Global Equality Project, GEP II (August 2021 – March 2023)
The second phase of the project (GEP II) is supporting the deepening of implementation of Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act in Ondo State. The VAPP act provides a legal framework for the protection of all citizens against all forms of violence. This includes vulnerable people such as women, girls, children, youth, and persons with disabilities (PWDs). The passage of VAAP law gained traction in many of the 36 States of Nigeria. However, implementation needs to be effectively guided and facilitated to enable maximum impact. GEP II is building on the gains made with the implementation of the Commonwealth Equality Project (CEP) and the first phase of the project – GEP I – which ran from August 2021 to March 2022.
WFD is working closely with the Ondo State Agency Against Gender-Based Violence (OSAA-GBV) and other stakeholders to develop Ondo State Safeguarding Policy. The policy is aimed at making schools in the state safe and conducive for young people, while creating awareness on the content of the VAPP Act and channels for engaging the process. In the wake of several documented incidences of violence against students in secondary schools, it is imperative for duty bearers and teachers as well as the students to understand the law and their roles in the protection of vulnerable groups. This is with the objective of keeping schools safe for young people to learn without fear of violation.
Inclusive and Accountable Politics (IAP) programme (April 2019 – March 2022)
Political parties remain the only platform for electing leaders in Nigeria, and are therefore, central to deepening democracy. WFD Nigeria is building on its successful promotion of youth political inclusion and politics with values by appraising the concept of inclusion within political parties from the pre to the post-election activities spectrum. Between April 2021 and March 2022, WFD was able to realise policy dialogues on topical national issues that were central to inclusive and accountable democratic practices in Nigeria. Evidence based policy briefs were generated from these dialogues to advocate for change in practise and support legislative actions. WFD provided technical support to relevant Departments and Committees of the National Assembly of Nigeria, using existing WFD expertise, research materials and publications on Post-Legislative Scrutiny (PLS). This was achieved by working closely with the National Assembly to realize a post-legislative scrutiny (PLS) Academy consisting of 6 modules.
WFD is working with the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) to watch political parties from an inclusion lens, as Nigeria journeys towards the 2023 general elections. WFD is supporting evidence-based and creative efforts to enable more democratic and inclusive practices by the political parties. Findings will be used after the 2023 general election to engage with and strengthen political parties’ internal party systems, accountability, and democratic practices. This will build on the series of policy dialogues on topical national concerns, which WFD convened, to generate policy briefs for legislative actions and advocacy for credible electoral laws. This is while advancing support for more open and inclusive political parties in Nigeria through evidenced assessment of political parties’ performance, as well as via technical support to the National Assembly on PLS. The understanding of the concept of PLS by staff and members is a fundamental first step to its integration in the legislative process. That is at the National Assembly and by State Houses of Assembly, by extension.
Working with youth-focused civil society organisations, as well as formal youth bodies, Politics with Values (PwV) Network and the Young Parliamentarians Forum (YPF), the programme showed young people how they can support campaigns that advocate for greater youth participation and engage with political institutions. WFD and the UK political parties shared a range of experiences on youth participation from the UK and other countries where WFD works. The combination of grassroots campaigning and high-level advocacy contributed to the efforts at addressing the low levels of youth participation and representation in Nigeria by encouraging more youth-led policy initiatives and better inter-generational partnerships.
Funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), WFD was part of the consortium that implemented the flagship, five-year Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) programme. Working at the national level and in 3 States – Jigawa, Kano and Kaduna – WFD supported constituencies to influence governments about the services they received, and any policies related to them. To achieve this, WFD supported the use of evidence-based research for policy recommendations related to the budget process in the National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly in Jigawa, Kano and Kaduna, with lessons replicated in other State Assemblies. Among other achievements, the consortium successfully supported the advocacy for State Houses of Assembly’s financial autonomy, and developed implementation mechanism to be adopted by the state assemblies.
More completed programmes
The first phase of GEP built on the gains made under the Commonwealth Equality Project (CEP). CEP facilitated the tackling of violence against women and girls through helping the passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law in Oyo State. Beyond intervention at the state level, WFD commissioned a national research on the implementation of the VAPP Act, and other related laws and how it has protected women and girls across Nigerian states. The presentation of the report of this research to the public further reinvigorated the passage of such laws in other States of Nigeria.
GEP in Nigeria supported the implementation of the VAPP law in two further states – Osun and Ondo – where the law had been recently passed. The VAPP act provides a legal framework for the protection of all citizens against all forms of violence. This includes vulnerable people such as women, girls, children, youth, and persons with disabilities (PWDs). The passage of VAAP law gained traction in many of the 36 States of Nigeria. However, implementation needed to be effectively guided and facilitated to enable maximum impact. Training of first-line officials to professionally engage with survivors of violence, as well as committing key stakeholders to effectively implementation was paramount. Importantly citizens needed to be aware of the existence of the laws passed to protect them, and modalities for engaging the process. Beyond the two States, WFD also commissioned policy briefs for advancing the process of implementation of the VAPP law in 12 States of Nigeria: Plateau, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Edo, Osun, Lagos, Bauchi, Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Kaduna State, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Between October 2020 and March 2021, WFD and Kaleidoscope Trust (KT) implemented the Commonwealth Equality Project (CEP) – funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). The programme explored and strengthened gender equality, inclusion, and rights of marginalized groups through an inclusive policy development in 16 Commonwealth countries. In Nigeria, CEP supported the Oyo State House of Assembly to review the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill and pass the same into law, sensitized stakeholders at the grassroots on the VAPP Act, and conducted a national research on the implementation of the act as a guide for other states yet to domesticate it. The VAPP act provides a legal framework for the protection of all citizens – including vulnerable people such as women, girls, children, youth, and persons with disabilities (PWDs).
WFD, with funding from the European Union, and in partnership with the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) implemented a three-year programme christened #OurVoteCountsNG. The overall goal of the programme was increasing the participation of youths, women, and persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in elections. It contributed to this goal by creating awareness among underrepresented groups using targeted messaging conveyed through peer-to-peer voter education strategy about the electoral process, particularly in hard-to-reach communities. Working closely with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), and women networks, the project built the confidence of citizens in the electoral process and made them realize the importance of their votes to the process. The peer-to-peer strategy entails building the capacity of young people to reach out and engage with their peers, as well as women reaching out to fellow women; thereby strengthening active, responsive, participatory, and engaged citizenry.
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time. To mitigate this challenge, huge changes at all levels of society, politics and businesses are required. Ahead of the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26), WFD and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) implemented a programme to inform parliamentarians in five Sub-Saharan African countries, including Nigeria, of COP26 issues. The January to June 2021 programme supported parliamentarians in Nigeria to examine their national progress in delivering Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The programme also helped the MPs scrutinise Nigeria’s national climate policies and legislations.
Nigeria’s 2023 General Elections will be conducted with new Electoral Act, which was passed following intense advocacy which WFD contributed to
Planned inclusion of post-legislative scrutiny (PLS) on the agenda for induction of MPs in the 10th National Assembly
Facilitated exchange of ideas and networking between youth-focused organisations in Nigeria and their colleagues in UK
Five-year action plan developed with Young Parliamentarian Forum to put youth issues at the heart of the political debate
Strengthening and replication of sustainable platforms for legislative engagement with young people
Development of Youth Agenda as advocacy and accountability tool at the grassroots
Strengthened audit and public account process in Nigeria
Establishment of NYSC Voter Education CDS groups in the focal States of Imo, Osun, and Abuja, with corps members effectively using a peer-to-peer methodology to disseminate voter education at local government and difficult to reach areas
Supported the Oyo State House of Assembly (OSHA) to review and pass the Oyo State Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law, which was translated into the local language of Yoruba, and the braille for the visually impaired
Strengthened the capacity of MPs and parliamentary staff of relevant committees of the National Assembly to evaluate progress and advance the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions on Climate Change
Political economy analysis of the National Assembly (NASS) of Nigeria, and three State Assemblies (Jigawa, Kano and Kaduna) for effective engagement
Increased traction with the adoption and passage of the VAPP Act in more states of Nigeria resulting from the findings on the impact of implementation of the VAPP Act and related laws, as well as policy dialogues for targeted states
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