Organisational Profile

1. Organizational Goals:

i Promote gender equity and equality in Nigeria
ii Influence policy-making and foster partnership which work for social justice.
iii Promote equitable and sustainable development in Nigeria through gender- based and people-centered action.

2. Mission Statement:
To foster critical alliances and work for social justice in Nigeria through a gender based development approach.

3. History:

GADA was started in 1994 by Nkoyo Toyo, Barbara Riley (Canadian) and Eka Williams. The decision to establish GADA followed the unimpressive quality of participation and representation of Nigeria’s official delegation to the Dakar regional meeting of the Fourth World Conference on Women. The Nigerian delegation was under the dominant influence of the first Lady who provided little space for alternative perspectives. Efforts to re-establish a credible platform for civil society activism around issues of women (and men) became the impetus for setting up an organization committed not only issue of social justice in Nigeria but working to promote alliances within civil society and with supportive state structures. by 1996, GADA was able to rally women (and men) at a first ever National Political Summit for Women in Nigeria, to review their issues from the perspective of civil society actors and produce an alternative agenda and platform for action.
4. Targets and Beneficiaries:

GADA’s work target policy-makers, women and men in public life, civil society actors, categories of marginalized persons (that often include women) and those poorly represented in national decision-making in Nigeria. These categories of persons and the issues they represent are often subsumed by ethnic, religious and political bickering which diminishes their importance. With the rather unsatisfactory operational environment for their participation, these interests within civil society need to band together if they are to influence policy-making GADA works with such allies to build our national and national groups in order to exert influence at various levels of decision-making. Alliance building is an ongoing process and an essential part of GADA’s mission to foster credible and committed partners that can expand its outreach and strengthen its networking capacities. GADA’s mandate, its history of national mobilization and cross-national sensitization has put it in a unique position to access a pool of existing resources to enhance it impact.
5. Structure:

GADA has a seven-member Board of Directors, three technical committees of which the Chairpersons are board members and three operational offices. The three technical committees are those of Management, Programs and Research, while the offices are located in Lagos, Calabar and Abuja. The Management Committee is headed by the Executive Director who is also a member of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors meets twice yearly to review the performance of the organization, address issues of funding, determine whether programms are consistent with the organization’s mission, and assess the work of Committees.

Committees seek the endorsement of the Board to operate but, this is secured through an annual strategic meeting where programs are presented discussed and adopted. Other matters for decision-making go through Committees.

The Lagos office is the advocacy and publication arm of the organization. The GADA Centre for Training and Development Activities (CeTDA) in Calabar undertakes training and community projects. And also, the organization’s Research and Policy influencing office is in Abuja. Finally Port Harcourt office has a strong focus on the livelihoods and securities of the people of the Niger Delta.

GADA is a non-membership organization and has a total of 30 full and part time employees and volunteers. Most of GADA’s work is done in association with other groups in civil society.

6. Challenges:

In Nigeria today, there is widespread concern for gender issues, however, these concerns are yet to be properly articulated and appreciated by many particularly those in decision-making positions. This lack of appreciation is compounded by the absence of civil society because their involvement is far in between and these are no serious social movements with national influence to pressurize for change. With most groups under-resourced, and so lacking the necessary leverage to influence mainstream actions, the prospects for immediate change looks bleak. Given this background, the future challenges for GADA are:

* To participate in the emergence of effective coalitions that transverse different issues, geographic locations and interests.
* To support the building of a National institutional framework which will link the popular aspirations enclaves and negotiate appropriate change.
* To identify ways to enhance the working of state funded institutions both in terms of their accountability and effectiveness.
* To assist the development of the mechanisms which will enhance the credibility of Civil Society Organizations and equip them to act as positive agents of change.

7. Program Focus Areas:
* Conflict Resolution
* Education
* Environment
* Governance
* Health
* Human Rights
* Organizational Development
* Democracy and the Political Process
* VAW (Violence Against Women)
* Poverty
* Public Service Reforms
* Social and Community Development



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