|Dates of Event||18th December, 2012 through 9th January 2013|
|Venue||Osogbo, Makurdi, Jalingo, Port Harcourt and Owerri (5 geo-political zones of Nigeria)|
|Name and e-mail of report writer||Tola Winjobi firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Number of participants||407 participants in all broken down into: Southwest (Osogbo) 73; South-south (Port Harcourt) 67; Northeast (Jalingo) 64; Southeast (Owerri) 56 and; North-central (Makurdi) 31|
WITH THE SUPPORT OF BEYOND2015/CONCORD
DELIBERATION PROCESS AND POLITICAL CONTEXT
(a) All-inclusive participation: The national deliberations across the six geo-political zones were first launched in the southwest so as to intimate and involve CSOs and other stakeholders in the current critical global development issue tagged “post-2015 MDGs development framework” as it affects Nigeria. The representatives of the following cross sections of the society were in attendance:
People living with disability
Women’s groups and women’s rights organizations
Community based organizations
Community Development Associations
The deliberations usually start with a press briefing followed by the representatives of the UN and development partners making a speech. After the major paper presentation by the organizer, the participants break into groups to discuss the conceptual foundations (VPPC) of a post-2015 framework after which they come to the plenary.
(b) Positive/Negative aspects: There is a growing enthusiasm among the stakeholders to review the progress on MDGs and discuss the new development agenda as very many people, beyond our expectation, often turn out for the deliberations. The highest number of participants is recorded in the southwest (Osogbo) with 73 in attendance followed by the southsouth (Port Harcourt) with 67 participants which is closely followed by northeast recording 64 participants. The lowest number of participants comes from the northcentral (Makurdi) with only 31 while 56 attend that of the southeast in Owerri.
The participants are discussing with open minds and challenging the governments to do more to attain MDGs. Many of them vent their anger on government for the latter’s inability to checkmate the activities of Boko Haram islamist sect that are unleashing terror on the people especially Christian faithful in the northern part of the country. The participants believe that there could be no development where there is massive insecurity and destruction of lives and property. Youth unemployment coupled with industries folding up and relocating to neighbouring countries due to consistent lack of power supply also gain the centre stage of discussions. The issue of corruption cuts across the five geo-political zones as the participants re-energize themselves to monitor government business and hold government accountable to the failure or success of MDGs. They decry the jumbo salary package of the members of the National Assembly as the package was gulping about 25% of the total overhead of the federal budget.
The participants have braced up themselves for the UN-led national deliberation since Nigeria is one of the fifty countries that these would happen. They suggest we hold a strategy meeting to map out how the CSOs would be able to push for their own agenda – the world/Nigeria they want.
(c) Information about national/regional positions: The participants are aware of some local, national, and regional meetings and positions on post-2015 development agenda. Specifically, the participants are aware of Beyond2015 Population Dynamics Position, Alliance of Southern CS on Health, Montreal Declaration and Plan of Action on post-2015; No Future without Justice – 6 Core Goals, and Campaign for People’s Goals for Sustainable Development. Others are Outcome Document of the Regional Consultations on Post-2015 Development Agenda, Dakar, Senegal 10-11 December 2012 and Report Review of CS Consultation on the Health Theme of the Post-2015 UN Agenda December 2012 – January 2013.
In Nigeria, there have been deliberations at the local and the state levels, while there is the need to plan for the next activities especially the national deliberation that would be held in Abuja so that CSOs could key-in into the deliberation. However, there are some challenges as the UNDP-designated organization, United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNNMC) has not been proactive enough in the process. UNMC organized only one meeting with few CSOs in Abuja last year, while it has been flinching/hesitant in honouring invitation by CSOs to attend post-2015 deliberations organized by CSOs on their own. The major challenge facing CSOs is funds as they find it difficult to organize deliberations cutting across the nooks and crannies of Nigeria. Also, there are many regional and international meetings that they should be part of but because they do not have the means to cover their travel expenses they are missing out in many of them.
The Nigerian government’s position on post-2015 agenda is nebulous as they seem not carrying CSOs along while they are yet to organize a national meeting as at January 9 2013 when this report is being compiled. One wonders how the voices of the grassroots people would count when government is not consulting with CSOs to make this happen. The UN systems and development partners like donors are also not sensitized enough to the need to support CSOs in being part of the process. In most cases, the UN representatives did not attend the zonal meetings proffering excuse for long distances from Abuja to the venues.
Content, issues, ideas, and differing views
The deliberations across the zones focus on four conceptual foundations (highlighted below under VPPC) including the kind of preference the CS want to underlie the new development framework to post-date MDGs2015. The participants try as much as possible to think globally but act locally in view of the reality of the challenges facing Nigeria.
(a) Preference for the kind of framework wanted:
- The framework content must be people-centred and inclusive for legitimacy as opposed to MDGs that citizens were not involved in the process of conceiving, implementing and evaluating it.
- It must include not only development issues but also human rights, democracy, justice, climate change, energy, peace and security. These are all bed-rocks of development without which there will be no meaningful development.
- The framework should incorporate mechanism for monitoring and accountability so that its achievements or failure can be measured while the operators can be held accountable for results.
- There should be equity among stakeholders in terms of ownership by all the actors so that responsibilities can be shared while both rich and developing countries should see one another as co-partners in development.
- While incorporating the voices of the people directly affected by poverty from the grassroots, and for credibility, the content and process of the new framework should be led by the UN but not G8, G10, G20 and other alliances within and outside the system or in any developed or developing countries.
(b) Key issues identified to form part of the framework (there was no agreement on the order of importance as rating them was highly contentious among the participants):
- Environmental protection; climate change adaptation and mitigation
- Gender equality and women’s empowerment
- Women in governance and constitutional role
- Corruption and bad governance
- Peace and security (including terrorism)
- Project, program, policy continuity
- Sustainable shelter and infrastructure
- Maternal and child health
- Marginalization/discrimination against the disabled
- Falling standard of education
- Industrialization including agro-allied services
- Unemployment and youth empowerment
- Sustainable agriculture and food security
- Affordable housing and durable infrastructures
- Comprehensive healthcare services for rural communities
- Wellness package and social responsibilities for especially the minorities, the disabled, elderly, children, women, vulnerable etc
- Inclusion of people with disabilities and other vulnerable in governance
- All-inclusive planning, implementation, monitoring & evaluation of post 2015 agenda
- Energy and power re-engineering
(c) Most important ideas related to the most important issues identified:
- Gainful employment and functioning power supply are central to the issue of poverty eradication as erratic power supply in some developing countries including Nigeria has been consistently throwing many into further poverty and out of jobs.
- Corruption and injustice are also identified as the bane of development but governments only need political will to stamp out corruption, fight injustice, obey the rule of law, and deliver dividends of democracy to bring about sustainable development.
(d) Differing views emerging from the discussions
- The issue of gender is viewed differently by the faith-based participants especially the Islamic adherent. They feel gender equality suggests that women should have equal rights as men folks whereby wives may be contentious with their husbands when it comes to gender role within the family and the society.
- The issue of development dichotomy between the global north and the global south is also argumentative. While some CSOs feel developing countries need aids others see the gestures such as ODA, grant-in-aid and support from OECD/developed to developing countries as neo-colonialism and Trojan horse. The consensus is that since many African countries and other developing climes have abundant human and natural resources to aid their development the people only need to hold their governments accountable asking them to make their resources work for them.
- The participants see UN paying lip service to the new development agenda because there is no clear-cut mechanism in place to support all-inclusive deliberations involving the poor, the illiterate, the maginalised, the artisans, the rural dwellers, and the minorities whose voices are expected to count. For example, the persons with disability and the few artisans present feel the rural communities are not adequately represented in most of the deliberations across the zones.
(e) Most welcomed existing content and why?
All the zones discussed fully the necessary principles to underlie the new development agenda with focus on poverty eradication, sustainability, rights-based, universality, coherence and evidence-based. However, the most welcome existing content suggestion by the participants is that which is based on the principle of inclusiveness of all in the post-2015 development discussions, and the one based on the principle of accountability for results. The reason being that since people believe in the pride of ownership of an idea or a project through being included, they tend to give it support making such a project succeed. The same thing goes for questioning for result (accountability) though there are types of horizontal and vertical accountability. They feel the new framework could only succeed once they have the power to call authorities to question on failure or success of a project.
ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Vision, Purpose, Principles, and Criteria
(a) Key Principles Suggested
- Inclusiveness: The framework should recognize the participation of the rural communities, the voiceless, the vulnerable, the physically challenged, children, youth and women in the planning and implementation of projects affecting them so that every stakeholder shall have a role to play in the new development agenda.
- Accountability: The framework should build in an accountability mechanism so that governments could be held accountable to their promises. There has to be accountability in the management of funds appropriated for various development projects as it affects the attainment of the MDGs and post-2015.
- Transparency: The framework should incorporate the principle of transparency and openness so that everyone can know all they need to about development pertaining to them. And there should be transparency in every segment of our national engagement to ensure efficient management of resources.
- Global equity: The framework should incorporate the principle of equity and fairness among the countries regardless of the status removing the dichotomy between the global north and the global south and respecting the values and ideals of each other.
- Gender responsiveness: The framework should focus on the principle of gender sensitivity so that there would be equity and fairness in every issue affecting various groups with regards to gender role and distribution of resources.
- Sustainability: The new development framework must incorporate sustainable development goals and enabling environment for the people, the government and the whole environment where they operate.
- Human rights-based: The framework should be laced with respecting the rights of all, access to information, freedom of expression, upholding the international human rights law and standards, and respecting the rule of law.
- Principle of Timeliness: The framework should have a time frame of between 15 and 20 years while sufficient time is given to conceptualizing and planning before implementing the new agenda.
(b) Recommend specific wording as to the vision and purpose of the framework
- We envision a just society where citizens’ views and contributions are considered, projects and policies are people based, good governance and accountability assured, appointment is based on merit, international human rights and constitution are respected and there is equity in distribution of resources by governments without discrimination.
- We need a Nigeria, indeed a world, that is devoid of the structural causes of poverty and injustices so that everyone would have equal opportunities to maximize their potentials.
- We envision a world that ensures social security and security of life and property through provision of jobs and tackling terrorism and kidnapping.
- Our vision is a world that promotes human rights, peace, justice and development
- A world where women, youth, children, the marginalized and vulnerable groups have opportunity to development and have rights to health care and other social services
- A world that recognizes and respects the rights of citizens to actively participate in governance and are empowered to hold government accountable for their actions.
- We need a society where there is free flow of information in line with the freedom of information regime.
- A society where there is free and compulsory education for age 18 and below, and employment opportunities for the citizenry
- We want to see a world where citizen are giving space to actively participate in governance and empowered to hold government accountable for their actions
- A world where food and nutrition is sufficient for the healthy growth and well-being of the citizens
- The new development agenda should be a prescriptive document specifying actions to be undertaken at the local and international levels and which everyone must respect.
- The purpose of the post-2015 agenda should be the blue-print for and pivotal of turning around for better the situation of the poor, the maginalised, the vulnerable, and the minority.
- The new framework should be an instrument that can put at the centre stage of development accountability and transparency structure so that governments would be adequately monitored for results.
- The post 2015 framework should be framed in a way that will guide the governments with specific targets for pro-poor services and that will truly serve people in the grassroots.
- The framework should be designed for the purpose of supporting and addressing the critical issues of social, economic, political and technological development.
- That the post-2015 agenda should be a directive paper making governments all over the world recognise that there are existing international laws for the protection of human rights, which the local laws should take cognizance of and be fashioned after and implemented accordingly.
- That the post-2015 framework should strengthen political will to implement local laws and policies for economic and environmental sustainability.
- Should be a tool fashioned after the international standards to guide the operators of the new framework in project design, implementation and evaluation.
(d) Recommend specific criteria which should eventually be used to select goals. In terms of criteria the groups came up with the following:
- Proposed goal addresses issues of human rights that are consistent with international human rights standards.
- Proposed goal addresses issues of environmental sustainability.
- Proposed goal addresses issues of economic empowerment.
- Sustainable power through monitoring and reviewing power generation within a specified time frame by generating 20,000 mega watt annually(Nigeria-specific).
- The proposed goal considers supervision, monitoring and evaluation as central.
- The issues of injustice, poverty, human rights abuses are tackled.
- Develop a monitoring and evaluation tool that is acceptable and accessible and involve all relevant stake holders in the monitoring and evaluation of all projects including active participation of NGOs, faith based organizations and youth led organizations.
(e) Influencing the national policies/international discussions’ outcomes on a post-2015 framework
- CSOs and selected opinion leaders in the grassroots to lobby their representatives in political offices
- Strengthened campaign strategy among the development actors to influence the Federal, state and the local government
- Organising Town-Hall meetings as a platform to share ideas with the CBOs and other concerned citizens in the local communities.
- CSOs should be in constant communication with the UNDG, sending them report and information against the UN-led national deliberation in Nigeria
- Constant sensitization, mobilization and capacity building programmes for the electorates to ensure successful elections and realization of the set goals in the framework by 2015
- Utilization of ICTs and social media networks for proper information dissemination on post-2015 development agenda.
- There should be grass root involvement on the post 2015 Development Plan.
- Civil Society Organizations should build synergy to carryout meetings amidst scarcity of resources while encouraging personal sacrifices.
- There should be increased communications and contributions of Civil Society Organizations on critical subject matter especially the thematic areas on post-2015 through the internet and their participation in physical meetings.
- CSOs need to key in to the national deliberation to be held in Abuja where we need to input our policy asks.
(f) Suggested indicators for issues identified
- Community participation from planning stage to implementation.
- Improvement in the socio-economic conditions of the poor across the globe
- Proper documentation
- Increased participation of women and persons with disability in governance
- Equal distribution of resources
- Significant reduction in maternal and child mortality
- Absence of threats and war
- Reduction in the number of terrorist and militant activities
- Good communication and networking with other stakeholders and the media
- Relevance of the goals within 10 and 20 years
(g) Proposed Minimum standards for the content of a post-2015 framework applicable to all countries
- Standards be in accordance with the international human rights standards
(h) Additional information – strong consensus points