Christian Aid and her partners in Kaduna have launched a new UK aid funded programme the Evidence and Collaboration for Inclusive Development (ECID) that will contribute to reducing poverty and improving the wellbeing of over 200,000 adolescents, poor rural women and People with disabilities in Kaduna State.
In Kaduna, the funded CSOs are AID Foundation, Hope for Communities and Children Initiative (H4CC) and Legal Awareness for Nigerian Women (LANW).
The ECID programme which was conceived out of the dire need to address the growing issues of marginalisation and under-development in the country, seeks to achieve its aim by facilitating evidence-based policy and decision-making through the effective use of data by policymakers to address the issues of marginalised groups.
The programme which will also take place in Anambra state will run till September 2022 and focuses on four priority areas of intervention; health, education, agriculture and infrastructure.
The programme will strategically combine its two key strands; evidence and collaboration to foster inclusive development. Inclusive development is a prerequisite for sustainable development and will ensure that the needs and perspectives of all groups, regardless of socio-economic or socio-cultural standing are heard and addressed.
Victor Arokoyo, Project Lead and Christian Aid Nigerias Senior Programme Coordinator, Policy and Advocacy stated that: Desk reviews and stakeholder consultations across different sectors has shown that despite the progress the government has made, there is still a disconnect between policies and the realities of the citizens, therefore, leaning more towards policy making that is evidence-based is a key strategy to address this.
The programme will therefore work with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that adequate and accurate data is collected and effectively used by policymakers, ensuring that citizens can play an active role in policy making processes, he added.
The text of the press conference read shortly after the official launch by Mercy Okeke, Christian Aids Programme Officer who stood in for Mr Arokoyo said, collaboration across sectors and groups is key towards achieving the set target, adding that the ECID programme is strategically placed to foster collaboration among CSOs, academia, policy makers, marginalised groups and private sector, which is reflected in the design of the programme structure itself.
“Gender Equality and Social Inclusion as well as the Kaduna State ECID project lead mentioned that although the programme is being officially launched on the 13th of August, a number of activities have happened within the state, such as stakeholder engagements and a baseline survey that consisted of focus group discussions, perception surveys, Key Informant Interviews to determine the gaps in access to services across the four priority areas as well as issues of participation by marginalised groups.
“The findings of the survey were validated both at community and state levels and are available to all interested stakeholders.
“The pre-launch activities revealed that the most marginalised groups are poor rural women, adolescents, and People with disabilities. The programme is therefore focusing its efforts on ensuring that the perspectives of these groups are heard and used effectively for policy and decision-making at community, local and state level.
“The programme will also empower these groups to be able to participate meaningfully in governance and decision-making processes as it strives towards a more inclusive and sustainable development”.
The Evidence and Collaboration for Inclusive Development (ECID) programme is a two-state programme funded by UK aid and led by Christian Aid in collaboration with Civil Society Organizations across Anambra and Kaduna States.
ECID is a multi-country project being implemented in Myanmar, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. It is managed centrally by a consortium of partners led by Christian Aid and set to improve the face of policy-making for sustainable and inclusive development in Kaduna State.
The official launch was performed by Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai represented by the Commissioner for Human Services amd Social Development. Hajia Hafsat Mohammed Baba.