DFID’s programme in Nigeria: Government Response to the Committee’s Second Report of Session 2016–17 Contents

Appendix: Government response


We welcome the IDC’s constructive review of the UK Government’s international development work in Nigeria and appreciate the thought and insight that has been provided by the Committee and the various experts that fed into the hearings.

The fundamental approach of the UK’s international development work in Nigeria is focused on helping Nigeria’s Government to do better with its own resources to tackle some of the ‘most important development challenges of the 21st century’ and we appreciate the IDC’s recognition that DFID assistance is ‘important to stability and prosperity in West Africa and thus to the UK national interest’. We continue to work on the basis that, as Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria’s success matters to the UK and to the continent as a whole. A stable, secure and prosperous Nigeria means economic opportunities for British businesses; a safer, more secure UK, and a stable partnership with a key African country.

We agree with the principles sitting behind all the recommendations provided by the committee, and in the majority of cases we fully agree with the practical next steps these imply. These recommendations will strengthen our development programming and the UK’s impact in Nigeria.

Governance—processes and outcomes

Recommendation 1:

We commend DFID for its support to strengthening democratic processes and outcomes in Nigeria, and recognise the direct impact that this work has had in contributing to a credible, fair and peaceful presidential election in 2015. (Paragraph 18)

We urge DFID to maintain its support throughout the election cycle by strengthening systems and institutional management and civic education. DFID should ensure that a successor programme to its Deepening Democracy in Nigeria 2 (DDiN) programme—due to end in 2018—is established well in advance of the 2019 Presidential Election. Learning from DDiN, boards of DFID projects should include staff of other Government departments where possible, in accordance with the stated desire for DFID’s work to be “embedded in the broader HMG effort”. DFID should also use its comparative advantage in parliamentary strengthening to enhance scrutiny, foster transparency and support legislative oversight. When we met members of the Nigerian Senate and House of Representatives in Abuja, it was requested that DFID support capacity building among Nigerian Parliamentarians. This could be facilitated through support for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD). The UK Government should review the lessons it has learned through extensive parliamentary strengthening efforts in Burma and consider how these can be applied to its work with the Nigerian Parliament. (Paragraph 19)

Agree: We intend to extend DDiN2 until 2021 to ensure full election cycle support. We will continue to involve all relevant parts of HMG in democratisation work, as we are doing through a policy coherence board co-chaired by the High Commissioner and DFID Head of Office. We are already working on capacity strengthening of Nigerian parliamentarians and are in discussion with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) about further work, and will review the lessons from Burma.

Recommendation 2:

DFID’s approach to politically smart development programming is at the forefront of addressing the significant political barriers to development in Nigeria. We regard DFID-funded research into the political economy of Nigeria as an investment in more effective programming. (Paragraph 27)

We encourage DFID to invest in research into the political economy of Nigeria, particularly on how to better align political and development priorities. It is important that governance inputs are not isolated, and form an integrated part of interventions in education, health, etc. We urge DFID to produce a review within the next year of how programming in its governance suite can better collaborate with its wider interventions and, ultimately, to try to integrate these fully to reduce the need for distinct governance programmes. (Paragraph 28)

Agree: DFID Nigeria is investing in research into the political economy of Nigeria through the Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) programme. We will review linkages between governance and wider programmes as part of the PERL review process. We will also look at best practice in other DFID country programmes. However, whilst basic services programmes can do more on governance in their sectors, we still expect a need for some distinct governance programming on cross-cutting governance issues.

Recommendation 3:

A central component of DFID’s anti-corruption strategy in Nigeria is supporting enforcement agencies’ capacity and ability to detect, investigate, prosecute and convict those who engage in corrupt behaviour. While DFID, the FCO and the NCA are delivering a cross-Government approach to strengthening judicial systems in Nigeria, we have heard that this approach is overlooking a valuable resource in the form of UK-trained advocates, including in the UK-based diaspora and practising in Nigeria. (Paragraph 36)

We urge DFID to make use of the large number of UK-trained lawyers who may be motivated to help drive reform in the judicial system, including the UK-based Nigerian diaspora. The Vice President, with whom DFID works closely and who studied law in the UK, can serve as a key figure in rallying a powerful network of reformers, both in Nigeria and abroad. (Paragraph 37)

Agree: We will reach out to more UK-trained lawyers and will continue to work closely with the Vice President.

Recommendation 4:

The quality of governance at the state level varies significantly and it is vital that processes are in place to ensure that the lessons learned—both from DFID programming and more broadly—are spread across Nigeria. The emergence of platforms like BudgIT, which make public budgets available and accessible to citizens, are a key step towards greater transparency and accountability. (Paragraph 43)

We encourage DFID to ensure that the States Peer Review Mechanism (SPRM) is implemented with the specific objective of delivering greater accountability from two perspectives: Bottom-up: Ensure citizens are kept well-informed of the relative performance of their state government, generating calls for greater accountability; and Top-down: bring pressure to bear on the poorer performing states from the Federal government.

DFID should play an active role in facilitating this peer-review process and ensuring that reviews take place regularly and are available and accessible to the public. They should be published immediately after completion to enable citizens to process and react to the information. DFID-funded projects such as SPARC have amassed significant amounts of data that should be summarised and made available to the media and civil society. This can provide an added push towards greater accountability at limited cost to DFID as the data is already being collected. (Paragraph 44)

Partially Agree. We agree with the desirability of publishing state-level data as part of the peer-review process but recognise there may be political challenges with the groups who will have to consent. We are continuing to work with the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) and other groups to explore how we can best help them strengthen governance and improve accountability.

Inclusive Economic Development

Recommendation 5

The economic and social potential of millions of Nigerians is severely constrained by lack of access to electricity. Therefore we welcome DFID’s efforts to increase energy access in the country and recognise the importance of private sector investment in doing so. While there are likely to be benefits to all households of increased energy access in the long term, we share the concerns held by several witnesses to this inquiry that poverty reduction has not been given sufficient consideration and that the research base for the NIAF programme was inadequate. Tariff increases are hurting poor Nigerians in the short term, even if there is a net overall benefit to privatisation of the power sector in the long term. Despite the NIAF programme’s supposed focus on the North, the dropping of targets for the region suggest that DFID is not delivering in this respect. (Paragraph 55)

We suggest that DFID encourage the Nigerian Government to take measures to mitigate negative impacts of electricity price increases on the poorest households and consider both the short and long term impacts of its power sector programmes in terms of poverty reduction. While we recognise that the ‘Lifeline’ tariff aims to do this, its coverage is far too narrow. DFID should support the expansion of the ‘Lifeline’ tariff and should monitor the impact of price increases on poor households not covered by this tariff. In preparing for any future infrastructure programmes in Nigeria or elsewhere, DFID should carry out more in-depth impact assessments to thoroughly consider the impacts of privatisation on the poor. (Paragraph 56)

Agree: We advocated for a ‘lifeline tariff’ but accept that only a small proportion of consumers currently benefit. We will encourage the Nigerian Government to increase the number of poor customers benefiting from the lifeline tariff.

We accept the need to build evidence on whether poverty reduction happens in both the short-term and the long-term. No other African country has implemented such comprehensive reforms, though there is a longer history of reform in India. A recent DFID India Policy Note1 concluded that power sector reforms reduced subsidy enabling extra social spending, but that success in increasing efficiency of utility operations and commercial viability had varied between states. On the longer term impacts on poverty reduction there is already strong survey evidence2 that poor power supply is the biggest single constraint on investment and growth, and this has heavily distorted the structure of the economy. 79% of energy use in Nigeria is residential and only 8.7% industrial3. Industrial use is 23.7% in Bangladesh, 36.9% in Brazil, 23.4% in Indonesia and 35% in South Africa. Improved power supply will lessen this economic distortion, increasing employment and reducing poverty. In 2015 we commissioned a study on the impact of power reform on the manufacturing sector. This estimated that the increase in power supply between August 2014 and August 2015 in the short-term led to the creation of 23,300 jobs (on the same basis 67,000 jobs would result from the increase between January 2012 and January 2016). Since then supply has fallen, however, due to attacks by Delta militants on gas infrastructure. This study only looks at existing manufacturing businesses, and does not try to estimate the long term structural impacts we hope to see. It will be several years before robust conclusions will be possible on these effects.

We accept the importance of evaluating poverty impacts from Nigeria’s power sector reform, similarly we agree that all infrastructure programmes should assess their impact on the poor as part of the design phase.

Recommendation 6

There is no mention of the Nigerian diaspora in DFID’s latest Nigeria Operational Plan 2011–2016. We urge DFID Nigeria to conduct a review into its engagement with British Nigerian diaspora groups, particularly professional associations and those focussed on development, with the objective of ensuring that the substantial financial flows in the form of remittances and foreign direct investment (FDI) complement Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the benefit of the poorest Nigerians. (Paragraph 58)

Agree: We agree that engaging British Nigerian diaspora groups could leverage financial flows in ways that more systematically complement the UK’s ODA. As part of our new Business Plan (2016-20) we will commission a study to look at the different ways this might work and consider prospects for how current and future economic development programming may better link in.

Recommendation 7

The private sector must play an essential role in successful economic development in Nigeria, and investments in commercially viable, job-creating industries will be key to unlocking growth potential. Various parts of the UK Government and associated bodies will play a role in this, including DFID, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and CDC Group. We, and our predecessor committee, have expressed concerns about a lack of a coherent, joined up strategy on how these various pieces will fit together. In particular, it is not clear to what extent poverty reduction and inclusive growth will be prioritised by the Prosperity Fund, and whether DFID will therefore take the lead in its delivery. (Paragraph 61)

We recommend that in addition to its new Operational Plan, DFID publishes a strategic plan of how the UK Government’s various approaches will be mobilised to make progress towards inclusive growth and poverty reduction. This should include how it coordinates with CDC Group with respect to its sectoral approach to economic development in Nigeria. (Paragraph 62)

Partially Agree: The bilateral aid review (which produced the business plan for DFID Nigeria), considered all elements of UK government efforts toward inclusive economic development in Nigeria. The Prosperity Agenda has provided a rallying point for greater coherence across various departments to implement this and the Prosperity Fund needs to comply with the rules governing ODA. DFID’s economic development work focuses on helping Nigeria address the general constraints to inclusive growth and raise the incomes of the poorest in a range of sectors. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office provides complementary political influencing, and the Department for International Trade and CDC help facilitate greater UK trade and investment in Nigeria. We have already taken steps to strengthen cross-departmental join-up and have agreed to introduce sector specific groups between departments to explore specific synergies and opportunities. This work is ongoing as the new machinery of government settles into place.

Recommendation 8

Employment is central to Nigeria’s future development, and the successful creation of quality jobs has significant implications for both inclusive growth and social cohesion and stability. A growing private sector is essential to delivering the two million jobs needed for young people entering the labour market each year. Yet the evidence suggests that the selective nature of private sector processes can actually limit the inclusivity of growth if interventions are not carefully planned based on a strong body of evidence. Large-scale programmes should not be based on a body of evidence that is deemed to be ‘weak’. Furthermore, an understanding of the dynamics of the informal sector, where the majority of Nigerians work, is key to delivering effective programming. (Paragraph 67)

We urge DFID to invest in research to develop a better understanding of the processes underlying quality job creation in Nigeria. Future programmes designed to generate jobs should be built on a stronger evidence base, with a particular focus on capturing the dynamics of the informal sector to ensure decent, secure livelihoods for the millions of vulnerable people who rely on informal employment. (Paragraph 68)

Agree: We agree that understanding the dynamics of the informal sector is critical to understanding the overall impact of interventions developed by our jobs and raising incomes programmes. Often these dynamics are highly specific to particular intervention areas and lend themselves to ongoing operational research by programme teams during implementation, rather than large research investments upfront during programme design. We will continue to strengthen the ways that our jobs and raising incomes programmes consider the informal sector dynamics on all their interventions through implementation.

Recommendation 9

We commend DFID for its commitment to ‘Making Markets Work for the Poor’, and in particular the impressive achievements its approach has delivered for many women. DFID’s economic development programmes in Nigeria have rightly taken a substantial gender focus. We heard that it is not just market barriers but equally non-market barriers that can limit the economic empowerment of women. (Paragraph 71)

DFID should build upon its current programmes aimed at generating jobs and increasing incomes by addressing the non-market barriers—such as unpaid childcare and family planning—that many women in Nigeria face. In researching these issues and building them into programme design, DFID could strengthen its gender inclusive approach to economic development. (Paragraph 72)

Agree: Overcoming both market and non-market barriers is critical for us to raise incomes and empower women across Nigeria. Our jobs and raising incomes programmes have already raised the incomes of half a million women since 2010 through a range of interventions, and are researching and factoring in non-market barriers as part of their ongoing work. This is an area we will continue to strengthen.

Basic Services

Recommendation 10:

DFID should support key Nigerian decision-makers to help them come to the best-informed decisions possible, with a specific emphasis on the value of basic public services. It should help the Nigerian Federal Government in developing a system to compare the performance of different states on delivering basic services. DFID should ensure that it has the resources to connect its programmes to key decision-makers at the state and federal levels, with a particular emphasis on health and education, and that memoranda of understanding reflect specific and firm commitments on the release of funds. (Paragraph 81)

Agree. We have supported the development and scale up of data systems to inform planning, budgeting and reporting in basic service provision. This includes Health Management Information Systems, Education Management Information Systems and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Information Management Systems. These systems are designed as tools for both States and the Federal government to monitor performance, making comparisons across different tiers of government as relevant (eg LGA, State and national). As an additional measure to support programmes to connect with key decision makers at State level, DFID has a number of Regional Coordinators. The Regional Coordinators act as a focal point for oversight and coordination of all DFID programmes in the State and engage with State Governments in a further link between programmes and the State.

Recommendation 11:

DFID should also assist the Nigerian Government in performing an exercise to scope its trajectory towards SDG 4. It should develop a working model on education logistics (covering pupil numbers and distribution, teachers, classrooms, learning materials, etc) which will deepen understanding of what needs to change to get closer to achieving that Goal. (Paragraph 82)

Agree: DFID is supporting the Federal Ministry of Education to develop the Government’s Ministerial Strategic Plan which sets out how it will move towards achieving SDG 4.

Through the UK’s Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN) and the Girl’s Education Project (GEP3) we support state education data management, budgeting and planning to ensure that our partner states have costed education sector plans in place. They have linked with DFID’s State Partnership for Accountability, Responsiveness and Capability (SPARC) programme on budget and public financial management issues to strengthen sector planning. At federal level DFID’s education programmes also provide technical support to strengthen the National Education Management Information system to ensure that information flows up from school level to national systems. Our bilateral support is complemented by Nigeria’s Global Partnership for Education programme which works in five northern states to support them to achieve the basic education global goals targets.

We have also made a significant investment in data and research in all of our programmes, but especially through our Education Data Research and Evaluation (EDOREN) project, in order to improve understanding of the education challenges and policy options. EDOREN has worked with the Ministry of Education to launch an annual conference series on evidence for policy and planning. They have worked with the Universal Basic Education Commission on a comparative study of basic education reforms options, and produced a series of policy briefs on issues such as teacher competencies, teacher shortages, and education inequalities.

Recommendation 12 & 13

When funding such projects in the future, ensure immediate and urgent improvement of hospital hygiene standards; and that structural problems in hospital management systems are resolved before funding agreements for any specific programmes are finalised.

Work with the Nigerian Government to ensure that memoranda of understanding include commitments to improve hospital management, operational systems and hygiene. (Paragraph 84)

Agree: DFID is planning a new programme to support the Government of Nigeria to improve the governance and management of public hospitals. This programme will focus on improving the efficiency and quality of services at public hospitals, including hygiene standards and will complement existing DFID investment to strengthen primary health care.

Recommendation 14:

We urge DFID to ensure that its support to private sector provision of education aligns with its commitment to “leaving no one behind”, and that the very furthest behind are prioritised. The furthest behind are not going to be served by for-profit companies, therefore DFID should deliver a focused strategy on how it is going to help the Nigerian authorities significantly expand public sector provision and deliver quality education to those who cannot afford school fees. If the DEEPEN approach is to be expanded to other parts of Nigeria, the model must pay due attention to regional variations in both the prevalence and depth of poverty. We also urge DFID to concentrate attention on educational outcomes across both the public and private sectors. DFID should ensure that the state governments it works with are equipped to effectively regulate both public and private schools, guaranteeing both quality and access for all. (Paragraph 95)

Agree: We are committed to ensure that no one is left behind. Our Developing Effective Private Education (DEEPEN) project complements DFID’s Education Sector Support Programme (ESSPIN) which works with the Lagos State government to support public schools. DEEPEN aims to influence the whole market for low cost private schools, including those serving the poorest. DFID support to partners such as Bridge International Academies is intended to accompany DEEPEN’s sector wide work, with a focus on testing innovative school improvement models that will support stronger learning outcomes. As part of this approach DFID is launching a Challenge Fund. This will provide support to a broad range of education service providers to pilot new solutions to improve education quality and standards in low cost private schools.

We agree that attention on education outcomes is essential and that effective regulation is required to ensure quality standards in the public and private sector. DEEPEN is currently working with the Lagos State government on a Graded Assessment of Private Schools, which will help support regulation and is intended to be a driver of quality improvements in the private school sector. In addition the Government of Nigeria launched a National Quality Assurance Handbook for primary and secondary schools in August. This was developed with the support from ESSPIN.

Recommendation 15:

In its response to this Report, DFID should set out what steps it, and UNICEF, are taking to improve the effectiveness of the Girls Education Project and address the specific concerns raised about enrolment, learning, effective financial management and resource planning. DFID should also state over what timeframe it expects the project to be fully meeting expectations, including an indication of at what point continued underperformance will mean that DFID no longer deems the project viable, and will withdraw its support. (Paragraph 101)

Agree: DFID has taken seriously the concerns raised by ICAI and GEP3’s annual reviews, working intensively with UNICEF to improve the effectiveness of GEP3. DFID and UNICEF have monthly management meetings to monitor performance against the agreed workplan and quarterly reporting against the logframe. An evaluation was developed as part of the redesign to independently assess the performance of the programme. The baseline survey was conducted in 2015. The 2016 annual review was undertaken during the IDC inquiry period. This will be published in October 2016.

The redesigned programme adopted a phased implementation approach to allow GEP3 to concentrate on the effective design and delivery of components, applying learning to continually improve performance. GEP3 will deliver the full suite of interventions from the start of the 2016/17 academic year. As such the 2017 annual review will be the assessment point for performance of the redesigned programme. It will be informed by findings of the midline evaluation and the review will be used to make recommendations for the programme going forward.

Recommendation 16

DFID’s SuNMaP (Support to National Malaria Programme) has been widely regarded as a success, both in tackling malaria itself and in strengthening health systems more broadly. We believe that a number of lessons have been learned from this programme that may apply across DFID’s health programming and wider interventions in Nigeria and elsewhere.

We urge DFID to apply lessons from SuNMaP on how catalytic investments, such as in building the capacity of the Nigerian Government’s National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), can have wider benefits for the provision of basic services. DFID should also ensure that the length of programmes matches what research has shown to be most effective: we have heard evidence that this is not always the case at present. Implementing partners and stakeholders should also be kept up-to-date on strategic funding priorities so that they can plan their activities accordingly. We would also like to see DFID invest in building networks between research communities and relevant state and federal authorities in order to deliver effective partnerships and policies that have a strong evidence base. (Paragraph 107)

Partially agree: The successful approach used in the SUNMAP programme—leveraging issue-focused catalytic investments to strengthen wider basic services—has been applied by DFID Nigeria in a number of current and future programmes. For instance, the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health programme focuses on improving health services for pregnant women and children, and is using this as an entry point to strengthen systems for health planning, human resources and financing; as well as local systems for supporting and empowering poor rural girls and women. The second phase of the SUNMAP programme (SUNMAP2), which will start in 2017, will take this approach further by leveraging malaria control into broader improvements to health supply chains and public financial management.

DFID has ensured, through published manifesto commitments, the UK aid strategy, and business plans, that our strategic funding priorities are clear and well communicated to partners and stakeholders. In order to manage risk, ensure optimum performance and adapt to changes in context, it is sometimes necessary to vary the mix of delivery channels or partners and the types of programmes which deliver these priorities. It is often more efficient to implement programmes in a phased manner and not always feasible to make specific advance commitments regarding the profile of funding, delivery partner and types of programmes to be deployed throughout the entire period. For instance, while support for malaria control has been a long-standing DFID priority, the mix of programmes and delivery partners (such as bilateral projects, multilateral funds, and partnerships with other donors) to implement this has changed considerably over the last decade, for very good reasons.

The successful approach used in the SUNMAP programme – building partnerships between the research community and government for evidence-based policy – is also being used in several other programmes funded by DFID. Examples include the Education Data Research and Evaluation in Nigeria (EDOREN) programme https://devtracker.dfid.gov.uk/projects/GB-1-205066 and the Operational Research and Impact Evaluation (ORIE) component of the DFID Nigeria nutrition programme. A similar approach will be taken forward in the second phase of the SUNMAP programme (SUNMAP2).

Recommendation 17:

With costs per beneficiary expected to be as low as US$0.12 per person treated by the end of the programme, DFID’s Tackling Neglected Tropical Diseases through an Integrated Approach has shown how cost effective life-saving health interventions can be. We urge DFID to actively use such examples as evidence to the public of how cost-effective UK aid can be in changing the lives of millions of Nigerians. We recommend that DFID scale up this programme as part of the effort to eliminate NTDs in Nigeria. Such a programme should also be replicated in other countries that DFID operates where NTDs are a problem. (Paragraph 110)

Partially Agree: In 2015 this programme supported 33.2 million treatments against tropical disease. This represents excellent value for money for the taxpayer and we will continue to communicate the success of this work to partners and more widely. This programme is scheduled to end in in 2017 and we are reviewing whether to continue support. Any further support we plan for the implementation of NTD programmes will use an integrated approach where appropriate, and we will continue to meet commitments and will continue to advocate for other donors to step up and for increased domestic resources towards NTDs.

Recommendation 18

DFID has shown strong commitment to reducing the disadvantages faced by women and girls in Nigeria across all of its programming, while also running targeted interventions aimed at transformative change. However, one of the concerns raised in evidence to this inquiry is the lack of support services to women and girls who have been victims of violence. While the Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCS) are a promising start, they are too few and need to be scaled up. (Paragraph 115)

DFID should take immediate action to influence the Nigerian Government to scale up its support services to victims of sexual violence through SARCS, and extend this support to all women and girls subjected to violence. We urge DFID to act upon the recommendations in the recent Independent Commission on Aid Impact (ICAI) report on violence against women and girls, and build upon the ‘strong start’ it has made in tackling this issue by prioritising support services for affected women and girls in Nigeria. (Paragraph 116)

Agree: The Justice 4 All (J4A) programme is lobbying the Government of Nigeria to expand support for victims of sexual violence. The Sexual Assault Referral Centres model is in the process of being expanded to 60 police stations and J4A policy engagement with the Ministry of Interior aims to integrate this model into police standard operating procedures across the country.

Conflict and Stability

Recommendations 19 & 20

We commend DFID on its commitment to humanitarian support in the North East, but we are concerned about the gap between humanitarian needs and available funds. We are particularly troubled by the number of out of school children and the long term impacts this is likely to have on the region’s development, potentially further widening the gap between the North and South of Nigeria. Assuring parents of the safety and security of schools in Northern Nigeria should be a priority, and we welcome DFID’s support to the Safe Schools Initiative in this respect. (Paragraph 127)

DFID must do all it can to ensure that the UN appeal for Nigeria in 2016 is fully funded. In line with commitments made to education in emergencies at the World Humanitarian Summit in May, DFID should use both its own resources and its influence over other donors to ensure that the Education Cannot Wait Fund is well supported and quickly operationalised so that interruptions to education caused by the conflict are minimised to no more than 30 days. We also recommend that DFID scale up its support for the Safe Schools Initiative, and engage with and support the special investigative committee appointed by President Buhari to assess the safety of schools in Nigeria. Finally, the recommendations of the research conducted by ESSPIN into the impact of conflict on education should be properly financed and implemented, and similar research should be conducted with the informal Quranic schools that DFID also works with. (Paragraph 128)

Partially agree. We share the IDC’s concerns on the number of children who are out of school as a result of conflict in the North East and the effects that this will have on the region’s recovery and long term development. The UK is working closely with international partners and is using its influence to ensure funding for the UN appeal. We will continue to support the Education Cannot Wait fund and influence other donors to do so. We are also currently designing new education programming that will include a component to support education in the north east. Different funding and delivery mechanisms are being considered as part of programme design and increased support through the Safe Schools Initiative will be determined during project appraisal. DFID support will be aligned with the Government led post-conflict rehabilitation programme for the North East (Buhari Plan) and the Safe Schools Initiative. ESSPIN have integrated their response to the conflict assessment’s recommendations into their child protection work, working closely with school based management committees and state child protection systems.

Recommendation 21

We commend DFID on its continued commitment to development in the North East of Nigeria despite the exceptionally challenging operational environment. DFID has demonstrated its ability to work flexibly and adapt to changing security conditions, whilst maintaining its efforts to fight poverty in a highly unstable region. The lessons learned in the North East of Nigeria will be invaluable in other parts of Nigeria and other DFID programmes globally, as the Department increases its focus on fragile states in line with the recent aid strategy. (Paragraph 133)

We recommend DFID ensures that it has robust processes in place for learning and disseminating lessons on effectively operating in a fragile environment. It is essential that core staff and implementing partners engage with each other effectively through regular meetings, and that best practice is shared with other country teams globally. DFID should continue to monitor the security situation as closely as possible, and ensure that it is in a position to expand both its humanitarian and development activities towards the North East as the situation stabilises. (Paragraph 134)

Agree. We recognise the importance of lesson learning from work across fragile environments and welcome this recommendation. DFID Nigeria has comprehensive evaluation mechanisms in place and lessons from its work on conflict and stability are shared with relevant units in Headquarters and across professional cadres. This work, along with the work from other country offices, helps inform DFID’s best practice and is widely disseminated. We will continue to make sure that lessons from North East Nigeria and other fragile environments are widely shared and inform future programming.

Recommendation 22:

The drivers of conflict in Nigeria are multifaceted and complex, demanding a deep level of understanding and careful engagement with relevant stakeholders. DFID’s approach through the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP) has proved successful in supporting policy and delivering good value for money in addressing issues relating to employment and empowerment, management of land and water and environmental degradation due to oil spills. We were pleased to hear that DFID has engaged in a consultation process with Nigerian youth in planning its future priorities. (Paragraph 139)

We recommend that DFID continues its support for work to address the drivers of conflict through the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP). Following the increase in violence in the Middle Belt and its association with the impacts of climate change, DFID should strengthen its approach to mitigating these impacts. Building climate change resilience, particularly in the Middle Belt, should be increasingly prioritised by the NSRP moving forward. It should also make youth consultations a key feature of its planning processes for future activities, particularly in fragile states. (Paragraph 140)

Agree. The work with NSRP is ongoing. DFID will design a follow up conflict resolution programme which will retain a focus on drivers of conflict including climate change. We consulted with youth in our new DFID Nigeria Business Plan 2016-2020 including in Kano and Lagos. We are currently considering how to continue youth consultation into our programming.

Recommendation 23:

With territory being recaptured from Boko Haram and displaced persons being encouraged to return home, it is vital that these people are adequately supported in rebuilding their lives. There will be significant challenges in the near future in providing livelihoods for the displaced as well as integrating them into cohesive communities to build lasting peace. (Paragraph 144)

We urge DFID to prioritise livelihoods and peacebuilding in its programming in the North East. DFID should encourage the Nigerian Government to launch large-scale temporary employment generation programmes and cash transfers targeting the poorest households with DFID support. Reconciliation and community cohesion should also be considered a priority. The more effective peacebuilding elements of the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP) should be scaled up and concentrated on the communities where they are most necessary. DFID should fund and make use of the experiences of faith-based organisations and other civil society groups, who are in a unique position to bridge divisions within and between communities. (Paragraph 145)

Agree. DFID is working with the Nigerian Government and the international community on the development of the Buhari Plan. Rehabilitation projects will have to take into account employment generation and community reconciliation. DFID is already developing this in its programming and is scaling up some of its work on community reconciliation, including working with religious leaders and civil society groups. DFID will play a proactive role in this vital effort

Recommendation 24:

Community-based approaches to conflict recovery will be central to building lasting peace in conflict-affected parts of Nigeria. We commend DFID on some of the promising results emerging from its community level work, particularly with respect to the newer elements of the Justice for All programme such as the Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) and Community Accountability Forum (CAF). However, we have concerns about how inclusive its humanitarian response has been in serving the needs of the most vulnerable, particularly with respect to displaced people with disabilities. (Paragraph 149)

We recommend DFID scale up its community-based work, which the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) has suggested can have a promising pro-poor impact. Specifically, DFID should aim to scale up its community-based efforts in the areas of justice and peace and security, with a particular focus on the communities worst affected by Boko Haram in the North East. In line with its disability framework, we urge DFID to adjust the focus of its ‘Life Saving Humanitarian Support in Northeast Nigeria’ programme to include specific targets to cater for the needs of people with disabilities affected by the conflict. (Paragraph 150)

Agree: DFID is increasing its work in North East Nigeria, including its community-based work. Our Humanitarian programme in the North East has a strong gender focus—working with mothers and children, providing nutrition support as well as counselling—and is working with people with disabilities. We are working with partners to improve disaggregation of beneficiary data, including with regards for disability, to help ensure that programming is responsive to specific needs.

1 Lessons learnt from DFID India’s support for power sector reforms over 20 years. DFID (2015)

2 World Bank, Investment Climate assessments for Nigeria, 2009 and 2011.

3 The Nigerian Energy Sector An Overview with a Special Emphasis on Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Rural Electrification. GIZ (2015)

© Parliamentary copyright 2015

11 October 2016