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.
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.