From Sola Ojo, Kaduna

As a part of the Expanding Social Protection for Inclusive Development (ESPID) project funded by UKaid, the implementing partner, Save the Children International (SCI), is currently building the capacity of civil society and media groups on Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) otherwise known as a complaints-handling mechanism.

The mechanism refers to the channels that capture the complaints or grievances related to targeting, service delivery, or other programme functions, and provide redress especially under social protection programmes designed to reduce poverty and vulnerability among the Nigerian populace.

GRM is therefore a very important platform for mitigating inclusion and exclusion errors and for monitoring corrupt practices both on the demand and supply sides.

One of the key objectives of the training was to strengthen accountability mechanisms towards effective civil society and citizens’ engagement on planning, monitoring and evaluation and budgeting process for social protection in Kaduna and Zamfara States.

Speaking at a five-day training for members of Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition (KADSPAC) and Zamfara Social Protection Platform (ZSPP) in Kano, Social Inclusion Officer, SCI, Eunice Victor said, the training became necessary for the civil society and media practitioners working around social protection.

According to her, when the participants who are closer to communities clearly understand GRM and third-party monitoring grievance redress mechanism for social protection programmes, it would help in documentation of grievance that may arise before, during and after implementation of any social protection programme or intervention either by government, private sector, individual or development partners.

Advocacy and Communication Coordinator for ESPID programme in Zamfara State, Nura Muhammed Abdullahi, described grievance redress as an important element of managing a targeted programme, particularly when cash is involved, hence, an important platform for mitigating inclusion and exclusion errors and for monitoring corruption.

‘We are here as part of our activities to build the capacity of our CSOs on issues of rigorous redress mechanism as well as to complain mechanism monitoring in social protection programmes.

‘The CSOs need to have the capacity to be able to influence government through advocacy, lobbying to make sure that these programmes are accountable. We also want to see the creation of awareness in our communities on the importance of having GRM on our social protection programmes,’ Nura noted.

‘We want to make sure that the government is doing the right thing by giving the right people the right package. We believe that CSOs are like gatekeepers, people who will push and make sure that the right things are done in this stance. That is why about 50 participants drawn from Zamfara and Kaduna States are here to build our capacity.’

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Source: news