated by CSO networks/coalitions across the 36 states and the FCT.

“ACT's facilitation of the National Technical Committee is a critical catalyst for developing a self-regulatory model for Nigerian CSOs." 

“While it is important for CSOs to comply with statutory regulations, it is equally crucial that they hold themselves accountable. This can be facilitated by developing localised and contextualised self-regulatory models that CSOs are happy to voluntarily subscribe to and comply with.” 

Dr Funmi Akinyele, Food Basket International and NTC Co-Chairman