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Partnership for change: CAID in Afghanistan

CAID has worked in Afghanistan for more than three decades. We work with local organisations on long-term development and humanitarian programmes in western and northern parts of the country, and have also responded to emergencies in the Central Highland, and south central and eastern parts.

Key findings: religion and time of marriage

'Religion and time of marriage: the role of faith leaders in advancing the cause of adolescent girls - key findings' is a study, which listened to community members, local leaders, faith leaders, and adolescent girls in three areas of Kaduna state. It aims to find answers to four critical questions that revolved around the influence faith leaders have on: their congregations and community members governmental actors adolescent girls and other faith leaders In some regions in Northern Nigeria, the incidence of girl-child marriage is as high as 87%, leaving a high proportion of adolescent girls in the region with very limited choices and opportunities to reach their full potential (AfriDevInfo, 2016). Early marriage is highly prevalent in Northern Nigeria. The significance of religion in Nigeria and the lack of law enforcement on early marriage places religious institutions and leaders in a privileged position to exercise influence on eradicating the practice. In this context, Christian Aid - as part of the Collective Action for Adolescent Girls Initiative (CAAGI) project - commissioned a study that explored how Muslim and Christian faith leaders can advance the cause of adolescent girls in their timing of marriage. CAAGI seeks to improve significantly the choices and opportunities for adolescent girls in Kaduna state to live productive and meaningful lives.

Improving the choices and opportunities for adolescent girls

This toolkit was designed as a guide for religious leaders of both Christian and Islamic faiths in Nigeria as they address the challenges faced by adolescent girls on the issues of early marriage, education, reproductive health services and economic empowerment. It is an initiative of Christian Aid Nigeria, working in partnership with Gender Awareness Trust (GAT) and Development and Peace Initiative (DPI) as part of the Collective Action for Adolescent Girls Initiative (CAAGI). CAAGI seeks to improve the choices and opportunities available to adolescent girls in Northern Nigeria to enable them reach their full potential. The toolkit will guide faith leaders as they provide training and share messages/sermons on the accurate Christian and Islamic perspectives on issues of early marriage, education, reproductive health and economic empowerment of adolescent girls.

Religion and the Adolescent Girl: a formative study in Kaduna state

A study from the Collective Action for Adolescent Girls Initiative (CAAGI) two-year pilot project funded by Christian Aid in Nigeria.

Improving the choices and opportunities for adolescent girls: A toolkit for faith leaders

A guide for religious leaders of both Christian and Islamic faiths in Nigeria as they address the challenges faced by adolescent girls on the issues of early marriage, education, reproductive health services and economic empowerment.

Masculinity and Religion in Nigeria: findings from qualitative research

This study on religion and masculinity in Nigeria was conducted seeks to establish the impact of religious beliefs on masculinity amongst Christians and Muslims, paying particular attention to selected states (Enugu, Kaduna, Lagos and FCT).

LPRR: action learning research

In order for productive learning to occur within the context of this project, monitoring practices must be robust and go beyond collecting data against indicators. This is especially important within a resilience context, as the pre-emptive baseline measurement that is usually used for measuring progress/success is not desirable here. Instead, an ‘outcome harvesting’ approach is more practical, as it does not measure progress towards predetermined outcomes or objectives, but rather collects evidence of what has been achieved, and works backward to determine whether and how the project or intervention contributed to the change. Within the LPRR project there is a need for rigorous evaluation, which balances accountability and learning. Given the ever-evolving evidence base of ‘what works under what conditions’ coupled with the need to demonstrate quality, impactful programming in both upwards and downwards accountability, these types of robust evaluations are essential. In order to ensure learning and accountability are achieved through evaluations, they must be well-planned and budgeted for. This is where the role of the learning strand comes in; by recognising that learning is essential at the outset, it enables it to be included within the design of the project.

Introducing Christian Aid Afghanistan

An introduction to Christian Aid’s programme in Afghanistan, which has been running for nearly three decades under four regimes – from the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan, which controlled the country during the Soviet invasion, to the current government that was voted in after the United States-led intervention of 2001. Today, our work in Afghanistan focuses on protecting human rights during conflicts, increasing food security, building the resilience of communities, and promoting the rights and empowerment of women. We work alongside local Afghan organisations on projects that reach and respond to the needs of communities facing high levels of poverty, disempowerment and inequality. Christian Aid works with its partners at every stage of a project – from needs assessment and design, to supporting partners and communities as they implement projects – and to regularly monitor and evaluate the impact and changes the work makes on the ground. All of our projects in Afghanistan are designed with our partners, and draw heavily on their relationships and lines of communication with communities. This approach means partners and communities understand the projects and are fully committed to them from the start. Since the majority of programme activities are implemented by the communities themselves, sustainability and a sense of local ownership are integral.