Online Program

Challenging donor assumptions about HIV program sustainability: Civil society funding in Nigeria

Monday, November 4, 2013

Taylor Williamson, MPH, RTI International, Silver Spring, MD
Funding for civil society organizations (CSOs) that work to mitigate HIV in Nigeria has grown in the last decade. While increased funding opportunities have been a net positive, the increased funding could also lead to weaker relationships between donors and CSOs, program duplication, reduced collaboration, and decreased understanding of the others' contributions to HIV programs.

Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, 533 CSOs and 48 key informants (donors, national networks, government, and international organizations) were interviewed to gather information on the scope of internal and external financing mechanisms and programs.

The survey indicated that the most prolific donors of HIV activities in Nigeria were the US Government (32% of all funding), other Nigerian CSOs (27%), and the Nigerian government, with the World Bank and Global Fund (25%). Despite the outsize presence of external donors, many CSOs also have internal means of financing their HIV mitigation activities, pointing to higher than expected capacity for sustainability. While some key informants felt that most CSOs existed to implement external donor programs, internal fundraising and income-generation were common; 25% of all projects were implemented with internally-generated funds.

In contrast to the expectations of donors, the research shows that CSOs maintain a web of funding relationships to finance HIV activities, including multiple funding sources and internal financing for self-funded projects. Viewing CSOs solely as implementers of external programs risks displacing self-funded programs and overlooking possible innovations. Understanding that CSOs have activities beyond donor projects is also critical to building the capacity of the entire organization.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Identify civil society funding sources in Nigeria and how those funding sources shape projects.

Keyword(s): Community Programs, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the activity manager for the work on which this abstract is based and the principal author for the final written product.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.