Three Nigerian organizations win small grants to conduct advocacy for immunization financing

As Nigeria begins the five-year transition from Gavi funding for immunization programs, the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) kicks-off a small grants program to support three civil society organizations (CSOs) in advocating for adequate vaccine funding from government.

The small grants program is led in Nigeria by IVAC’s initiative Women Advocates for Vaccine Access (WAVA), a coalition of 34 women-led and women-focused CSOs spanning six geopolitical zones. WAVA members advocate for sustainable immunization financing and equitable access to vaccines for all those who need them in Nigeria.

“Small grants can be catalytic and can provide the momentum to sustain activities long after these grants have ended,” says Kate O’Brien, Executive Director of IVAC.

Each award, valued at 2 million Nigerian nairas (approx. USD $6,400), is earmarked to support the development and implementation of innovative advocacy strategies that will promote adequate vaccine funding at the national and subnational levels. Integral to each project is advancing partnerships and interactions with policymakers, key stakeholders, and communities.

For the first round, applications were evaluated based on:
  • Originality and uniqueness of the advocacy strategy
  • Connection to a clear and identified problem
  • Feasibility of implementation within the specific timeline, with key phases
  • Relevance to small grants program objectives
  • Clear monitoring and evaluation framework
  • Detailed and reasonable budget proposal
A rigorous assessment by IVAC staff and external partners led to the selection of three Nigerian CSOs as award winners:
  1. African Youth Initiative on Population, Health and Development (AfrYPoD)Background: AfrYPoD is building a strong network of individuals and youth-led organizations in Africa that promote, lead, and/or support the implementation of the recommendations of multiple internationally agreed upon conventions on health, development, and human rights. The organization’s focus areas are health, governance, migration, and environment. AfrYPoD is based in Abuja, North Central Nigeria.Project: AfrYPoD will conduct a school debate on vaccine funding, a training for youth-led CSOs on immunization funding advocacy, and a comprehensive social media campaign to engage at least one million young persons.
  2. Development & Integrity Intervention Goal Foundation (DIG)Background: DIG is a youth-, children-, and women-focused organization. This sustainable platform advocates for healthy people and healthy environments by promoting integrity, transparency, accountability, and citizen participation in governance. DIG is based in Ebonyi State, South East Nigeria.Project: DIG will conduct high-level meetings on sustainable immunization financing with key stakeholders in five South East states, weekly radio appearance, social media outreach, and press releases on sustainable immunization financing.
  3. Women’s Initiative for Self-Actualization (WISA)Background: WISA works to promote women’s rights, gender equity, and sustainable development for poor and excluded women, youth, and children. The organization’s four thematic areas are right to health, right to education, right to food and security, and right to democratic governance. WISA is based in Akwa Ibom State, South-South Nigeria.Project: In collaboration with two fellow WAVA members, Women United for Economic Empowerment (WUEE) and Dynamic Youth Development Organization (DYDO), WISA will organize advocacy and roundtable meetings, in addition to developing a fact sheet to enhance engagement with policy makers, community leaders, media, and key stakeholders.

The first set of winners will carry out their projects over three months, through the end of May 2017. A second round of the small grants program will take place in early July 2017.

“In the end, even if some didn’t win this round of grants, WAVA members are all winners,” says Chizoba Wonodi, the WAVA Convener and the Nigeria Country Director at IVAC. “In our own little ways, we are giving voice to the voiceless and hope to the hopeless by pushing for equitable access to vaccines for all. Contributing to saving one life makes you a winner in my playbook.”

For more information, please contact Hany Helmy, Nigeria Policy and Advocacy Associate, at hhelmy1@jhu.edu.