By Femi Oyelola
The Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition (KADSPAC) on Tuesday commenced a three-day training of members and community trackers on tracking social protection programmes in Kaduna State, North West Nigeria.
The Chairperson of the coalition, Ms Jessica Bartholomew, said at the opening of the training in Zaria, that the goal was to ensure transparency and accountability in the delivery of social protection programmes.
Bartholomew recalled that the state government had recently distributed food items as palliatives to cushion the effect of lockdown of the state to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
She added that the government was also developing a social protection policy that would strengthen the delivery of social protection system in the state.
She said that the policy currently being validated, would guide the implementation of an inclusive, transparent, and accountable social protection interventions to poor and vulnerable groups.
According to her, the training is organised to empower the coalition and community trackers to engage in evidence-based and result-driven activities in demanding for inclusive, transparent, and accountable delivery of social protection interventions.
“This will deepen the understanding of members of the coalition and community members serving as trackers in local government and communities on social protection.
“We will also share experiences and lessons learnt on the recent tracking of palliative distribution in the state and reflect on the ongoing social protection policy development.”
She added that the training would also strengthen the capacity of members on effective use of social media as a powerful tool in advocating for transparency and accountability.
Also speaking, Mrs Eunice Victor, Social Protection, and Inclusion Coordinator, Save the Children International said that the training was key in ensuring community participation and ownership of social protection interventions.
Victor said that the community members will play a key role in tracking implementation of programmes at community level, to ensure that only the targeted groups benefits from interventions.
On her part, Mrs Nina Dawong, Coordinator, State Operations Coordinating Unit, Planning and Budget Commission, said that the government would strengthen partnership with Civil Society Organisations.
“This is because we are working to have a state where the poorest and most vulnerable residents are supported to live productive, fulfilling, and dignifying lives.
“Therefore, working with CSOs and community members will help keep us in check if our processes are truncated and it is only through collaboration that we will succeed in the delivery of government programmes,” she said