From:Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
A Group under the auspices of Christian Aid, says it is strengthening evidence-based advocacy to improve the well-being of marginalised groups in Kaduna State.
The organisation’s Programme Officer in the state, Mercy Okeke, stated this in Kaduna on at the opening of a two-day capacity building for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Community-Based Organisations (CBOs), Community Development Associations (CDAs), and the media.
The training was on effective use of data in advocating policies and interventions aimed at improving the well-being of marginalised groups in the state.
Okeke explained that the meeting was organised by Christian Aid under the three-year programme of the Department for International Development-funded (DFID) Evidence and Collaboration for Inclusive Development (ECD).
According to her, the programme is specifically designed to improve the well-being of marginalised groups, adolescent boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 19 years, people living with disability, as well as rural women.
She said that the programme was being implemented in collaboration with the government and six local partners in Kaduna and Anambra states.
In Kaduna state, the ECID programme is being implemented by Aid Foundation, Hope for Communities and Children Initiative (H4CC), and Legal Awareness for Nigerian Women (LANW) across 16 communities in four Local Government Areas.
The local government areas include Jaba, Kauru, Kubau, and Makarfi.
The training, the programme officer said, was organised to deepen the understanding of the CSOs, CBOs, CDAs, and the media on the ECID programme, as well as their roles in the programme implementation.
She also said that the capacity building meeting was to enable the participants to develop strategic advocacy plans that would address the needs of the marginalised groups.
Okeke described advocacy as a “strategic series of actions’’ designed to influence those in political, economic or private power to implement public policies that benefit those with less political power and economic resources.
“The ECID programme wants to build the effectiveness of CSOs, CBOs, CDAs and media in accessing, gathering and effective use of data in advocating for improved services for the marginalised people.
“The data will equally empower the groups and individuals to drive the advocacy process.
“The programme also aims to enhance the use of data in demanding quality services and push duty bearers to effectively cater for the needs of the targeted groups,’’ she said.
Mr Victor Orokoyo, Senior Programme Coordinator, Policy and Advocacy of the organisation, said that the programme would improve the well-being of more than 600,000 marginalised people in Kaduna and Anambra states.
According to Orokoyo, the has a focus on four key sectors, namely: education, health, infrastructure, and agriculture to ensure effective data collection and usage to address identified issues affecting the targeted groups.