The Kaduna State government has commended International Non-governmental Organisation, Christian Aid, UK for impacting positively on the lives of it’s citizens through it’s Evidence for Collaboration and Inclusive Development (ECID) programme.
State Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Baba Mohammed gave the commendation on Tuesday during the ECID closing out ceremony in Kaduna.
She said, “….data generated through the ECID project is interesting and has propelled the government to take actions to address the challenges identified….”
“We are also establishing Disability Trust Fund. This has been approved by the State Executive Council. Also, all buildings in the state will now be made disability-friendly. That is part of our social inclusion policies” The commissioner added.
For his part, the Head of Programmes, Christian Aid, UK, Nigeria, Mr Temitope Fashola, ECID will improve the lives of marginalized groups in Kaduna and Anambra states where the programme was implemented.
Fashola explained that the project which began in 2018, was designed to reduce poverty and improve the wellbeing of more than 200,000 marginalised groups in the states.
He said that the programme had also improved the wellbeing of most of the targeted marginalised groups namely, adolescent boys and girls, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and poor rural women.
Fasola identified the marginalised groups as adolescent boys and girls between 13 and 19 years, poor rural women, and PWDs.
He said that the project had positively impacted the lives of marginalised groups by enhancing their skills and confidence through improved data collection and evidence for decision-making.
The head of programme added that the marginalisation of the groups had equally decreased due to increased awareness creation, space for dialogue and improved capacity of the groups to act.
“The project also improved the effectiveness of the states in using data to facilitate decision-making through improved data management, access to quality data, and improved capacity of development actors.
“The project equally improved access to services by persons with disabilities,” he said.
He said that the project was implemented by Christian Aid Nigeria in collaboration with Aid Foundation, Hope for Communities and Children Initiative (H4CC), and Legal Awareness for Nigerian Women (LAWN).
He identified other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) as Civil Rights Concern, Hope Givers Initiative and Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), among others.
“The project seeks to improve access to information and improve participation of the targeted group in the decision-making process.
“It also seeks to improve CSOs effectiveness and a more accountable and responsive government officials.
“The project focused on four key sectors, education, health, infrastructure, and agriculture, to ensure effective data collection to address identified issues of the targeted groups,” he said.
Fashola said that ECID was implemented in Kaduna State by Aid Foundation, H4CC and LAWN across 16 communities in four Local Government Areas namely Jaba, Kauru, Kubau, and Makarfi.
Christian Aid Country Director, Mr Charles Usie, said that the project was equally implemented in Myanmar and Zimbabwe.
According to him, the project has built the effectiveness of `CSOs in accessing, gathering, and using data in advocating for inclusive development.
“ECID equally improved the use of evidence by the government in strengthening service delivery to improve the wellbeing of the people, particularly marginalised groups,” he added.
Mr Ibrahim Nuhu, Village Head of Kubau, Kubau Local Government of Kaduna State said that the project had opened spaces for the marginalised groups to participate in decision-making in Kubau communities.
According to him, the project has also increased the voices of marginalised groups in communities and community leaders and governments are responding to their needs.
Also speaking, Mr Markus Ishaya, a community member from Jaba LG, also said that ECID had strengthened their capacity in using evidence in advocating improved services.