OUR STRATEGIES FOR DEVELOPMENT
In the Nigerian environment, the strategic role of government at all levels is to make the environment more enabling through formulation and implementation of appropriate policies and legislations and also providing adequate resources through increased, timely and consistent allocation of fund to support programs and service delivery. As documented, lack of implementation of existing policies and laws and inadequate funding of health and socio-economic development programs often explain the lack of performance or underperformance of various programs, thereby compromising the achievement of nationally and internationally set goals and targets.
Weak coordination and inadequate capacity of public institutions to provide the required leadership also significantly contribute to the poor results often recorded in program implementation. Where systems are not functional it makes it difficult to effectively initiate and implement programs and interventions with measurable results. As such education, health, livelihoods and social accountability interventions (programs and services) require strong government commitment and support at all levels for the desired change to be recorded. This explains Leadtots Development Initiative’s adoption of advocacy as a key strategy to influence policies, legislations and the operating environment positively. The goal of Leadtots Development Initiative’s advocacy strategy is improved policy environment for good governance and social accountability. This effort aims at strengthening institutional frameworks and to support the articulation of policies that promote the health, educational and economic development of women, adolescent girls, young people and children. Efforts will focus on key opinion leaders and gatekeepers who have power to change policies and public opinion to make the operating environment enabling.
Adequate and consistent sensitization reinforces the importance of behavior change as cornerstone of Leadtots Development Initiative’s response in the next 3 years. Over the years, harmful cultural practices, myths and misconceptions amongst the population in spite of high level of awareness on the plight of adolescent girls, prevalence of harmful practices against young people and children that fuel social problems will be addressed. This will stimulate adoption of appropriate behavior that reduces vulnerability to education, health, social and economic problems. The strategy also has the goal to generate demand for care and social services and have an impact on knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and practices that influence behavior appropriately.
This strategy will focus on formal education, vocational skills acquisition, hygiene behavior, teenage pregnancy, pre-marital sex, drug/substance abuse, multiple sexual practice, unprotected sex, sex work and such harmful practices as Female genital mutilation , tattooing, male preference, forced marriage, early marriage, wife inheritance, , widowhood right, rape, child labor/abuse and neglect, trafficking, cultism, thuggery, discriminatory nutrition/feeding, torture, forceful withdrawal from school and luring underage to sex/sexual exploitation. Hence for effective control of health and social problems such as highlighted above, strategic behavior change communication is key. The goal of Leadtots Development Initiative’s Behavior Communication Change strategy is decreased harmful practices endangering the health and development of children and young people.
Capacity building is a package of mutually reinforcing activities which strengthen the knowledge, abilities, skills and behaviour of individuals and improve institutional structures and processes such that organizations can efficiently meet their mission and goals in a sustainable way. It also involves specific interventions that will be designed and delivered by Leadtots Development Initiative to build and or strengthen the capacity of individuals, groups, Organizations and institutions to reposition them and increase their effectiveness. Weak capacity is one of the major challenges confronting individuals and institutions involved in education and socio-economic development programs in public, private and CSOs sectors. Flowing from weak capacity are poor/non-existent mechanism for coordination, weak accountability and governance mechanisms, poor implementation of policies and programs, poor quality of services, poor performance of programs, weak resource base and effective management of limited available resources and inadequate knowledge of education, health and socio-economic issues.
The target audience for Leadtots Development Initiative capacity building strategy are the organization’s staff, school teachers, health care providers, law enforcement agents, lecturers, religious leaders, women groups, Youth leaders, community members, Guardians, parents, young people (including adolescent girls) & children, policy makers, public sector officials (state & LGA), students in secondary and tertiary institutions and care givers. These are the various groups that will be recipients of capacity building interventions such as trainings, technical assistance, mentoring, coaching, supportive supervision, workshops/seminars; exchange programs/study visits etc. The goal of the strategy is strengthened capacity of Leadtots Development Initiative staff, partner institutions in public, private and CSO sectors providing education, health and socio-economic support to women, children and young people.
Leadtots Development Initiative will in the strategic plan period provide and or facilitate access to wide range of formal and non-formal education, reproductive health, economic empowerment and livelihoods while also undertaking research to increase access of the target beneficiaries to array of social services. The purpose is to improve household economic status, increase literacy and numeracy rate, reduce disease burden, prevention of infectious diseases/reduce transmission, mitigate impact of diseases, reduce rate of school drop-out and forceful withdrawal from school, reduce harmful practices at community level and improve quality of life of young people. In the strategic plan period, Leadtots Development Initiative will partner with other organizations to increase demand and utilization of quality education, civic participation, household economic strengthening and livelihoods. Components of services include mentoring, education outreach, civic education, capacity building support, adolescent girl empowerment, hygiene education, and Water, sanitation and hygiene services.
In order to compliment other support services and needs by Leadtots Development Initiative’s target beneficiaries, referral for services not provided by Leadtots Development Initiative will be initiated through collaborations and partnerships with other public and private organizations as well as academic institutions.
Over the span of 4 years, the work of Leadtots has touched the lives of over twelve thousand two-hundred and fifty-one people (12,251 - 3,986 females and 8,265 males).