Social Action is a CSO rooted in the Niger Delta focusing on bringing transparency and accountability to government budgets and spending. With PIND’s influence, Social Action changed their strategy to engage with government, rather than combating them. They now leverage their relationship to achieve greater success throughout the region.
Ken Henshaw is a long time social servant and an employee of Social Action. “Before working with PIND, we felt we were hitting a brick wall and only achieving cracks,” he shares. Social Action works to elevate issues of transparency and accountability in five states in the Niger Delta. Through assessments and promotion of its findings, Social Action strives to create an open discourse between government and community members.
“Originally, our strategy was to embarrass government by printing reports. After two years, we realized this didn’t work,” he notes. With PIND’s influence, Social Action became more strategic in their presentation and distribution of findings, improved their dialogue with government stakeholders, and refined their social media presence. “The first step has been taken to actually build a relationship with the government. This is a fundamental change for us in our approach. We learned this approach through our training with the PIND team,” Ken comments.
BUILDING INTERNAL CAPACITY
Partnering with PIND also refined Social Action’s structure, bolstered its monitoring capacity, and refocused its work for greater efficiency. PIND worked closely with Social Action to improve its operational protocols and ultimately expand its reach. “While our findings remained the same, PIND has given us more tools, more channels to better engage key stakeholders with our findings,” Ken reflects.
Social Action now works with other organizations and activists to pass on its skills in budget monitoring and reporting. It started working with eight CSOs and several community groups across four states. Now, it has at least 30 formal organizations and leaders in a network across the Niger Delta region. “Our intention is to create the most robust budgetary network in the Niger Delta,” Ken states. It seems that Social Action is well on its way.
“…PIND has given us more tools; more channels to better engage key stakeholders with our findings.”– KEN