A Discussion with Illevbaoje Imoukhuede Uadamen, BudgIT Nigeria
Uadamen works with BudgIT an organization that tracks down public resources use and allocation in Nigeria. As part of BudgIT, he has successfully partnered with international organizations such as Open Society and UNDP. In a Google Hangout discussion with NAYD, Uadamen gives us insight on how CBOs can build meaningful partnerships with international organizations based on his experiences.
How can CBOs start building partnerships with international organizations?
The first step would be to identify a problem in the community that needs to be addressed. In my case with BudgIT, this is the need to track how the government is using public resources and whether funds are used for the intended use. After identifying the problem CBOs should then approach potential international organizations with a plan of how they can collaboratively address this problem.
How can CBOs increase their chances of partnership with international organizations?
Besides the work that the CBOs are involved in, they should also look to work with more local NGOs and other CBOs. This will not only give them an opportunity to network but also to build a record of their work which will come in handy when approaching international organizations.
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What do international organizations look for in CBOs they partner with?
An important thing they look for is integrity. CBOs must uphold integrity in their operations; maintain a transparent stand both with the local community they work with other organizations they work with. They should also have mechanisms to report back to these organizations.
Can your approach to partnerships be replicated in other African Countries?
Yes, definitely. This can also work in other countries. Case in point, we are already working in Sierra Leone.
From your experience is there enough partnership between international organizations and CBOs especially in the implementation of SDGs?
Yes, there are a number of international organizations partnering with CBOs and NGOs in the implementation of SDGs. In Nigeria, for example, we have UNICEF focusing on Goal 2 (Zero Hunger). I also know of work by OXFAM and UNDP. This shows that international organizations are willing to fund community development initiatives by CBOs.
Any last remarks?
CBOs looking to partner with international organizations must remember two things that are important while building partnerships with international organizations; transparency and accountability.