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On Nigeria

Our Goal

Reducing corruption by supporting Nigerian-led efforts that strengthen accountability, transparency, and participation.

Why We Support This Work

A thriving Nigeria—with its rich natural resources, young and growing population, and continental leadership—is one of the most important goals for the world. Yet corruption, impunity, and mismanagement have deprived Nigeria of fulfilling its potential as citizens have limited access to quality public services and accountable governance. Nigeria also boasts a diverse and vibrant civil society, growing independent media sector, and strengthened criminal justice system. Nigerians are increasingly mobilizing and demanding a more just and accountable society. Paired with opportunities created by civil society, the media, and government and reforms in the criminal justice sector, the On Nigeria Big Bet strategy is now in its final stages. In collaboration with stakeholders from civil society, donor partners, government, and academia, we developed a strategy to reduce corruption and improve the quality of life for Nigerians. At the end of 2024, we will wind down our time-limited Big Bet strategy on anti-corruption as we explore new opportunities in Nigeria.

Our Approach

On Nigeria grants are made by invitation only.

Through targeted support, we aim to bolster the momentum around Nigerian-led efforts to strengthen accountability and reduce corruption. Our multifaceted strategy has four complementary areas of focus:

  • Enabling independent Nigerian media and journalism outlets to investigate and expose corruption and share anti-corruption success stories.
  • Strengthening the criminal justice system through nationwide adoption and implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) and complementary laws and policies. We also support strengthening anti-corruption agencies to work independently and effectively to carry out their mandates.
  • Supporting Nigerian civil society organizations, communities, and social influencers to use media reports to call for action, mobilize to demand accountability, and advocate for policy changes that make it easier to prevent, detect, and punish corruption.
  • Promoting behavior change by supporting faith communities from across religious traditions to interrogate integrity within their respective religions—and supporting performers, creators, and influencers from across Nigeria—to produce and share compelling content about corruption and the cost of corruption to Nigerian communities.

Our work and that of our grantee partners is intended to further gender equity and social inclusion as it advances the larger anti-corruption goal. When making grants and carrying out our work, we and our grantee partners are attentive to how corruption and lack of accountability, transparency, and participation disproportionally affect groups such as women and girls; youth and elderly people; internally displaced people; ethnic and religious minorities; people with disabilities, and other typically excluded groups. We design, implement, and monitor our work to ensure that we are advancing gender equity and social inclusion through our efforts.

Expected Outcomes

We anticipate that this work will lead to the following changes across Nigeria:

  • Nigerians recognize the costs of corruption, including disproportionate effects of corruption on historically marginalized groups.
  • The Nigerian government consistently and effectively implements policies, programs, and laws, including making public data more accessible, that make it more difficult to commit corrupt acts.
  • The federal government and more states consistently implement the ACJA and the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, respectively. Their improved criminal justice procedures equitably protect historically marginalized groups from the repercussions of corruption.
  • Anti-corruption agencies act independently to implement their mandates and anti-corruption laws.
  • Nigerians, civil society actors, and other non-state actors—including marginalized groups—advocate for transparency and accountability, use redress mechanisms to act against corruption, and demand public services.
  • A diverse set of independent media organizations; state institutions, agencies, and officials at various levels; and civil society are working within the system and are engaged in tackling corruption. These organizations share a common purpose and coordinate with each other to strengthen their collective impact.

Funding Priorities

We support a diverse set of Nigerian civil society organizations, media outlets, academic institutions, entertainment companies, faith-based organizations, and government institutions to work together to prevent and reduce corruption in Nigeria. The media and journalism component of our work seeks to strengthen investigative and data-driven journalism in Nigeria reporting in English and local languages and to reinforce the role played by independent media and individuals in revealing and documenting corruption. This approach is an important part of reaching and galvanizing people and communities across the country in the fight against corruption and generating widespread demand for transparency and accountability.

We aim to strengthen the criminal justice system in ways that will help combat corruption at all levels, from retail corruption to grand corruption. This works aims to reduce impunity, strengthen the legal environment, and advance anti-corruption norms through the implementation of the 2015 criminal justice act nationally and in states. As the law is more widely and consistently implemented, it will become easier to prosecute individuals who commit corruption. Additionally, we support efforts to strengthen anti-corruption agencies and implement a range of anti-corruption laws, policies, and practices that make it more difficult to commit corrupt acts.

We fund efforts by Nigerian civil society organizations across the country that drive policy change to reduce corruption and create opportunities for diverse constituencies of community members to demand change from their local, state, and federal government. We support an array of Nigerian entertainment organizations to explore corruption-related topics in their radio, television, and online programming. We also support work by religious communities and interfaith organizations to serve as anti-corruption champions and to encourage dialogue at the intersection of corruption, accountability, and religion in Nigerian society.

In addition to contributing to a range of efforts that help prevent, reduce, and punish corrupt acts, On Nigeria’s work advances gender equity and social inclusion.

We are not accepting unsolicited proposals at this time. However, contact us to share new ideas and perspectives. 


Measurement & Evaluation for Learning

Evaluation of our work is a critical tool for informing our decision making, leading to better results and more effective stewardship of resources. We develop customized evaluations for each of our programs based on the context, problem, opportunity, and approach to the work. Evaluation is not a one-time event. It is an ongoing process of collecting feedback and using that information to support our grantees and adjust our strategy.

We have engaged EnCompass LLC as our evaluation and learning partner to measure and evaluate the progress of our strategy, test the assumptions underpinning it, and collect information about the context in which our strategy operates. The focus of these activities is on learning. We aim to understand the extent to which our strategy is contributing to an increase in accountability and transparency in Nigeria.

Informed by On Nigeria’s first phase, both our approach to the work and our evaluation of that work have shifted. The initial evaluation priorities focused on examining our assumptions about how grantees could collectively contribute to meaningful change. A 2019 Evaluation Report built on initial learnings and informed ongoing learning and decision making.

Under our second phase of our strategy, our grantees partners we are exploring a set of learning questions that are essential to understanding the “so what?” of our collective work. By regularly surfacing and reflecting on emerging evidence through a series of learning briefs and workshops with grantees and partners, we are building collective expertise to navigate and shape the anticorruption landscape in Nigeria. Evaluation activities aim to understand how our work contributes to systems-level impacts and to harvest lessons that will endure beyond the Foundation’s funding horizon.

Findings and analyses from evaluation activities are posted publicly as they become available.


Updated June 2023

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