Notice of Funding Opportunity - Nigeria Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) Project

The Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project is a five-year project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Palladium International Development Limited through a cooperative agreement with USAID. The goal of the project is to strengthen good governance by increasing the capacity of civil society networks and coalitions to influence the development and implementation of key democratic reforms at local, state, and national levels. The Project emphasizes leadership and innovation, and explicitly aims to engage marginalized populations, including women, youth, people with disabilities, and other minorities in the process.

The SCALE project has five main components:

  • Improve Organizational Capacity; Managerial, Financial, and Institutional Strengthening for Sustainability of targeted CSOs/BMOs for a more effective and efficient public service delivery;
  • Enhance Capacity for Improved CSOs/BMOs Advocacy, Collaboration, and Management
  • Improve the Policy and Regulatory Enabling Environment for Civil Society
  • Countering Trafficking in Persons (CTIP)
  • Sector Strengthening and Advocacy

The Nigerian civil society (CS) sector has the potential to support transformational change in Africa’s most populous country and largest democracy and improving quality of life for Nigerians. However, the Nigerian CS is fragmented, and most Nigerian civil society organizations (CSOs) work in thematic, ethnic, and regional silos, limiting their ability to influence reforms at scale or in adjacent spaces. CSOs often take a confrontational approach to the state, which can lead to a backlash that damages citizen-government engagement. Also, few CSOs have the political clout to effectively engage government at national, state, and local levels.

The Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) Project is seeking to issue grant(s) to local Nigeria Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) including Business Membership Organizations (BMOs) operating at national and sub-national levels as ‘’Anchor’’ organizations providing sectoral leadership to thematic issue clusters of not less than five organizations on specific advocacy asks that promote transparency, accountability and effective public service delivery. SCALE is keen on promoting the innovative approach of collective impact to engagement and partnership by supporting clusters of Nigeria CSOs/BMOs harnessing their different skills and networks to advocate and effectively engage government and civil society for improved governance and more efficient public service delivery.

SCALE will support democratic reforms to improve public accountability, transparency, and sustainable service delivery across any of the following key priority sectors: Health, Education, Economic Growth, WASH, GESI, Human Rights, Trafficking in Persons, Elections, Sexual and Gender Based Violence, Early Child and Forced Marriage, Enabling Environment/Civic Space, Agriculture, Peace and Justice, Human Rights, Security, Anti-Corruption, Extractives, Religious Tolerance, Trade and Youth Development

SCALE will support advocacy efforts at the national and/or state levels, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Applicants are encouraged to aim to address common advocacy issues across different States of Nigeria, including the FCT.

The purpose of the grant is to support the efforts of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Business Membership Organizations (BMOs) to influence the development and implementation of key democratic reforms at local, state, and national levels across any of the SCALE key sectors, paying attention to issues affecting marginalized populations, including women, youth, people with disabilities, and other minority groups. This will include supporting CSOs to advocate for reforms for curbing trafficking in persons or inclusive education for persons with disabilities, and BMOs to advocate for women-friendly and gender-sensitive business environments free from violence. The grant will NOT support direct service delivery activities.

Subject to the availability of funds, under this NOFO, Palladium plans to make awards depending on each organization’s circumstances and capacity level. We will use the following ranges to guide our grantmaking according to organizational capacity (nascent, emerging, and mature).

  • Nascent: Microgrants up to NGN1,925,000.00
  • Emerging organizations up to NGN96,250,000.00
  • Mature organizations up to NGN96,250,000.00 and more than NGN96,250,000.00

Organization’s capacity will be assessed during a pre-ward assessment phase to determine their status and the category they fall into for the award.

The duration of any grant award under this NOFO is expected to be no longer than two years with the possibility of an extension, with an estimated start date of August 1, 2021. Palladium reserves the right to fund any or none of the applications submitted.

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

  • Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) including Business Members Organizations (BMOs), Local Community Based Organizations (CBOs), Faith Based Organizations (FBOs) and Private for- Profit Organizations. Organizations new to USAID funding are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • 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.

For the full NOFO, click DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT on this page. Interested and eligible organizations may also send a request to to be emailed a copy of the full NOFO.

The project will hold an in-person pre-application question and answer conference on April 22, 2021 at the Sheraton Hotel in Abuja, at #1, Ladi Kwali way, Wuse, Abuja (any change to this venue will be communicated via email). A virtual pre-application conference will hold on April 23, 2021 for participants who are not able to join the in-person conference. These conferences will allow interested applicants the chance to ask questions about the NOFO.
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

To enable strict compliance to the NCDC recommended COVID-19 protocols, a maximum of one representative may attend from each organization. When confirming attendance, please indicate if the person has any special need to access the conference.

Please note that the costs of participating in the in-person conference will be at the sole expense of the participant as the project will not reimburse for costs of attendance.



Closing date:
17 May 2021