The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced grants totaling $6.5 million in support of anti-corruption efforts in Nigeria.
Awarded through the foundation's On Nigeria program, the grants will support efforts to inform and empower communities in the fight against corruption and promote anti-corruption as a national priority ahead of the country's 2019 presidential and assembly elections, including projects to strengthen systems and examine what works to reduce corruption.
Recipients include the Centre for Information Technology & Development in Kano, which will use the funds to help civil society organizations provide platforms for discourse around accountability and anti-corruption efforts; the Legal Defense and Assistance Project in Lagos, which will support efforts by six Nigerian states to fully implement core elements of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, which is aimed at improving criminal investigations and prosecutions in corruption cases; and the Women's Rights Advancement & Protection Alternative in Abuja, which will mobilize and support women and women's groups to document the cost of corruption on women, speak out against corruption, and promote anti-corruption and accountability as priority issues through both traditional and social media. The foundation also awarded a grant to Chatham House in London to research the efficacy of behavioral change strategies designed to reduce corruption and promote accountability in Nigeria.
"The country has begun an important process of addressing the corruption that plagues it on so many levels," said Kole Shettima, director of the foundation's Nigeria office. "It is more important now than ever to keep anti-corruption work front and center on the national agenda, and to empower people and communities with the information and platforms they need to advocate for themselves and fight for the issues that impact their daily lives."