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V2P

Voice to the People (V2P) has supported vulnerable communities in Anambra state, south-eastern Nigeria, to hold state and local governments and their leaders to account, take part in making decisions affecting their lives and raise their voices to demand the rights and services to which they are entitled.

The V2P programme has: 

  • established dialogue between civil society and the state
  • strengthened civil society organisations for collective action
  • encouraged greater participation of citizens in elections, especially women
  • increased the participation of women and teenage girls in decision making
  • improved governments’ responsiveness and their capacity to address the needs of communities and deliver better services.

Between 2013 and 2016, the programme has directly built the capacity and confidence of more than 60,000 citizens in 12 of Anambra’s 21 local government areas (LGAs) and has reached 2.5 million people indirectly.

Funded by UK aid, V2P is being delivered by a partnership of state-level and national organisations led by Christian Aid and comprising African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD), Development in Practice, Civil Rights Concern, and the Justice, Development and Peace Commissions (JDPC) of Onitsha, Awka and Nnewi dioceses.

V2P project summary (2013-16)

V2P project approaches, achievements and lessons learned

 

Key information
Location

Anambra state, Nigeria

Timescale

July 2013 - March 2016

Programme value

£2.5m

Partners

Six state and national level partners

Funded by
UK aid

Our approach

Christian Aid and its partners on V2P have significant expertise in governance approaches, gender programming, civic engagement in elections, and power analysis. JDPC Onitsha, the lead state-level partner, has a proven track record in engagement with government and elections work.

Between 2008 and 2013, Christian Aid and JDPC Onitsha worked together on Power to the People (PDF), a demand-side governance programme in four LGAs in Anambra, funded by the UK Government’s Governance and Transparency Fund (GTF). V2P has built on these experiences and approaches, broadening the geographical reach and deepening the impact.

V2P has a far stronger gender focus, a wider range of activities and more clearly defined targets in addressing the poverty that persists in Nigeria due to poor governance and ineffective service delivery.

V2P focusses on:

  • Improving the skills, organisation and confidence of marginalised groups, communities and civil society so they can better demand their rights.
  • Increasing the participation and representation of women and adolescent girls in informal and formal decision making structures, such as elections and town union meetings.
  • Improving dialogue and interaction between marginalised groups, community groups, civil society and local and state-level authorities.
  • Effective sharing of lessons learned to enable civil society to achieve increased links and leverage between voice and accountability programmes in Nigeria.

V2P has shown that working in-depth in a selection of communities and LGAs can bring about changes in social norms and behaviour, state-citizen relationships, government accountability, and contribute to improved service delivery. The impact of V2P has also been felt in LGAs outside its target areas and at state level.

Results

V2P’s success has been largely due to the integration of power and gender analysis. By identifying power holders and social influencers, such as traditional rulers, president generals and women’s leaders, launching activities in communities has been a much quicker process.

Most people interviewed during V2P's baseline said they were not able to make demands on decision makers, that government consultation with communities was very low and community members had no direct contact with government. By the midterm evaluation (PDF) in November 2014, 94% of respondents said communities were now able to advocate for basic services and 87% noted improved government-community relationships.

More than two-thirds (68%) of respondents said this had led to improved service delivery. Two schools, four health centres, seven roads and a market had been built and 14 schools renovated, as a result of V2P. Thirty extra teachers and 8 medical staff are in post as a direct result of V2P, while the programme also contributed to the deployment of 72 additional teachers and 72km of new roads.

There have been some significant institutional changes and responses by government to community needs. Despite challenges in getting these results, the consistency in demand by communities has played a key role in ensuring they are no longer ignored.

V2P has shown that communities with greater capacity, knowledge and access to information can drive their own development – a movement for change which will continue to grow until governments have no choice but to be accountable to their people.

V2P was the first Christian Aid programme to receive an A++ rating from our donor, the UK Government’s Department for International Development.

Resources

Published
A report on the Voice to the People project in Nigeria - our approach, achievements, lessons, challenges and future plans.
Published
An introduction and overview of the Voice to the People project
Published
Illegal taxes imposed by illicit tax collectors have finally stopped in Mgbakwu, a small community in Anambra state, Nigeria.
Published
How an advocacy group lobbied the local government to improve healthcare and education in Nigeria.
View more resources
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