Category: Annual Report
2020 Annual Report: Empowering Communities in a Pandemic
In 2020, with the global pandemic binding the world together, we saw our work come together in new ways, creating the springboard we need to unleash unprecedented impact in the years ahead. We witnessed a great level of interdependence—that our collective success does not only depend on how we care for ourselves but also how we are looking out for other people around us.
In light of what we do at CODE, constantly advocating for public funds to be used for public good, especially in the areas of education and more importantly healthcare, we most certainly believe that the state of a nation’s healthcare is tantamount to its wellbeing. Our call for accountability and transparency in public services was to prepare our society, our country and the world to tackle challenges that a pandemic of this kind presents.
Although the impact of our work was tested in many ways than one, we achieved measurable impacts through #FollowCOVIDMoney campaign and numerous projects, tracking the sum of 507, 967,121.5 USD worth of government budgets. We mobilised young people in 7 African countries to use digital tools for social accountability and to track COVID Funds, reached 257 Communities and impacted 4,879,000 Lives.
Today, as the globe continues to deal with COVID-19 and navigate its health, economic and social implications, we at CODE have continued to make proactive decisions to provide communities with access to information and also ensure the personal health and safety of our team and our members across Africa.
Read more on our impacts in 2020.CODEs-2020-Annual-Report-1
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on girls’ education have posed some concerns-from the potential of an early marriage, to early pregnancy, susceptibility to gender-based violence and sexual harassment- there are numerous and diverse impacts of the pandemic directly or indirectly affecting the girl-child’s education and their overall well being.
CODE, with the support of Malala Fund, has now carried out a research on the implication of these effects on girls in Nigeria’s North-East, specifically Adamawa State, and what must be done to remedy the situation.
Read the full report here
2016 Annual Report: Big Stories from Rural Communities
In Nigerian rural communities, overtime, billions of dollars have been appropriated for the provision of health facilities , teaching aid, water and clean energy inputs, and have remained only spent “on paper”. 80% of such funds do not reach these communities. Many times they are not aware, and at times, they do not have the will/capacity to challenge and ask questions. It’s Game Over! There is a new movement that has been empowered and organised to reverse this trend. This is a compilation of what these “citizen monitors” were able to achieve in 2016.
Click here to read full report.2016-Reports-FTM-BIG-STORIES-1
2019 Annual Report: Rebuilding Trust in Institutions
In 2019, what we learnt engaging with government Ministries, Departments and Agencies a year before informed our objective for 2019, which was to begin a campaign that was intended to increase trust among citizens and government. CODE’s strategy was to create platforms for informed debate between public institutions and citizens and also advocate for more government agencies to leverage digital communications to foster trust, increase transparency and ensure better accountability.
We hope that we can contribute our quota to increasing citizens and government’s consciousness towards rebuilding trust.
– Hamzat Lawal, Chief Executive, CODE
Click here to read full report.2019-Impact-Report-Upload-2
Connected Development (CODE) launched its 2018 Annual Report themed Amplifying Voices from the Grassroots, highlighting the impact of its social accountability initiative, Follow The Money, in tracking an estimate of NGN 1.3 Billion (USD 3.6 million) budgeted for projects in 69 grassroots communities across Water, Sanitation and Hygiene [WASH], Primary Healthcare and Education sectors, in the year 2018.
In the report, CODE emphasised its effort to spur stronger and inclusive growth for grassroots communities in Africa by providing them with the resources to amplify their voices; creating platforms for dialogue, enabling informed using the Follow The Money model.
Download report here.
Alarmed by the accelerating number of out-of-school children in Nigeria, two civil society organisations; Connected Development(CODE) and FlexiSAF Foundation have come together to combine their resources in identifying out of school children and providing quality basic education. In direct accordance with the SDG 4 and SDG 17, Connected Development and FlexiSAF Foundation are on a mission to reach these targets ahead of 2030.
Statistics show that there are about 13.2 million Nigerian children currently not in school and this figure is increasing by the day, particularly in the Northern part of Nigeria. Issues of insurgency, conflicts and unrest militating the North-East combined with deep-rooted poverty, and certain cultural factors especially in the North have pushed the rate of out-of-school children high. Even the few educational facilities in these rural settings are in deplorable conditions—dilapidated structures, no libraries, congested classrooms with poor ventilation, damaged or no furniture, causing pupils to sit on classroom floors—further discouraging children from attending school.
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) records that Girls account for 60 per cent of the out-of-school population. For every 100 boys of primary age out of school, 121 girls are denied the right to education, worsening gender-based discrimination and putting girls at a disadvantage. Displacement and child marriage also significantly affect a girl’s chances of going to school. Issues of water, sanitation and hygiene, and in many cases, insecurity affecting the delivery of education in conflict affected areas, are contributing factors driving children – particularly girls – away from the classroom.
Distressed by the growing number of out of school children in Nigeria, Connected Development and FlexiSAF Foundation are partnering to identify and verify the number of out of school children in selected states in Nigeria and increase citizen participation through awareness raising.
According to Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, Chairman, FlexiSAF Foundation, the partnership comes at a time when sustainable measures must be put in place to strengthen the quality of education in the country and curtail the growing number of out of school children, which has grossly affected the Nation, particularly the Northern region. “It is indeed a remarkable feat to partner with Connected Development (CODE) in our mutual goal to reach out a helping hand to communities in need. We will be able to have access to more communities to provide quality basic education for all children,” he added.
CODE’s Chief Executive, Hamzat Lawal, stated that “the future of Nigeria is strongly determined by the quality of education of its children. How can we begin to talk about quality education when a large proportion of Nigeria’s young ones are out-of-school?” Lawal was worried that out-of-school children are constantly being exposed to danger of violence, assault, exploitation and anti-social recruitments such as terrorism, child-trafficking and kidnapping. He noted that addressing out of school children is a challenge that the Nigerian Government must tackle with a sense of urgency.
He also noted that the partnership will be a great leap in pursuing the cause of reducing the number of out-of-school children. CODE is committed to providing its resources in supporting the cause by collating the number of out of school children and providing support in areas of monitoring and evaluation (M&E)”. CODE and FlexiSAF Foundation partnership will bring about the reduction in percentage of out-of-school children and create a sustainable environment for children to study and explore their creativity.
Amina Abubakar, Coordinator FlexiSAF Education stated that there is a lot of work to be done in ensuring the Nigerian child goes to school. She called on the Federal and State Governments, Civil Societies, as well as stakeholders in the Education System, especially the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) to commit to securing the education of the Nigerian child.
“As countries strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) that addresses attaining universal primary and secondary education by 2030, this is a wake-up call for the Nigerian government to make educating the nation’s future leaders a priority. We should begin to think up sustainable initiatives to resolve the challenging factors facing out-of-school children,” Amina added.
She also mentioned that to reach the large number of out-of-school kids, we have a long way to go. The effort required is massive, not just for FlexiSAF Foundation and CODE, but for Nigeria as a whole and the world at large. “It’s not enough to just acknowledge the problem, but a swift and effective course of action 1must be embarked upon. That is what we have began, and we are committed to staying on this course for the long haul.”
FlexiSAF Managing Director, Faiz Bashir stated that change can begin at the grassroots whereby learning opportunities start with community-based education and organising classes in community buildings so children do not have to walk miles and miles to go to school. This is especially critical for girls, as it reduces insecurity such as harassment and conflict related incidents, on the way to school. FlexiSAF Foundation has, in its effort to reach the SDG 4 target, adopted such flexible methods of teaching out-of-school kids. These include Safe Spaces within their communities, full scholarships to qualitative schools, one-on-one mentorship and counselling and so forth.
He added that the partnership between CODE and FlexiSAF Foundation aims to identify and target regions with disproportionately high rates of out of school children, including working with leaders and other groups to advocate for increased education, especially for girls. It will also ensure safe and conducive learning that meets basic security and health standards, including toilets and safe drinking water.
Detailed plans to implement this partnership will be developed by the two organizations in the coming months.
According to the United Nations, out-of-school children are children who are yet to be enrolled in any formal education excluding pre-primary education.
In 2012, the Nigerian Federal Government initiated the Saving One Million Lives Program For Results (SOML PforR). The program intends to rollback child and maternal mortality in the country and saves an estimated 900,000 women and children that die each year from preventable causes. In 2015, the World Bank approved $500 million credit for the program. Subsequently, in mid-2016, the World Bank provided $55.5 million as part of the credit to the Federal Ministry of Health who then gave $1.5 million to each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
In line with Connected Development’s work in ensuring an open government in governmental expenditure in rural communities and in our three thematic areas (which includes health), we immediately got interested in tracking the implementation of the funds across the country. On learning about the $55.5 million approval from the Bretton Woods Institution and in the last quarter of 2016, we started tracking the implementation of the $1.5 million at Primary Healthcare Centres across rural communities in Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Kano, Kogi, Osun and Yobe States. Subsequently, we arranged and had meetings with the World Bank and Federal Ministry of Health SOML PforR program team for information sharing and to share our experience in tracking the fund implementation. One of the key outcomes from these meetings is the importance of Civil Society Organisation’s involvement in the PforR implementation. It’s on this note that this CSOs roundtable was organized.
Dear Honourable Minister,
I wish to use this medium to congratulate you on your appointment as the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. It is an honour well-deserved. It is also an elevation that naturally stirs mixed feelings in some of us who are very much aware of what Nigeria stands to miss in your absence.
So far, you have distinguished yourself as not only a dynamic Minister of the Federal Republic, but a hard-working development worker for the people. At a time the nation yearned for deep understanding of its environmental challenges, you brought the insight and hands-on feminine balance that enabled this great country get back on its ecological track in order to retain its pride in the comity of nations.
As an adviser to the Federal Government on Nigeria’s implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the precursor to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), you drove the programme efficiently and attained high points in critical set targets. This of course prepared you for your esteemed role in negotiating the seventeen SDGs under the outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and effectively stood you out as an asset to the development world.
Likewise, the passion and patriotism you have displayed in your duties as a minister, have now engraved your name in the annals of history. This is because the commitment you brought to the job is based on your inherent capabilities and ingrained capacity acquired over the years in your service to society.
Your stewardship is now evident. Nigeria has launched the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The Ministry of Environment has also successfully launched the historic Sovereign Green Bonds – first of its kind; flagged off the Ogoni Clean-up Programme; and streamlined the Great Green Wall programme for a focused and sustainable implementation.
Dear Minister, in spite of the pleasure we find in celebrating your value and landmark achievements, we are still perturbed by the nagging fear that your efforts may yet be in vain if the solid foundation you are laying in the sector is not capped with a seamless transition to sustainable pillars of continued progress, as you move on to your new international office.
This is why we also use this opportunity to draw your attention to some real issues that when properly addressed, would spell the survival lines to this all-important sector, and to the country in general.
Firstly, we are conscious of the fact that your tenure as the Minister of Environment brought a lease of life to the energy efficiency sub-sector, and effectively cleared the foul and dark aura already engendered by the Clean Cookstoves saga. Presently, you have set a fresh course that promises to reignite hope in the achievement of the goals that inspired the project in the first place.
Therefore, we call on you to set a lasting template that would sustain the momentum of the clean cookstoves project, even in your absence. We hope your efforts would help ensure that government delivers on the statutory 15% from the Ecological Fund, while also inspiring the ambition and bureaucratic urgency needed to deliver on the project.
Secondly, we can never forget that your motherly intervention and tireless activism impacted positively on the success of the ongoing Shikira lead poisoning remediation project. However, having assessed the progress of the cleanup, we are convinced that the project has to go beyond just remediation, but also a sustainable structure for ecological management. This is in order to ensure that there is no future outbreak of lead poisoning in Shikira and in other communities involved in artisanal mining.
Thirdly, we are worried that if the proper systemic adjustments are not made in the ministry of environment, we may lose some of the critical milestones achieved under your watch. This is why we call on you to effectively utilize the remaining few months you have to work in Nigeria in strengthening the structures that would ensure that in the absence of a good driver like you that the vehicle does not crash into the bushes. We sincerely pray that things will never deteriorate to “business as usual!”
We wish to see that the ball you have set rolling maintains the momentum, because we are convinced that the environmental sector is the fulcrum of the development sector especially in a developing economy like ours.
For instance, Nigeria’s NDC is an ambitious document, which needs imaginative inter-sectoral engagements for its effective implementation. With the vast opportunities that lie within the NDC and the potential complications that could entangle our bureaucratic infrastructure, we are concerned that, in fact, not just any hands can take over the helms at the ministry of environment.
How we wish, you could groom your own successor! Fourthly, we also cannot forget the fact that two critical regions in Nigeria are directly affected by your present and future offices: the South South and the North East. The Ogoni Clean-up project which you successfully initiated needs a proper and sustained project implementation.
The social dislocation that has erupted as a result of the humanitarian emergency in the North East also waits for your intervention. We humbly call on you to use your esteemed position as the UN Deputy Secretary-General to redirect the eyes of the world to the region. This would not only entail getting the required international support for humanitarian aid, but most importantly in ensuring that transparency and accountability are mainstreamed in their disbursements.
Finally, conscious of the importance of your UN appointment not only to Nigeria but to Africa as a region, we are hopeful that you will utilize the platform to inspire a revived spirit of transparent democratic governance, which we believe is the only effective way to address the region’s development challenges. And, we are glad that your experience in the development of the SDGs will also give you the fillip to inspire a proper mainstreaming of its implementation process in Africa.
Then, ultimately, we hope that you spearhead Nigeria’s bid to becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council. We are convinced that you have a date with history, and would have stamped your name in gold in the annals of history if you could work with your new boss to reorganize the UN and make it more democratic by increasing the Permanent membership of the Security Council. History will remember you if Nigeria fills Africa’s slot in the new arrangement, in order to reward our great country’s half-a- century old contributions to the UN.
Chief Executive, CODE
Co-Founder, Follow The Money