A root cause of conflict in the Niger Delta is chronic underdevelopment. STAND works with communities to demand better service delivery and responsive governance from a rights based perspective.
“Seems like a bad joke when a community in the heart of Port Harcourt, the capital of the oil rich Rivers State suffers so badly from absence of basic amenities.”
Godspower Bapakaye Fimie, Member of Tere-Ama community
STAND (Strengthening Transparency and Accountability in the Niger Delta) is a civil society and community initiative aimed at improving governance in Nigeria, with a focus on local and state government service delivery.
A root cause of conflict in the Niger Delta is chronic underdevelopment. In a system where corruption and lack of transparency effectively excludes the majority, knowledge about basic rights is power. STAND works with communities to demand better service delivery and responsive governance from a rights based perspective.
STAND seeks poverty reduction and improvements in the quality of life of communities by providing rights based knowledge, capacity building and access to budgetary information. Communities equipped with awareness of their basic rights, advocacy skills and access to their state and local government budgets can demand better service delivery and responsive governance.
STAND worked with communities to establish creative platforms from which they could voice their demands and give vision to their aspirations.
STAND seeks poverty reduction and improvements in the quality of life of communities by providing rights based knowledge, capacity building and access to budgetary information.
“STAND project has taught us that with perseverance and dialogue we will have our demands met.”
Igosein Idumon, Member of Ogbia community
STAND focuses on improving the capacity of community and civil society actors to advocate and lobby at local and state government levels.
STAND empowers communities to directly approach local and state government to fullfil their duty and address the communities’ core development needs.
STAND also recognises an urgent need for civil society actors to support communities in order to strengthen and amplify their voices.
STAND ensures that the local population is aware of the budgetary resources that should be used to improve their lives.
STAND offers communities the various advocacy skills and tools they need to challenge the status quo and reduce the levels of poverty through improved governance.
The Niger Delta suffers crumbling
social infrastructure, administrative
neglect, high unemployment, social
deprivation, abject poverty
and endemic conflict.
“Free all men, women, and children from the abject and dehumanising conditions of extreme poverty.”
The Millennium Declaration, adopted by world leaders in New York in 2000
The resource rich Niger Delta is set to produce at least $23 billion dollars in oil wealth before 2015, but is not on course to achieve this key global generational pledge.
As the UN noted in 2006, “The Niger Delta is a region suffering from administrative neglect, crumbling social infrastructure and services, high unemployment, social deprivation, abject poverty, filth and squalor, and endemic conflict.”
Despite this context, and with a dramatic escalation of conflict in the region, STAND has demonstrated that mobilising communities to demand responsive governance has the potential to deliver Millennium Development Goals in the Niger Delta.
STAND demonstrates the potential for community groups to leverage enough resources from a patronage based system to ensure the MDGs are achieved in the Niger Delta while pushing back against that system.