© UNICEF Nigeria
Planning and communication supports the different programme areas to measure changes in the situation of children and women in the country.
- Seven States began developing databases using ‘DevInfo’, a software tool for monitoring human development. Some partners from eight States of the North-West and FCT also acquired the software and the knowledge and skills to use it. Nigerian statistics experts now have a comprehensive guide for concepts and methodology of social research following the report on harmonisation of social research by the National Bureau of Statistics. Some States are already using the report to improve their statistical processes.
- Nigeria’s Federal Government, the 36 State Governments and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) used the National programme and State plans of action in developing the second phase of the country’s National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS-2). Most States have set up committees for drafting local Government plans of action and 24 focus Local Governments Areas now have such plans of action.
- With the exception of six States, all States and the FCT have reviewed their plans of action to incorporate children and AIDS. The plans are extensively used by the States to develop their State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (SEEDS-2).
- Osun State pioneered an innovative approach of cross-State collaboration in community development by extending technical support to neighbouring Ekiti State in the completion of community action plans in 32 communities there. Osun State itself had already replicated the community-based approach in 61 additional non-focus communities of its own. Similarly, Anambra, Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi, Plateau, Sokoto and Zamfara States have also replicated the concept of programme convergence and focus communities in 20 additional communities.
- Training of journalists, broadcast managers and senior editors heightens interest in child rights issues and substantially improves visibility and quality of reporting. In the past year, UNICEF assisted training helped generate some 345 human interest stories on children in print, radio and television. Through a 13-episode radio programme and a 21-hour prime time radio campaign on child trafficking, some 60 million radio listeners were sensitised on the plight of children living on the streets. A positive but unintended outcome was the rehabilitation of 46 of the 47 children who participated in the programme.
- Special events such as Children’s Day and Day of the African Child allow children to interact with and increase commitment from policy makers. It also contributes to a better public awareness of child rights.
- Communication and Alliance Building (CAB) project interventions contributed significantly to the 80 per cent reduction in the number of wild poliovirus cases from the 2006 level. Three hundred ward focal persons and over 1,500 vaccinators from the 30 highest risk Local Governments Areas (LGAs) in the six highest risk States improved inter-personal communication skills to counsel non-compliant families. The subsequent active participation of ward leaders, traditional chiefs and village elders in supporting the programme occurred as a result of vaccinators explaining issues correctly to caregivers.
- Over 90 per cent of the focus communities held monthly community dialogues on several child rights themes which were mostly facilitated by community members themselves. As a result, communities resolved to counsel members and provide inputs to support appropriate behaviours.
- Community members from 62 listening groups in 14 States regularly listen to and discuss child and community welfare concerns. They are actively involved in developing local dialect media programmes that profile local voices and they also monitor child survival and development services in their communities.
- Community and ward development committees serve as links between their communities and the health facilities serving them. Briefed by the traditional leaders, the town announcers disseminate child survival messages.
- Community theatre helps to achieve improved knowledge on child protection and survival issues in all States. Closely monitored groups in the North-Central and West zones hold regular ‘enter-educate’ performances. Community viewing centres and radio listening groups are facilitating exposure to audio-visual communication which document community initiatives and link neighbourhood groups with radio stations. Over 48 community viewing sessions were facilitated in the South-East. Over 200 community resource coordinators from the North are also facilitating community radio listening groups.
- Communication efforts in the basic education and water, sanitation and hygiene programmes have led community members in the six girls’ education project target States to implement activities supporting enrolment, retention and completion of primary education. Interfaith groups in 11 States have incorporated girls’ education and hygiene and sanitation promotion in their action plans.
- With support from the emergency and response project, the National Emergency Agency (NEMA) now has a mechanism for implementing and funding the Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis (VCA) nationwide. Some 600 officials, representing Ministries from 36 States and FCT, acquired skills in basic emergency preparedness and response planning and in implementation of the vulnerability and capacity analysis.
- In ten states, 21 local Governments now have local Emergency Management committees in place. The committee members possess the necessary skills and competencies to carry out emergency profiling; develop contingency plans; appropriately report on emergency occurrence; and collect and analyse data on vulnerability and capacity analysis. In response to the massive flooding that occurred in eight states, Enugu, Lagos and Bauchi Field Offices guided or implemented rapid assessments, provided essential drugs, water purification and sanitation items, bedding and children’s’ clothing as well as food items in support of over 16,000 internally displaced persons in camps.
- UNICEF and its programmes remained highly visible throughout the year with an average of 280 stories on the country programme published every month in 13 National daily papers.