The MacArthur Foundation has since 2019, been the largest funder of our work at Step Up Nigeria. As recipients of the On Nigeria grant under the behavioural change cohort, our work with the foundation seeks to change the attitudes and behaviours of beneficiaries through tailored messaging, tools and approaches. In 2019, we launched the ‘Anti-corruption Education for Social Change’ (ACESC) project which sought to use a storytelling approach to change behaviours in children towards acts of integrity. We received renewed funding in 2021 as we launched phase 2 of the ACESC project targeted at changing specific corrupt behaviours in children, certifying schools with integrity, raising parent anti-corruption champions, and creating new and innovative tools to target policymakers and citizens to build future leaders to act with integrity. See more under Projects.

We partnered with the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime to Pilot Education for Justice (E4J) tools in Nigeria. One of Step Up Nigeria’s storybooks Emeka’s Money was adopted by the UNODC as an E4J tool. Alongside Emeka’s Money, we also piloted The Zorbs cartoons in primary and junior secondary schools across Nigeria. 500 children were reached with these tools and many young anti-corruption starts were raised. You can learn more about piloting E4J tools on our YouTube channel here, and watch Naomi Oloyede’s story resulting from engaging with these tools here.

In September 2022, Step Up Nigeria partnered with the British Deputy High Commission in Lagos to launch the First Time Voters Integrity Initiative and award Integrity certified schools. The event highlighted the stories of first-time voter integrity champions who are taking action in their communities to tackle vote-buying and selling and to advocate for better service delivery. It also recognized efforts by young people to promote electoral integrity and to motivate other young people to take action. At the event, we also awarded schools in Lagos that are to be integrity certified for fulfilling the required criteria towards building a culture of integrity in their schools. More here.

The Katsina State ministry of education purchased 3,872 anti-corruption storybooks, i.e, 976 copies each of Emeka’s Money, Halima’s vote, Ansa’s Speech and Tosin’s Story, from Step Up Nigeria in June 2022. The storybooks purchased by the ministry will be disseminated under the Adolescent Girls initiative for Learning and Empowerment Project (AGILE). The books are to serve as instructional/learning materials for 31 Junior Secondary schools and 21 senior secondary schools in the state.

Step Up Nigeria since October 2019 has partnered with the Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED) to institutionalize the teaching of anti-corruption education in Nigeria reaching over 12,000 children in schools. Working in 24 of 36 states in Nigeria and targeted at low-cost primary schools, AFED has one of the widest networks of educators and schools across the country. Since 2021, AFED and Step Up Nigeria produced an integrated anti-corruption scheme of work for upper primary 4 -6 to teach civic education in schools using Step Up Nigeria’s tools. The pilot of the mainstreaming anti-corruption education project will commence in September 2022. This means over 3,000,000 children in low-cost private schools in Nigeria will be taught anti-corruption education in the classrooms.

In 2023, Step Up Nigeria partnered with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Palladium on Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE), a project that dialogues series on digital civic space which spawned the Safeguard Online Civic Space (SOCS) group. SCALE is a five-year activity that commenced in October 2020. SCALE, implemented by Palladium, has the mandate to strengthen the financial, management, and advocacy capacity of local civil society organizations (CSOs) and business membership organizations (BMOs) in Nigeria to create a more accountable, transparent, peaceful, and democratic Nigeria with more effective and efficient public service delivery. The SCALE Activity will strengthen the organizational capacity of Civil Society Organizations and Business Membership Organizations (CSOs/BMOs) as well as their capacity for collaborative advocacy and accountability on priority policy areas that will improve the quality of life for Nigerians.