The Nigerian government in partnership with the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) is holding a one-day national dialogue on Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) policy.
The event, holding at the banquet hall of the State house in Abuja on Monday, is supported by the development Research and Projects Centre (dRPC), under the Partnership for Advancing Women in Economic Development (PAWED) funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The high-level dialogue, according to the organisers, is to sensitise national and subnational stakeholders on the importance of the WEE M&E policy to secure buy-in for subnational-level domestication and implementation at all levels.
The organisers said the national policy on M & E will also be launched at the event. The event will bring together government officials, economic analysts, women advocates among others.
WEE, an intervention sponsored by the Gates Foundation, which believes that women’s economic empowerment is beneficial not only to individual women but also to their children, households, and communities.
The programme aims to help women and girls move from limited power, voice, and chores at home and in the economy to having the skills, resources, and opportunities needed to compete equitably and benefit from economic gains.
To ensure implementation, the Nigerian government in September 2021 inaugurated a technical working group for the pilot monitoring and evaluation framework for the WEE interventions.
The group was inaugurated following a national symposium organised by NIPSS in collaboration with the dRPC on the application framework as it relates to WEE.
Today’s high-level dialogue will shed more light on the progress made in implementing WEE programmes and interventions.
Stay on this page as PREMIUM TIMES provides live updates of the event scheduled to commence by 10:00 a.m.
10:30 a.m.: Participants are still trooping into the hall and registration is ongoing. The director-general of NIPSS, Ayo Omotayo, the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, and the Minister of Finance, Zainab Usman, are among the guests expected at today’s event.
10:00 a.m: Its a beautiful Monday morning and we are live at the banquet hall of the State House in Abuja to provide update on the one-day dialogue on National Monitoring and Evaluation policy on WEE.
Although, the high level dialogue was scheduled to commence by 10:00 a.m, it will be starting late as some participants are yet to arrive.
Please stay with us.
11:15 a.m: All is set for the commencement of the event. The lead facilitator of the event, Umar Kawu, takes the podium and welcomes the participants to the event.
11:16 a.m: The event commences with the National Anthem and the second stanza as the opening prayer.
11:17 a.m: Mr Kawu introduces the special guests present at the dialogue.
11:20 a.m.: Mr Kawu calls on the Permanent Secretary, Budget and National Planning, Nebeolisa Anako, to deliver the welcome address.
11:21 a.m: Mr Anako takes the podium to deliver his speech. He said the objective of the dialogue is to sensitise relevant stakeholders and guide them on national policies regarding WEE. He noted that this will further strengthen government capacity.
11:23 a.m: He said nations with strong M&E delivery systems perform better than those without. He urges participants to use their expertise to develop recommendations that will help in the operationalisation of the policy.
11:25 a.m: He said the ministry of finance will ensure the smooth delivery of the WEE policy. Mr Anako ends his remarks and leaves the podium.
11:30 a.m: Mr Kawu, the facilitator, welcomes the director-general of NIPSS, Ayo Omotayo, to deliver his opening remark. Mr Omotayo is represented by the Director of Research, NIPSS, Pam Dung.
11:33 a.m: Mr Omotayo expressed his delight for the dialogue convened today. He said the collaboration with dRPC and others has gone a long way to help NIPSS in fulfilling its mandate.
11:35 a.m: He said today’s event will gather experiences and insight from various stakeholders. “We hope that the contributions will be harnessed for a better future,” he said.
11:37 a.m: He said the participants must ensure result-oriented policies to get a better country in terms of service delivery. “We need an M&E framework that will keep monitoring national projects.”
11:39 a.m: Mr Omotayo said NIPSS is committed to supporting M&E policies at all levels of governance in Nigeria. He noted that there is a need for a strong culture of accountability and transparency. He urges everyone to fully participate in various projects relating to WEE.
11:43 a.m: He ends his speech and leaves the podium.
11:44 a.m: Mr Kawu calls the representative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Katja Schiller, to deliver her goodwill message.
11:45 a.m: Ms Schiller said BMGF is guided by the principles of equity and is always mindful of how their projects are impacting Nigerians.
11:46 a.m: She said the foundation finds a huge gap in the M&E framework of a delivery system in the country. She said the foundation is willing to partner with major stakeholders in collecting data on M&E policies and WEE.
11:48 a.m: Ms Schiller ends her speech and leaves the podium.
11:51 a.m: The next speaker is UNICEF’s Country Representative in Nigeria, Cristian Munduate. Ms Munduate said UNICEF is encouraged by the leadership of the ministry of finance and is committed to supporting the M&E policy.
11:53 a.m: She reiterated that UNICEF will support the implementation of the M&E policy at the state level. She ends her speech.
11:55 a.m: The lead facilitator, Mr Kawu takes the podium to welcome the next speaker, a representative of dRPC, Emmanuel Osaghie.
11: 56 a.m: Mr Osaghie takes the podium. He said dRPC has worked for several years to get here today. He said various stakeholders contributed to the implementation of the M&E policy which will be launched today.
11:57 a.m: He said the dRPC is committed to strengthening the M&E policy document and also to provide technical and facilitatory support for subnational-level domestication of the policy, focusing on WEE following this meeting.
He ends his remark and leaves the podium.
12:00 p.m: The next speaker is the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba. Mr Agba will deliver the keynote address on the implementation of the National Development Plan, NDP (2021-2025).
12:01 p.m: He said today’s dialogue will provide a platform to sustain the M&E policy document. He said the dialogue is important to sensitise all stakeholders as it is important in achieving NDP 2021-2025.
12:03 p.m: Mr Agba said the NDP is a medium-term blueprint designed to unlock the country’s potentials in all sectors of the economy for a sustainable, holistic and inclusive national development. He said it is developed by the different facet of the private sector, Sub-National Government, Civil Society Organisation (CSO) and facilitated by the Nigerian government.
12:05 p.m: He said this was deliberately done for inclusiveness, participation and citizen engagement to ensure no one is left behind.
12:07 p.m: He noted that the plan will require an investment of about N348.1 trillion to achieve its objectives within the period of 2021- 2025. “It is estimated that the Government capital expenditure during the period will be N49.7 trillion (14 per cent) while the balance of N298.3 trillion (86 per cent) will be incurred by the private sector. Of the 14 per cent government contribution, FGN capital expenditure will be N29.6 trillion (9 per cent) while the Sub National Governments’ capital expenditure will be about N20.1 trillion (6 percent),” he said.
12:10 p.m: Mr Agba said the successful implementation of this Plan will be heavily dependent on a strong partnership between the private and public sector and both sectors playing their expected roles effectively.
12: 13 p.m: He reiterated that the role of M&E in the implementation of the plan cannot be over emphasised as it is key to ensuring effective delivery of the achievements of the objectives of the plan.
12:15 p.m: “Conventionally, some of the roles of M&E in any project, programmes and policies implementation include: provision of consolidated source of information showcasing project progress; generating reports that contribute to transparency and accountability, revelation of mistakes and offer of paths for learning and improvements; provides a way to assess the crucial link between implementers and beneficiaries on the ground and decisionmakers; and adds to the retention and development of institutional memory,” he said.
12: 20 p.m: The minister urges all participants to fully engage in the implementation of this policy. He ends his keynote address and leaves the podium.
12:23 p.m: The co-facilitator of the dialogue, Folashade Boriowo, takes the podium to announce launch of the M&E national policy. Ms Boriowo calls on the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Mr Agba to lead the moment.
12:24 p.m: Mr Agba launched the M&E national policy and its time for group photograph.
12:27 p.m: The photograph session has come to an end and the participants are ready for tea break…
It is time for tea break. We will be back shortly, kindly stay with us.
01:00 p.m: Tea break is over and the second session of the dialogue has commenced.
01:02 p.m: The next speaker is the Director of National Monitoring and Evaluation Department, Ministry of Finance, Zakariya’u Lawal. Mr Lawal will give an overview of the National M&E policy in Nigeria and its influence on the pilot WEE M&E framework supported by NIPSS and the PAWED project.
01:05 p.m: He said the principles of good governance comprises accountability, rule of law, public participation, responsiveness and effectiveness. He noted that good governance is about effective and satisfactory service delivery to citizens of a country.
01:07 p.m: Mr Lawal said it is observed that there is always a symbiotic relationship between good governance and M&E. “But, at the centre of any good governance framework is a good monitoring and evaluation system,” he said.
01:10 p.m: ”By this policy we are trying to inculcate the culture of evaluation. Without a good M&E system there won’t be effective service delivery.” He said the policy was developed to promote core principles for evaluation in government policies.
01:13 p.m: Mr Lawal said the National M&E policy ensured that all MDAs are involved in monitoring of government policies,, programmes and projects in their ministry. He said MDAs should also prepare performance improvement plan based on the findings and recommendations of the monitoring report and prepare bi-annual reports on the performance of the respective MDAs.
01:16 p.m: He said the coordinating M&E departments at federal and state level shall collaborate on a systematic and regular basis with the statistics office of the federation. “The unit responsible for the policy monitoring in government, the audit, inspection and control functions in government to avoid duplication of mandates, of activities, as well as to prevent waste of public resources,” he said.
01:18 p.m: Mr Lawal highlights key areas tracked under the WEE M&E framework. They include access to finance; access to skills acquisition; access to employment; access to quality health care services; access to marketing facilities; access to agricultural inputs; and regulatory and policy.
01:20 p.m: He ends his presentation and leaves the podium.
Panel Discussion one
01:22 p.m: The next session is a panel discussion on “Opportunities and challenges for operationalising the National M&E policy in states and indonor-supported programmes and projects. The facilitator of this session is the president, Nigerian Association of Evaluators, Sulleiman Adediran.
01:25 p.m: The first panellist is Umma Aboki, the commissioner, Kaduna State Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning. Ms Aboki said the National M&E policy is an important document. She said the Kaduna State govt domesticated the M&E framework since 2015.
01:27 p.m: She said the state has mobilised all M&E officers within MDAs to sensitise them in monitoring activities of the state. “Government is here to serve the people and therefore, policies must be result oriented,” she said.
01:30 p.m: Ms Aboki said Kaduna State has a platform that measures what the government is doing, one of the first in the country. She said the state is also embarking on integrating all employees of government on a single platform.
“It gives an idea to know who is on board and who is off board and this platform allows us to see the liabilities of the state and monitor impact of state projects,” she said.
01;34 p.m: She explained that the government is providing clear transparency through this system.
01:37 p.m: The next panellist is Micheal Ilesanmi, a senior social development specialist at the World Bank. Represented by Jeph Oluwagbemiga, Mr Ilesanmi said the World Bank has a project specifically designed to track impact.
01:40 p.m: He said there is also the M&E programme targeted at women’s engagements. He said the World Bank is also coming up with software that allows people to monitor projects across states which will make data available and serve as a reference point.
01:42 p.m: Mr Ilesanmi said with the advent of the M&E policy, it’s no longer business as usual. “Things are open now and there is transparency.
01:45 p.m: The next panellist is Musa Umar, a director at NIPSS. Mr Umar said the institute engaged the ministry of finance and development partners on why it’s necessary to have a tracking system.
01:47 p.m: He said citizens are making more demands, asking questions on what’s happening with various programmes and projects. “Unless you have M&E, you won’t be able to know what’s happening.”
01:49 p.m: He said there is a need to build the capacity of state and local government officials when it comes to M&E. He said necessary conversations must commence and NIPSS is always ready for these developments.
01:52 p.m.: To end the discussion, Ms Aboki said “speaking of ensuring project prioritisation, we have projects that are prioritised that were developed. The citizens are the ones that prioritised these projects.”
01:53 p.m.: She calls for continuous collaboration between the federal, state and local governments.
01:54 p.m: Mr Umar said, “we have something that can guide us in terms of service delivery but we can engage the national assembly to strengthen the policy.”
01:58 p.m.: The first panel’s discussion has ended.
Second panel discussion
02:05 p.m: The second panel’s discussion is on “Model and opportunities for MDAs to work together to monitor and evaluate policies targeting women; youth; communities in emergencies; and the rural poor.” The facilitator is the Director of Research at NIPSS, Dung Pam. He is represented by Sola Adeyanji.
02:10 p.m: The first panellist is the Director of Social Development, Ministry Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Sanjo Faniran.
Mr Faniran said M&E policy will expose discrepancies. He noted that the policy will expect reports that will show what is missing.
“The policy gives an opportunity for gender balance and equity and ensures women are carried along,” he said.
02:14 p.m: The next panellist is a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ibrahim Tanimu. Mr Tanimu said the agriculture ministry is dealing with people at the grassroots. He said it’s quite challenging to get reliable data at the grassroots.
“You are dealing with humans here and technology is not available in many parts of the country,” he said.
02:18 p.m: The third panellist is the Statistician-General, NBS Semiu Adeyemi. Mr Semiu is represented by the Director of the prices and trade statistics department, NBS, Austen Anyakorah.
02:22 p.m: Mr Adeyemi said for M&E to be effective, you need to generate reliable data. He said for you to get quality data, you must have a reliable source and soundness of methodology. The data must also be comparable using global benchmarks.
“Unless you follow this process of the data collection framework, there won’t be inclusivity,” he said.
02:25 p.m: He said administrative data is available at the national and sub-national levels. “We must develop the human capacity to be able to generate data. At NBS, we have adequate arrangements for data gathering,” he said.
02:28 p.m: Mr Faniran said we must deploy the latest technology for information gathering.
02:30 p.m: Mr Tanimu said there is a need to get the sources of data generation. “If we get it right then everything becomes easier. To do that, you must also deploy the right infrastructure at the grassroots level,” he said.
02:35 p.m: The second panel’s discussion has ended.
Third panel discussion
02:37 p.m: The third panel’s discussion is on “Using evidences generated from M&E findings in policy formulation advocacy, decision making: The role of parliament, executives, CSOs and media.” The facilitator is the senior special assistant to the president on finance and economy, Sarah Alade.
02:41 p.m: The first panellist is the director, policy innovation centre, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, Osasuyi Dirisu.
Ms Dirisu said it is excellent to have an M&E policy that will guide the conversation. The work has just begun but this policy is not enough to translate the tracking of projects.
02:45 p.m: The second panellist is the director of M&E, Kaduna State, Jummai Bako.
Ms Bako said the new policy means people will begin to get quality services and begin to see the value of government spending.
02:47 p.m: The third panellist is Theophilus Abbah, a representative of the Daily Trust Foundation. Mr Abbah said there is a limitation in getting data from the government, but if the M&E policy is implemented, it means data will be available and accessible.
02:51 p.m: He said journalists can demand accountability if they are able to gather data and ask questions. “This is a good development but those responsible for data collection must do their work effectively,” he said.
02:55 p.m: The fourth panellist is the National Representative of the PAWED coalition, Vera Ndanusa. Ms Ndanusa said if women and citizens can monitor government projects, it means poverty will be reduced.
02:58 p.m: She said it is a welcome development and it means Nigeria is on the right track. She added that the CSOs have a critical role to play in complementing the government’s efforts.
03:00 p.m: Mr Abbah said the major challenge journalists encounter is getting information from the government. “A lot of time, we write to government agencies requesting data but we are told that this data is not available.
“It shouldn’t be this difficult to get data from the government. We are appealing to government agencies to make data available so that journalists can do their jobs,” he said.
03:03 p.m: Ms Dirisu also spoke on collecting baseline data. She said we must have gender considerations in collecting data.
03:06 p.m.: She said implementing the M&E policy requires more than a document. She said Nigeria cannot continue to rely on CSOs to get feedback. “Sometimes we have to get the feedback directly.”
03:08 p.m: She noted that the government also needs to align the framework they are using to remain consistent.
03:12 p.m: Ms Jummai said in Kaduna State, they are recruiting more M& E personnel to take them across MDAs in the state. She said the M&E officers return to the state secretariat to report what is happening at MDAs. She called on the federal government to implement such an effort.
03:15 p.m: Ms Jummai said she is looking forward to the capacity development of M&E officers through the policy framework.
03:17 p.m: Mr Abbah, the Daily Trust Foundation representative, said there is a need for M&E officers to do their job effectively and make data available after collecting them.
03:20 p.m: Ms Ndanusa said if Nigeria must succeed, there is a need to evaluate government projects. She added that for Nigeria to perform well, there has to be a collective project to which everyone is contributing.
03:25 p.m.: The panel session has come to an end.
03:29 p.m: The Deputy Director, National Monitoring and Evaluation Department, Ministry of Finance, Olasumbo Yakub takes the podium to give the closing remarks. Ms Yakub who was represented by Margaret Dibigbo said the event was productive.
03:32 p.m: She urges everyone to continue to advocate for M&E policy implementation even after today’s gathering. She wishes everyone a safe journey back to their various destinations.
03:36 p.m: This brings us to the end of today’s event. Thanks for staying with us all through.
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