By; ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kaduna
The Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA), on Friday trained Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), media and community members on effective monitoring of utilisation of Universal Basic Education Commission’s (UBEC) funds.
CSACEFA’s Programme Officer, Mr Adeleke Damian-Mary, explained at the opening of the training in Kaduna that the measure was necessary to increase community voice to demand for accountability in implementation of UBEC funds.
Damian-Mary said that the group, with support from MacArthur Foundation was currently tracking theimplementation of 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 UBEC intervention funds in Lere, Jaba and Kaduna North LGAs of Kaduna State.
He explained that during a monitoring visits to some of the project sites, the NGO identified communication gap, lack of community engagement as challenges inhibiting effective implementation of UBEC projects.
“What we found out from the community was that they were not being carried along by contractors in the implementation of projects sited within their domains.
“Our main goal, therefore, is to ensure community participation and ownership of projects to ensure sustainability, through increasing community’s voice in demanding for accountability.
“It is in the light of this we are building stakeholders’ capacity on monitoring and reporting tools to improve delivery of UBEC supported education resources to schools in targeted communities.
“We also believe that building media capacity and engagement in reporting our findings in various platforms will better inform the public about our activities in monitoring implementation of UBEC funds, “he said.
He said that building the stakeholders capacity to ask relevant questions at the course of implementation of community projects was very crucial in ensuring efficient use of government resources.
The official said that CSACEFA had in November trained about 60 community members, stakeholders including officials of Kaduna SUBEB on strategies for community engagement on project implementation.
“After that we visited some of the schools for on-the-spot assessment of the projects and interaction with School-Based Management Committee members and community leaders.
“We follow up with town hall meetings with the goal of building synergy for community participation for accountability and transparency.
“The effort was to create the needed common ground where community members and duty bearers can collaborate during implementation of UBE projects, “he said.
Mr Christian Idoko, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist with CAMRIS International Inc., said that for effective monitoring, stakeholders must be clear on what is being monitored.
Idoko emphasised that monitors should pay more attention on outcome, “that is, the change a project created not output, which is the activity carried out”.