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Nigeria: a promising partnership

One of the many good aspects of the EVERY ONE advocacy project in Nigeria, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is the opportunity it gives Save the Children to go into partnership with some worthy organisations.

Save the Children in Nigeria has a lot of experience working on some projects alone and as part of consortia. Save the Children also collaborates with a number of organisations – national and international NGOs, development partners as well as government ministries, departments and agencies.

The emerging engagement in Gombe State, north-east Nigeria, offers Save the Children yet another opportunity to work with some partners who are supported by the same funder in development work in a complementary way.

Save the Children will be working with Society for Family Health (SFH) and Pact in Gombe State – the three organisations are supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Meetings between the project leaders of the three organisations in June indicate that the partnership is really promising and will model best practice in the not too distant future.


SFH has been working in Gombe State and has established its presence there. Pact and Save the Children rely on SFH as pathfinder in Gombe State.

SFH has also been working with some local organisations and government, and therefore bringing all these into the partnership. Pact brings organisation development competence into the partnership, building the capacity of organisations in various areas.

Save the Children will be wearing two hats in the partnership, both supported by the Foundation. The Saving Newborn Lives (SNL) project will be building the capacities of service providers in skills such as Helping Babies Breathe (HBB), emergency obstetric and newborn care, as well as Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC).

Save the Children’s EVERY ONE advocacy project will be creating platforms and building capacities of secondary stakeholders to advocate on vaccines, health workers and nutrition. The contributions expected from the three partners can be summarised under the following four headings:

  • Building organisational capacity

Pact will build capacities of selected organisations in terms of their policies and processes to deliver the change we seek. Organisations have been identified and assessed for their strengths and weaknesses.

  • Building organisations adaptive capacities

Pact will also lead in building capacities of selected organisations to adapt to changes in the environment.

  • Building the capacity of the organisations to influence

Save the Children will lead the creation of platforms for advocacy in the state by building the capacity of organisations and stakeholders.

  • Building technical capacities of organisations and providers

Save the Children and SFH will build capacities of providers to deliver quality services. Skills will be improved through training of trainers and step down trainings as well as by supplying commodities that are critical for efficient service delivery.

To sum up, I see a very promising relationship being built and a relationship that can be recommended as best practice in a couple of years.


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