Final Evaluation – January 2016 – Gender Based Violence Emergency Response and Protection Initiative: Nigeria Early Warning System
The rise of Boko Haram in Nigeria along with the Nigerian military’s response to insurgents, has significantly increased the security risks for vulnerable populations, particularly women and girls. Through its partnership with the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, Search for Common Ground (Search) launched the Gender Based Violence Emergency Response and Protection Initiative in early 2015 in North-eastern Nigeria to improve communities’ capacity to identify and respond to threats to civilians. This program was designed to a) expand Search’s existing community-driven Early Warning System (EWS) to two areas in North-eastern Nigeria, Shehuri North and Gwange III, where women and girls are particularly at risk and b) strengthen the response mechanisms linked to Search’s EWS. This evaluation used a combination of methods including group discussions, interviews, working groups and participant surveys.
This project successfully expanded into the two areas in North-eastern Nigeria, where participants were trained on how to identify and record threats in their communities, including cases of abductions, attacks and killings by Boko Haram and destruction of villages. Over the course of the project, 104 reports were sent in by data collectors. Cases were referred to the police and other formal justice structures, although most responses were successfully coordinated by community leaders who adopted a more ‘social’ approach to mediation and resolution. Some of these resolved cases included returning a 6-year old girl back home after being kidnapped, addressing forced marriage, raising awareness about the dangers of engaging in drugs and preventing a cholera outbreak. Overall, participants felt that this project had a positive impact and was an important step to empowering their communities to tackle the challenges they face, both socially and from a security perspective. Potential suggestions for improving future programs include restructuring the Early Warning Early Response process, considering gender perspectives in data collection and strengthening public trust in response providers.
Final Evaluation Report – November 2016 – Tomorrow is a New Day, Phase II: “Building a Peace Architecture in the Niger Delta for 2015 and Beyond”
Funded by the European Union, Search for Common Ground implemented Tomorrow is a New Day, Phase II: “Building a Peace Architecture in the Niger Delta for 2015 and Beyond” in partnership with four local partners. The project is a continuation of phase I, which aimed to support community conflict resolution and reconciliation, influence conflict dynamics and facilitate access to information and dialogue in the Niger Delta. Phase II objectives used this foundation to design a programme that reduced tensions among youth, supported the electoral process and established strong linkages for local community decision-making and problem-solving. Launched across 12 communities in four states in the Delta Region of Nigeria (Ogu, Amairi-Osusu in Abia State, Ogbia in Bayelsa State, and Koko in Delta State), Tomorrow is a New Day addressed core issues linked to long-term stability and a functioning peace architecture. Data for the evaluation was collected through online surveys, focus group discussions and key informant interviews. Sustainable indicators included improved relationships, shifting attitudes towards conflict and peaceful elections.
The evaluation found that the project was successful in enabling trust and confidence in local communities and data confirmed a positive correlation between the project and an improved culture of non-violence. Trainings provided participants with the confidence and the “know-how” to ensure non-violent solutions to conflict-prone problems. As a result, all of the participants consulted advocated for non-violent solutions and encouraged mediation and dialogue amongst those affected by conflict. Results included improved relationships and a rise in reconciliation cases, with some participants stating how their own behaviour had improved towards their spouse and children. The programme contributed to a peaceful election process and an increased awareness of rights and obligations of citizens related to the election environment. In some regions, more women participated in the elections as they felt encouraged by the peaceful process. However, although the project was successful in changing attitudes, it encountered critical problems, such as budget issues, and as a result raised significant challenges in reaching some foreseen changes.