Jan Knight, for INTRAC, was the Capacity Building Adviser on DFID’s State Accountability and Voice Initiative (SAVI) in Nigeria (2008 – 2014). The common goal of DFID’s State Led Programmes in Nigeria was to support more efficient and effective use of Nigeria’s resources to achieve the MDGs through demonstration in key sectors in lead States. SAVI worked to strengthen the involvement of civil society in government decision-making processes in support of improved state-level service delivery through policy advocacy in 8 Nigerian states. This required INTRAC’s expertise in supporting the capacity of SAVI state teams to facilitate the empowerment of civil society as the demand side of governance.

Jan supported the process of building partnerships (civil society – media – State Houses of Assembly) around advocacy issues as identified through the initial S-Doc process and political economy analyses at State level. The programme focused on strengthening the voice of the ‘demand side’ to  support the engagement of citizens with policy development to influence inclusive practice by the ‘supply side’, e.g.: State House government, local government, Ministries, service providing facilities, Executive Council (Commissioners, etc.) and other DFID ‘supply side’ programmes.

The facilitatory approach of the SAVI partnerships encapsulated value for money; INTRAC’s provision of support to SAVI State Teams had the knock-on effect of influencing demand side voice to advocate for change at policy level; simultaneously SAVI advocated for change across the supply side actors.

DFID’s wide ranging partners appreciated the importance of cooperation with the ‘voice’ of civil society and sought further support to engage with this process to ensure effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability. The process involved the identification of opportunities for change and accountability and SAVI’s learning in this regard is has been sought by others, nationally and internationally.

Read more about SAVI here: http://savi-nigeria.org/