Bauchi to Implement social protection policy, develops implementation plan, MEAL framework
By Bashir Hassan Abubakar
All is set for the smooth implementation of Bauchi State Social Protection Policy (SPP) that seeks to improve human capital development in the State.
The State Government, through the Ministry of Budget, Economic Planning and Multilateral Coordination, with support from United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) Bauchi Field office, have reviewed the implementation plan of the policy.
In the same vein, the State has also developed a draft Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEAL) framework that will measure the level of Implementation of the policy in the State.
These key documents were developed and reviewed at the just concluded workshop held in Jos, the Plateau State Capital between 15th -18th November, 2023.
The four days activity that draw high level participants from key State MDAs also had in attendance, international development partners, CSOs and other professional bodies.
Speaking to our correspondent on the sidelines, the representative of the consultant that facilitated the workshop, Mr. Lumowu James shared his delight at the high level and active participation of invited stakeholders.
Mr. James said that he saw commitment, zeal, passion and the capacity of the participants and by extension, Bauchi State Government, in implementing the SPP, that is aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable groups and the poorest of the poor.
The consultant then urged participants to put the knowledge gained during the workshop into practice and also cascade it to subordinates in their respective MDAs.
A participant, Halima Ibrahim Dimis was optimistic that the SPP is starting on a solid footing with the guidelines spelt out in the implementation plan and the MEAL framework.
She expressed her satisfaction with the contents of the workshop and also reiterated the commitment of her organisation, High Level Women Advocates (HILWA) in supporting Government towards positive implementation outcomes of the policy.
Stating his assessment of the workshop, Dr. Jibril Omar Mohammed, Director Planning, Research and Statistics (DPRS) in the Bauchi State Primary Health Care Agency, who was also a participant, said that the workshop was an eye opener for participants on the best approach to implementing social protection policy in the state, pointing out that, all ambiguities and gray areas in the implementation plan were looked into, in a highly participatory manner that proffered solutions to such gray areas.
Dr. Mohammed also said that development of the four year monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEAL) framework would keep track of the implementation of the SPP in the State.
A participant from a Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Fahimta Women Development Initiative, Mr. Mustapha Idris Ajana, said that the workshop has broadened his knowledge on Social Protection and the mechanisms to put in place for implementation.
The legal/gender officer of the Bauchi State Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) office , Maimuna Ibrahim Yusuf, while sharing her thoughts and experience on the just concluded workshop described it as participatory and engaging, allowing participants to freely express their thoughts on social protection as a policy and the measures that would be deploy to implement it.
She also expressed her optimism on the MEAL framework developed, stressing that it would keep the implementation of the policy on track.
For Mr. Adamu Abdullahi, the focal point of civil society partnership for development activities, a coalition of select CSOs, the workshop has has succeeded in bringing together, relevant State MDAs, CSOs and other key stakeholders that are working in social protection program in Bauchi State.
He maintained that the workshop has built the capacity of the participants in documenting the SPP and MEAL framework.
In his closing remarks after an exhausting four day engagement, State Focal Person for the implementation of the policy, Mallam Lawan Ahmed Bako thanked the participants for their untiring efforts leading to the success of the workshop.
Mallam Bako, who also double as Director of planning and programs in the State ministry of budget, economic planning and multilateral coordination, said the workshop has succeeded in achieving the objective of reviewing the key performance indicators for tracking progress in relation to Bauchi State SPP amongst other objectives.
He then expressed the ministry’s gratitude to UNICEF Bauchi Field office for fully funding the workshop and the technical support that gave birth to a reviewed implementation plan and the development of MEAL framework that would be adopted as a working documents to aid the implementation of the State SPP.
The State focal person also commended CASCADE project for their invaluable inputs during the workshop.
Our correspondent reports that the reviewed implementation plan would become a working document as soon as it is validated by Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed hopefully before the end of the year.