MacArthur Foundation says it intends to incorporate gender equity and social inclusion into its ‘On Nigeria’ anti-corruption project.

This was disclosed in a joint statement issued on its website on Thursday by Kole Shettima and Erin Sines, co-directors of the ‘On Nigeria’ project. 

The organisation said there is an urgent need for participation against corruption and an inclusion of all voices.

The foundation said it has diversity, equity, and inclusion as core values and hopes to now publicly get its grantee partners to incorporate same in their workplace.

“Going into the second and final phase of the On Nigeria strategy with this context, the need for transparency, accountability, and participation against corruption is as urgent as ever,” the statement read.

“Similarly, a more public and renewed focus on ensuring that all voices are heard feels critical and overdue.

“Our team has always held diversity, equity, and inclusion as values (and as a Foundation, we recently defined and affirmed our values). We have always been attentive to the representation and gender balance in our meetings, recruitment, and grantmaking. However, we did not talk about this very much externally—or enough internally. 

“We did not express it publicly as a value, nor did we ask grantee partners whether and how they think about equity in their work.”

The foundation said it has added a gender equity and social inclusion (GESI) approach to its strategy to devise ways of improving gender equity and social inclusion in its anti-corruption fight.  

It added that corruption has led to funds for public sector being siphoned leaving women who use these public services vulnerable.  

“In line with the Foundation’s commitment to the Just Imperative, which calls for us to lead with justice, we knew we needed to be more public about our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Nigerian context and within our team,” the foundation said.

“So, we added a formal gender equity and social inclusion (GESI) approach to our strategy. Our external evaluation and learning partner, EnCompass, helped us to incorporate it into our strategy and developed measures that will tell us if we are, in fact, working in a way that improves gender equity and social inclusion as we strive to reduce corruption.

“For example, corruption siphons funds from the public sector and tax base, leaving fewer resources to invest in health, education, and other critical public services that women tend to use more than men. In many places, poorer women tend to use public services even more, making them particularly vulnerable to corruption.

“To start, we agreed that we would prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion across gender, generation, ability, ethnicity, and faith. 

“We are also eager to see how GESI enhances our anti-corruption, accountability, transparency, and participation outcomes.”

Source: Policy Radar

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