Concept Note for Countering Trafficking in Persons - Nigeria

Purpose of Funding Opportunity
USAID Nigeria Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) (the “Project”) is seeking to issue grant(s) to local Nigeria Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) operating at national and sub-national levels as ‘’Anchor’’ organizations. The “Anchor”, or leading organization is expected to form a cluster of not less than five organizations to address Countering Trafficking in Persons (CTIP) specific advocacy issues. The “Anchor-Cluster” model is an approach of collective impact in engagement and partnership that harnesses different skills of cluster members and their networks to advocate and effectively engage government for improved governance and more efficient public service delivery.

SCALE supports anchor organizations that are passionate about their work, have strong ties to their constituencies, are committed to network development and well prepared to function innovatively and sustainably in a world of rapid organizational change and complexity.

Program Description - Background

Trafficking in persons is a serious violation of human dignity, the intensity of which is increasing worldwide. Fighting this abhorrent crime is a difficult task, particularly in Nigeria as a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons including forced labor and forced prostitution. Trafficked Nigerian women and children are recruited from rural areas within the country's borders – women and girls for involuntary domestic servitude and sexual exploitation, and boys for forced labor in street vending, domestic servitude, mining, and begging. Nigeria was recently upgraded from the Tier 2 Watch List to Tier 2 which is an acknowledgment of the significant efforts by the Government of Nigeria to meet the international minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. These efforts included convicting more traffickers and sanctioning perpetrators with significant prison terms; prosecuting officials suspected of being complicit in trafficking crimes; improving intra-governmental coordination on anti-trafficking operations; launching nine new state task forces; and for the first time, the Ministry of Defense acknowledged service members sexually exploited internally displaced persons (IDPs). However, Nigeria did not meet minimum standards as there are still reports of sex trafficking in IDP camps, fewer suspected traffickers prosecuted and corruption within the judiciary and immigration services continue to persist. To demonstrate the magnitude of this vile crime in Nigeria, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons reported in 2019 that it has rescued over 13,000 victims of trafficking with over 80 percent being Nigeria citizens while other nationals were trafficked through or into the country. 

Under component 4, SCALE is strengthening the technical, organizational, networking, and advocacy capacity of CSO partners to strengthen Nigeria’s counter-trafficking response and advance key CTIP policy reforms. Progress on this deep-rooted issue will require CSOs to holistically engage with the government.

The Nigerian civil society (CS) sector has the potential to support transformational change in Africa’s most populous country and largest democracy and improve the quality of life for Nigerians. However, the Nigerian CS is fragmented, and most CSOs work in thematic, ethnic, and regional silos, limiting their ability to influence reforms at scale or in adjacent spaces. Effective citizen engagement will require an approach that can build bridges between advocacy groups working at different tiers of government, between those that are established and those newly formed. Advocacy partnerships should learn strategies for working on politically contentious issues in a constructive and collaborative manner. Nigerian CSOs and Business Membership Organizations (BMOs) must increase their organizational capacity to play an effective, sustainable role in advocacy and accountability, improving inclusive development and governance in key sectors and to become effective partners in Nigeria’s journey to self-reliance.

Palladium implements USAID-funded Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project that seeks to strengthen the financial, management, and advocacy capacity of CSOs and Business Membership Organizations (BMOs) to effectively engage citizens to influence government in democratic reforms to improve public accountability, transparency, and sustainable service delivery. Through SCALE, Palladium is enhancing local civil society organizations’ ability to be positive and responsible change agents. We provide capacity strengthening interventions to CSOs and Business Members organizations (BMOs) working on governance, health, education, economic growth, inclusion, gender equality/women’s empowerment, sexual and gender-based violence, child early and forced marriage (CEFM), Countering Trafficking-in-Persons (CTIP), transparency and accountability and other key sectors to improve the managerial and advocacy technical capacity of CSOs and BMOs to drive policy change and greater public accountability. SCALE achieves its goal through five main intermediate results: 1. Improved CSO/BMO Organizational Capacity; 2. Enhanced Capacity for Improved CSO/BMO Advocacy, Collaboration, and Management; 3. Improved the Policy and Regulatory Enabling Environment for Civil Society; 4. Improved Countering Trafficking in Persons; and 5. Improved Sector (SGBV, CEFM) Strengthening and Advocacy.

Grant Purpose
The purpose of the grant is to support the efforts of CSOs to influence the development and implementation of key democratic reforms at local, state, and national levels in CTIP ecosystem paying attention to issues affecting marginalized populations, including women, youth, people with disabilities, and other minority groups. The grant will NOT support direct service delivery activities.

In addition to using the grants to advance advocacy and accountability efforts and achieve policy wins across the CTIP ecosystem, grantees will use funding for their own capacity improvement. This use will include buying into technical assistance (TA) and specialized training provided by SCALE resource partners to strengthen governance, critical procurement, management, and sustainability capacity. The resource partners are SCALE local technical partners providing support across the project’s five components.

Award information

  • 1. Expected number of awards - 2
  • 2. Estimate of Funds Available - Subject to the availability of funds, under this Notice of Funding Opportunity, Palladium plans to enter into a grant award for a maximum of NGN130,000,000 per grant.
  • 3. Anticipated Start Date and Performance Period. The anticipated award date is on (or around) August 1, 2023, with a performance period of 12 months, with possibility of extension.
  • 4. Assistance sub-awards. Pursuant to Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 200.400 it is USAID policy not to award profit under assistance instruments. However, all reasonable, allocable, and allowable expenses, both direct and indirect, which are related to the agreement program and are in accordance with applicable cost principles (2 CFR 200 Section E for non-profit organizations and 48 CFR Federal Acquisition Regulation, Part 31 for for-profit organizations) will be considered in establishing the final amount of the subaward.

Minimum Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for this subaward, applicants must meet the following minimum eligibility requirements:

  • Must be a Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Local Community Based Organizations (CBOs), Faith Based Organizations (FBOs) and Private for-Profit Organizations.
  • Must operate as an independent non-politically affiliated organization.
  • Must be a registered legal entity in Nigeria, as applicable, at least one year prior to the submission.
  • Must not be debarred, suspended, excluded or otherwise ineligible to receive US Federal funding.
  • Must be able to obtain a Unique Entity Identifier in

Bidders Conference
The project will hold a virtual pre-application conference on May 16, 2023. This conference will allow interested applicants the chance to ask questions about the Notice of Funding Opportunity. Interested parties that would like to attend this workshop must confirm their attendance by sending the participant’s name and the organization’s name to

Please see attached Notice of Funding Opportunity for full specifications and requirements for submitting a concept note.



Closing date:
30 May 2023