Executive Director, Aid Foundation, Mr Emmanuel Bonet, on Saturday said UKaid-funded Evidence for Collaboration and Inclusive Development (ECID), the project would reduce poverty and improve no fewer than 600,000 marginalised people in Kaduna and Anambra.
Aid Foundation is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).
Bonet said this in a meeting organised by the Foundation to validate the Kaduna State ECID Baseline Report in Kaduna.
He said that the project would specifically improve the well-being of the most marginalised groups namely, adolescent boys and girls, between 13 years and 19 years, people with disability and poor rural women.
Bonet said that the four-year ECID 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 that the data would be used to effectively engage the government to ensure citizens participation in policy and decision-making process.
Bonet said that the four-year project was being implemented by Christian Aid Nigeria in collaboration with government and six local partners across the two states and communities.
He added that in Kaduna state, the ECID project was being implemented by Aid Foundation, Hope for Communities and Children Initiative and Legal Awareness for Nigerian Women (LAWN).
The executive director said that the project was being implemented in Kaduna state across 16 communities in four Local Government Areas namely Jaba, Kauru, Kubau, and Makarfi.
“The project seeks to improve access to information and improve the participation of the targeted group in the decision-making process.
“It also seeks to improve CSOs effectiveness and more accountable and responsive duty bearers,” he said.
Bonet said that findings of the baseline survey showed that on access to services, the respondents in Kaduna state preferred to improve health services, followed by infrastructure, education, agriculture and justice among others.
“On improve voice on decision making, the respondents stressed the importance of participation and insisted that they should be consulted and preferred direct consultation or participation.
“On accountability of duty bearers, only 26.9 per cent of the respondent is satisfied and confident in their ability to hold duty bearers to account.
“However, 67 per cent of respondents are not satisfied with their capacity and ability to hold duty bearers to account because they are afraid to speak up.
“Others in this category said that the duty bearers don’t care, they don’t listen, and they don’t respond to their needs,” he said.
Bonet said that the objectives of the ECID baseline were to measure the project impact and results over time and to generate additional data and evidence to support quality project implementation.
He said that the essence of the validation meeting was to confirm if the report was a true representation of the realities in the state and to identify other gaps.
“We also want to identify other ways to help Kaduna state responds to the issues of the marginalised groups,” he added.
Earlier, Christian Aid Programme Officer, Kaduna, Mrs Mercy Okeke, said the organisation would continue to support Kaduna State in ensuring improve service delivery for the marginalised groups in the state.
Okeke added that Christian Aid would also work with the state’s Bureau of Statistics on data generation and management.
Responding, the Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Baba, thanked the development partners for finding Kaduna state worthy of such project.
Baba said that the government had done much in health, education, infrastructure and agriculture and promised to look at the findings and work with relevant stakeholders to do more.