USAID goes ‘State 2 State’ with $72 million in new assistance to strengthen governance

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By Joy Odor

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched a new State Accountability, and Effectiveness (State2State) Activity to strengthen subnational governance systems in six key states across Nigeria.

The five-year, $72 million State2State Activity helps improve how these states plan and budget, raise revenues, increase civil society participation, and oversee service delivery in the health; education; and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sectors.

The activity will begin operations in Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Gombe and Sokoto states and later expand to others.

State2State works primarily at the state level, but also supports federal institutions and local government areas by strengthening government processes like public financial management and procurement; monitoring and evaluation related to delivery of services; increasing responsiveness to citizen priorities; and improving capacity to manage societal conflict through prevention, mitigation and reconciliation.

“The scale and scope of the State2State activity is a potent symbol of the U.S. government’s commitment to partner with Nigeria to improve governance,” Ambassador Leonard said at the virtual launch ceremony. “We have made this sizable commitment because we believe dramatic improvements sometimes require considerable resources.”

State2State promises to increase accountability, transparency, and effectiveness while building on locally derived solutions, including expanding reforms that have proven effective in other parts of the country.

“There’s no doubt that we need the support of development partners to improve and sustain delivery of critical services,” said David Nweze Umahi, Executive Governor of Ebonyi State, one of three governors to participate in the virtual ceremony. “State2State has come to Ebonyi at an important time, and I assure you that we will collaborate with this activity to ensure that it succeeds.”

Implemented by DAI in partnership with key Nigerian organizations, the activity will capture, document, and share best practices – working with partner states to make more information available to citizens and relevant institutions.

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