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LETTER TO A MALE CHAMPION ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

Communications March 21, 2022 0

Dear Friends,

In 2017, I challenged myself and other sisters to do two things on every International Women’s Day (IWD): celebrate a sister whose strength has borne you through the years, and write an open letter of affirmation to one male champion who has been a firm handhold and foothold in this journey through life. In the year that he will celebrate his 60th birthday, (born on 18 December 1962), I am celebrating Salihu Mohammed Lukman (SML), my husband, and a role-model life partner for a feminist like me. I wish him happiness on this IWD.

Where have the years gone? I know: they went into the making of us. SML and I have known each other forever 30 years, 26 of which we have been married. Over the years, we have encouraged each other to be better versions of ourselves. We have argued, debated, and disagreed, too. How boring would life be without the spats! But weal was resolved, in the end, to solve our issues by ourselves.

SML has taught me that there is no easy way to be a good man. It takes effort and the consciousness of what is the better road to travel. It also takes acknowledgment of one’s mistakes and keeping one’s pledges to do better.

We have matured together from our ‘okada’ riding days. Our many milestones include our first homes, our first child, and our first degrees. Through it, all, our friendship and common values have grown stronger. SML is a stellar feminist spouse.

They ask what do feminists want in a marital relationship? Well, not too much. Feminists treasure husbands and partners who let us be us. We want our spouses to toughen us and help us negotiate better and walk in our own paths. So doing, they enable us to conquer obstacles and discover new horizons and achieve beyond what we had imagined.

Feminists love spouses that do not feel threatened by our success. When sometimes they tell us maybe you should not do that, we do anyway. Sometimes we are right and at some other times, they are right. Regardless of who is right, our mutual respect endures.

We love spouses who seethe gem in us and don’t allow religion, ethnicity, race, or age to be a barrier to the expression of our love. Such spouses listen to our advocacy; they understand that what we want is a better society and a better world–not only for ourselves but also for our children and generations unborn.

Our husbands are our most important partners. While much of society, including some of those elected to protect women, still struggle to grapple with apparent or nuanced gendered relationships, our husbands love and respect us, appreciate our openness, and want us to succeed. They demonstrate their support in the place that matters most: our home–where they don’t see it as odd to cook for us, bath the children, and change a diaper as occasions demand.

In the spirit of this partnership, feminist wives know it is alright to spend our income on the family. It is no business of outsiders how we make ends meet at home. Who buys the bread and who pays the rent are unimportant to the partnership. What are important are equity, fairness, friendship, and solidarity?

If you are male and wondering how to be a happy man, know that masculinity can also oppress you. In moments when you need to let out the emotions and cry, society may prevent you from enjoying the health derivable from doing so because you are a man. Sometimes your humanity may be at stake when you need to pick up your own plate, lay your bed, cook for your own family, but you don’t because you don’t want to be called a woman wrapper. ‘But it is alright for a man to cry, care for his family, and share in the household chores. In any case, when you were born, you were wrapped in a woman’s wrapper as your mother cuddled you and gave you your first experience of life’s nurture

In closing, I would like to speak to when a feminist is married to an activist I am. SML speaks truth to power. Through his many open letters, he gives power to truth. I may sometimes worry about the letters and quibble over their timing, but I always understand the principle and the logic being expressed without trepidation. Through their thoughts, our teachers and mentors had raised us on their shoulders to have a clear view of the world; they prepared us to navigate the labyrinth that is life. Whether working from within or from without, we are change-makers. SML and I will always strive to positively impact our world.

I would like to affirm my husband for embodying these values and to say, with love, Happy 60th Year, in advance. Allah ya ja kwana. (I pray that his life is long) and continues to be a beacon of hope and courage and a powerful symbol of possibility for the many watching, including our children. Happy International Women’s Day 2022 to you all.

Amina Salihu

08 March 2022

Gender Equality Today For A Sustainable Tomorrow
#BreakTheBias

CODE Gender Policy

Communications March 17, 2022 2

The Gender Policy represents CODE’s commitment towards gender equality. The Gender Policy provides guidance on how Connected Development (CODE) intends to mainstream gender equality, equity, and social justice in organizational practices, policy formation, campaigns, project development and implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. The policy is based on the human rights-based approach that seeks to improve the rights of children, women, and men to ensure full participation and equal benefits from democratic processes. The human rights-based approach focuses on those who are marginalized, excluded, or discriminated against. Read More

CODE signs MOU with NPHCDA to strengthen health sector accountability

Communications March 1, 2022 0

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and Nigeria’s leading civil society organization, Connected Development (CODE) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen and foster health sector accountability in Nigeria. 

The MOU is a vital step towards enabling CODE to further expands its tracking and evaluation of Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the country, to inform its advocacy in canvassing for improved primary healthcare infrastructure and service delivery.

READ FULL DOCUMENT

CTAP PHASE TWO: BudgIT, CODE launch the second phase of the COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability Project in Ten African countries.

Communications February 23, 2022 1

BudgIT Foundation and Connected Development (CODE), two prominent civic-tech non-governmental organisations spearheading the advocacy for openness, transparency and accountability in governance, have launched the second phase of the COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP), an initiative that seeks to promote accountability and transparency through the tracking of COVID-19 intervention funds across 10 African countries. 

For the first phase of the project, both organisations leveraged their Tracka and Follow The Money (FTM) platforms to address the deeply rooted systemic profiteering culture associated with COVID-19 interventions and ineffective feedback mechanisms for tracking COVID-19 fund disbursements and management across focus countries. The first phase also strengthened civic engagement on COVID-19 response related matters to ensure that targeted governments use COVID-19 funds effectively. 

Building on these successes, the second phase of the project will advocate for improved healthcare funding and address the issues related to vaccine deployment and equitable distribution across focus countries. Both organisations will do this firstly, by conducting research on the post COVID environment, the distribution of health sector resources, the government’s commitment to healthcare funding, vaccine procurement plans and the issues affecting the equitable distribution in Africa, with a special focus on vulnerable groups in terms of commercial activity and socioeconomic status.

According to Oluseun Onigbinde, BudgIT’s Global Director, “This research will set a pathway for identifying the peculiar issues with procurement plans and vaccine distribution, after which we can build partnerships with relevant stakeholders and sectoral leaders to co-create inclusive frameworks and solutions for long-term health sector accountability,”. “We will not only collaborate with governments in focus countries to institute proper and sustainable accountability systems, we will also enhance the COVID-19 Accountability Platform (covidfund.africa) with a digital dashboard that tracks health sector resourcing and accountability approaches” he added.

Beyond collaborations with the government and sectoral leaders, we will also strengthen citizens’ engagement and equip civil society organisations in each focus country on how to prioritise vulnerable communities in their advocacy for improved health care investment.

While speaking on this part of the project, Hamzat Lawal, CODE’s Chief Executive noted that both organisations will mobilise at least 1.7million Africans digitally and offline to monitor emergency funds and demand health sector accountability.

“We will also facilitate dialogue sessions between 36 CSOs and the government to create opportunities for engagement between both parties on improved funding and health sector accountability.” he added

The COVID-19 transparency and accountability project has been instrumental in strengthening COVID-19 fund accountability frameworks and devising strategies that enhance citizen-led advocacy for reforms. We believe that this second phase will leverage existing partnerships with relevant stakeholders, the OGP and Global Health Organisations working on fiscal issues related to COVID-19 fund management and health sector accountability. This project is led by CODE and BudgIT in collaboration with Global Integrity, Oxlade Consulting and primarily funded by Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and Skoll Foundation.

CALL FOR APPLICATION – DATA ANALYST

Communications February 21, 2022 1

Does interpreting data and turning into information for solutions make you tick?

CODE’S CALL FOR A DATA ANALYST

Job Position
Data Analyst

Location: Abuja, Nigeria

Organizational Background

Connected Development [CODE] is a non-government organization [NGO] whose mission is to empower marginalized communities in Africa.

We strengthen local communities by creating platforms for dialogue, enabling informed debate, and building capacities of citizens on how to hold their government accountable through Follow The Money. CODE provides marginalized and vulnerable communities with resources to amplify their voices with independence and integrity while providing the communities with information that ushers social and economic progress.

To enhance effective democratic governance and accountability, CODE creates platforms [mobile and web technologies] that close the feedback loop between citizens and the government. With global expertise and reach, we focus on community outreach, influencing policies, practices, and knowledge mobilization.

CODE is calling for a Data Analyst who will join the team to carry out the following responsibilities:

– Develop and implement databases and data collection systems.
– Work closely with management to identify critical metrics and to prioritize needs.
– Collect and analyze data from primary and / or secondary data sources for CODE, develop reports and visual representations.
– Support the maintainance of CODE’s database and provide technical support to all programme locations.
– Support studies and research like feasibility studies and surveys etc.
– Support data quality assessment and development of reports in accordance with the outcome of data analysis.
– Visualize and present findings to key stakeholders.
– Build and customize reports.
– Produce high quality and varied research outputs for a range of audiences including analysis, report writing and presentations where necessary
– Develop and maintain dashboards.
– Create and maintain documentation regarding data models, measures, and infrastructure as they are developed
– Design database specifications and modify existing software packages to meet specific research project needs.
– Write sections of scientific papers, funding proposals, grants, and abstracts.
– Conduct data audits, compile results, analyze and summarize audit findings.
– Coordinate and manage the collection, delivery, entry, verification, analysis, and reporting of data.
– Provide advice regarding data collection and analysis required for research projects.
– Recommend modifications to processes related to data collection and data entry conventions and develop implementation plans.
Support all forms of CODE’s research and evaluation.
– Responsible for the application of complex statistical and technical skills toward the collection, analysis, and translation of statistical data for a variety of research projects.
– Conduct statistical research and analysis and compiles and interprets statistical records and reports for research projects.
– Identify the appropriate method of statistical analysis and apply statistical techniques to interpret data.

Requirements
– HND or Bachelor’s Degree in Statistics, Mathematics, Research or related discipline
– At least 4 years of working experience in Research Data Analysis within the development space
– Experience in Programme Research
– Experience in Research & Statistics within the development space
– Experience in conducting and organising qualitative fieldwork
– Experience in designing qualitative research tools
– Evidence of having delivered or contributed to the delivery of high-quality social research outputs
– Experience in conducting and/or managing reviews and evaluations of projects that use both quantitative and qualitative monitoring and impact data.
– Experience with working with teams across diverse locations (local & international)
– Ability to collect, analyse and produce good quality data and information
– Proven skills in data management with concrete knowledge of open-source tools
– Experience with database management, word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software
– Well organized, with ability to track multiple projects and deadlines.
– An ego-free attitude when it comes to taking constructive feedback and running with it.
– Ability to work methodically and meet deadlines.
– Positive, flexible, solution-oriented, and excited to work with a diverse team of professionals working toward a common goal

Method of Application:

Interested candidates should fill the form provided. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

DEADLINE: 25th February 2022

APPLY HERE

Public Speaking: What are You Afraid of?

Communications January 27, 2022 161

By Pearl Utuk

Standing before a room full of people can make you suddenly realize what a bad idea having that beautiful cup of tea this morning was. Thoughts of your inadequacies and how Mr Y or Miss G will always be the best person for such a daunting task, would begin to torment you. Next thing you know, sweat is pouring out of glands you didn’t even know you had.

Stop. Breath in. Hold it in. Breath out slowly. (Seriously, do it!)

Pearl Utuk gives a presentation on the poor state of PHCs in administrating COVID vaccines

What are you really afraid of? 

Stammering? Your mind suddenly going blank? Fear of not being good enough? Fear that you do not really understand the subject matter? Fear of being ridiculed by your audience? Once you have been able to appropriately identify the source of your fears, you have solved your own problems by 50%. Congratulations. 

Let me share my story. 

In October 2021, I was asked to represent my organisation (CODE) at a congregation of health experts from around the world with focus on the African Continent- Global Emerging Pathogens Treatments Consortium (GET-Africa) Conference. You see, we had just concluded the first phase of COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP) in 7 African Countries. I was the Programme Officer for Nigeria where we had tracked the State of Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) so it made sense that I should present the findings of the PHC campaign at the conference. 

But hey! I’m not talking about a bunch of development professionals or to children in underdeveloped communities where I could just be myself and enjoy humanity in its most basic form. I’m talking about top guns like the Nigerian Ministry of Health, WHO, a United Nations body (UNODA), NPHCDA, the Lagos State Governor, the marines and many other “adults”. The child in me began whimpering. I began hyperventilating and sweating despite the cold blast of the air conditioning. 

CODE had spent a lot of money bringing me to that conference and like it or not, I was going to deliver and so I became my own shrink. I spoke to myself in the mirror for at least a week, I practiced my presentation, I even inserted a joke in my opening. 

When I got to the hall, I made myself look into each of their faces. I saw them for the flawed humans they are. These magnificent and brilliant minds that have issues of their own. No, they do not have life all figured out. They take chances just like me and they hope with bated breaths that they made the right choice, just like me. They feel pain and joy, they laugh and cry (well, most of them do). And when they go home, they take off their magnificent regalia and put on shorts and slippers too. 

A beautiful realization hit me soon after. They were all waiting with expectation for my presentation! And so with my head held high and shoulders squared, I climbed the podium and began with “I am not a medical professional. I am an activist…” I spoke with the voice of one who had witnessed the poor and sick who have no choice but to utilize dysfunctional, substandard PHCs, hustling for COVID-19 vaccines that were being hoarded by personnel.

The ovation that followed that presentation still rings in my ear if I listen closely. 

Back to you. So when preparing for that daunting presentation, practice! Commit yourself to understanding the subject matter, know your audience, dress the part, read the tone of the room and adjust your presentation accordingly, and finally, remember to breathe. You’ve got this!

Nigerian Police Acknowledges CSOs Demand for Breakdown of N1 Billion Disbursed for Police Camps in Northern Nigeria

Communications December 17, 2021 3

The Nigerian Police Force has acknowledged the receipt of a Freedom of Information request by a coalition of anti-corruption and social accountability civil society organisations to provide details of N1Billion allocated and disbursed for the supply and installation of police transit camp buildings and rapid response squad, including procurements from 2018 till date.

Follow The Money, SERAP, BudgIT and Enough is Enough (EIE) cosigned the letter following the investigation and publication by the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ), of an alleged misappropriation of N1 Billion allocated for sham police transit camps project in some states in the North. 

In the FoI letter dated 13th of December 2021, the CSOs noted that “having observed that the welfare of the police officers is seemingly grossly underfunded and has become an issue of national concern despite the huge allocations to the security parastatal, it has become expedient to request these details.”

The letter further reads in part; the Nigerian Police Force receives annual budgetary allocations by the Federal Government of Nigeria and state governments alike to support their operations and welfare which in turn has a significant effect on the state of security of the nation. 

“These police camps were intended to be a response to heightened insecurity including the violent invasion of herdsmen in Guma, Benue where over 70 people were killed and crops, farms and houses destroyed,” the FIJ report revealed.

The reputation of the Nigerian Police is sullied already, which makes it more urgent for the Inspector General to respond to our call for accountability by providing the details requested. This year alone, the National Assembly approved a N74 billion Police budget that captures infrastructure, training and retraining of personnel of the police. The security of our nation will continue to deteriorate significantly if the loopholes in our security architecture are not addressed,” Follow The Money Founder, Hamzat Lawal stated.

Despite years of funding, the services of the Nigerian Police Force continues to deteriorate as a result of greed, poor welfare and ill-equipped personnel which has resulted in an alarming increase in corruption within the force.

In line with the Freedom of Information Act, the CSOs have now requested that the Nigerian Police Force provide details of the N1billion allocation within 7 days of receiving the letter.

Call for Application: Communications Manager

Communications December 15, 2021 0

Job Description:

Communications Manager

Location: Abuja, Nigeria

Reports to: Chief Executive

Organizational Background

Connected Development [CODE] is a non-governmental organisation that is building the largest social accountability movement and empowering marginalised communities across Africa. We strengthen local communities by creating platforms for dialogue, enabling informed debate, and building the capacities of citizens on how to hold their government accountable. To further drive our messages and amplify the voices of grassroots communities, we are looking for competent hands to help expand our footprints and drive value through online and offline content. The role will support the communications team to shape CODE’s content and communications strategy.

Requirements

  • MBA or Advanced Degree in Communications, Marketing or related field.
  • 5+ years corporate or development communications work experience
  • Extensive list of media contacts.
  • Knowledge of strong brand standards across all communications channels.

Skills

  • Strong and confident leadership.
  • Awareness and proficiency with communications technologies.
  • Experience in stakeholder, PR and Media Management
  • Experience with NGOs, CSOs
  • Clear and concise communication with team members and senior management.
  • An ability to work fluidly across multiple projects and tasks.
  • A solid understanding of quality assurance as part of the visual identity process

Responsibilities

  • Oversee CODE’s entire communications and advocacy activities.
  • Assemble and oversee a diversely skilled communications team.
  • Responsible for crisis management and preemptive planning while maintaining an awareness of possible risks and threats.
  • Manage media relations; communications budget and ensure quality control of all information released.
  • Determine communications strategies direction, public relations and act as spokesperson on behalf of the Organisation.
  • Build, increase and manage relationships with government representatives, journalists, and stakeholders.
  • Create content for corporate materials, in-house correspondence and technical documentation.
  • Create and proofread internal and external communication documentations before publishing.
  • Take lead in dissemination of communication materials to relevant stakeholders
  • Oversee communications activities by Chapter Leads and persons in charge of Follow The Money Radio.
  • Support other Departments in media and communications related capacity building and ensuring that this is integrated within programmes.
  • Develop and oversee communications work plans for all campaigns and projects while promoting brand values
  • Oversee content for monthly newsletters, periodical press releases, briefing notes, backgrounders, features, media talking points, question and answer documents

Method of Application:

Send your CV, a cover letter and 5 links of your best works to hr@connecteddevelopment.org.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

DEADLINE: Dec 31, 2021