NANTS PROGRESS (NARRATIVE) REPORT ON EMPOWERMENT @SCALE PROJECT ON GENDER ACTION LEARNING SYSTEM (GALS).

22
May

NANTS PROGRESS (NARRATIVE) REPORT ON EMPOWERMENT @SCALE PROJECT

 PERIOD:       May 2018-May 2019

 Empower@sclae: The GALS Connection

In recent years, the demand for integrating “Household Methodologies” (HHM) in rural transformation programmes reached unprecedented levels especially in IFAD loan-financed operations in Africa. IFAD recognizes the Gender Action Learning System (GALS) as the most comprehensive amongst HHM and the most effective to address social norms, attitudes, behaviors and systems that represent the root causes of gender inequality. By integrating GALS in projects, Oxfam and Hivos already contributed to the empowerment of over two thousand people. Income and assets are shared more equally/equitably between women and men, women and youth have bigger say in group decisions, domestic violence is reduced, households and groups pursue shared goals, make informed decisions and thus participate much more actively in programs.

To make significant global impact on gender equality, millions of people need to be reached. Oxfam and Hivos are thus working together with dedicated IFAD counterparts to respond to the demand for capacity development and information on HHM. The Empower@Scale project therefore invests in the development and piloting of “Empowerment Learning Centers” in Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya leveraging on the GALS project.

NANTS, being one of the partners selected by Oxfam to carry out the implementation of the project in Lafia, Nasarawa State has embarked on several trainings to the GALS champions to educate them on the different tools of GALS methodology for eventual up-scaling of the project (Empower@Scale). The ongoing project creates a linkage with the GALS project implemented sometimes in 2014 in the Nasarawa State.

 Report Summary

This report covers period under review from May 2018 – May 2019. After the expiration of the NANTS-Novib GALS project, NANTS has continued to interface with agencies of government and small-scale farmers, traders and other non-state actors in order to bring about sustainability of the project.  Through the new GALS project called Empower@Scale being implemented by NANTS and supported by Oxfam at the second stage, the parties seek to build on the activities and knowledge acquired during the previous project.

During the period under review, NANTS has continued to establish cordial relationship and collaboration with stakeholders, traditional and religious leaders, households, farmers, traders, widows, etc in preparation for Empower@Scale project. Quite a number of beneficiaries including the poor, marginalized and duty bearers that are responsible for effective service delivery at different levels for ownership were involved.  Effective sharing and replication of best practices in the project was brought into action, while the foundation for cost effective sustainability of the project interventions and results was laid.

Actions that Facilitated Project Impact

Two key specific issues affected the project, and these are:

  1. For effective implementation of Empower@Scale, another program staff was added to the team.
  2. The co-opting of and close working relationship with previous team members of the GALS project. NANTS leveraged on the support of the already existing GALS practitioners in Ruwayo, Aridi and Rafin Kudi communities who were original beneficiaries in Nasarawa State.

Main Actions/Steps taken so far Towards Achieving the Project Goals

The following are the main synopsis of the results achieved:  

  1. Setting up of project team (the project team will be responsible for the implementation, documentation and reporting of the project progress).
  2. Mobilization and Enlistment of GALS participants
  • Training of GALS participants
  1. Selection of GALS champions
  2. Capacity building for selected GALS Champions

In addition to the above, two staff of NANTS (the Project Officer and Finance Officer) underwent a one-day training and induction by Oxfam Nigeria which provided the medium for planning of activities and budget for the operationalization of the year’s activities in the project. This enabled NANTS to acquire a brush-up/rehearsal and hands-on experience that facilitated easy actions in the implementation process. It also galvanized ownership of the project from its commencement.

Summary of Achievements/Results so far

Some of the achievements and results so far are:

  1. Project team set-up, equipped and inducted about the project.
  2. About 30 GALS participants mobilized and enlisted
  • 30 GALS participants trained on the different GALS tools
  1. 10 GALS Champions selected and trained

Challenges encountered during the implementation period

In spite of the achievements so far exhibited, there were however some challenges encountered during the implementation of the project, and these include:

  1. The delay in signing of the MoU and release of fund which reduced the project implementation to a few months. This hindered the full implementation of some of the activities under the project year.
  2. Ruwayo community sometimes experiences flooding during heavy rains and this hindered participants from attending training on time during those days, thereby invariably affecting the project progress to a certain extent.

Introduction to the Empower@Scale Project and the Activities so far Implemented.

The Empower@scale project invests in the development and piloting of “Empowerment Learning Communities” (ELCs) through Household methodologies (HHM). The Gender Action Learning System (GALS) which is the most comprehensive amongst HHM and the most effective to address social norms, attitudes, behaviours and systems that represent the root causes of gender inequality is being used in the scaling up of the project.

By integrating GALS in projects, Oxfam and Hivos already contributed to the empowerment of over 200 thousand of people. Income and assets are shared more equally between women and men, women and youth have a bigger say in group decisions, domestic violence reduced, households and groups pursue shared goals, make informed decisions and thus participate much more actively in programs. To make significant global impact on gender equality, millions of people need to be reached which can be achieved through GALS and this is the essence of the Empower@scale.

Below is a catalogue of activities so far implemented within the period under review:

Enlistment of Beneficiaries

During the period under review, NANTS conducted a one-day mobilization and enlistment of 30 participants (18 female and 12 male) for refresher training on GALS tools for subsequent selection of the Empower@scale Champions. These participants were drawn from three (3) communities in Lafia Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, namely; Ruwayo, Aridi and Rafin Kudi Communities.

The Description of GALS Empower@Scale and the ELC

The GALS team stated that the champions were carefully selected from different communities to take GALS to the next level of empowerment, thereby scaling up the GALS project (empower@scale). The NANTS representative went further to state that NANTS will be looking at the business aspect of GALS, namely; how GALS can be used as an income generation project. The project commences with the training of thirty champions after which ten champions will be selected to run the Empowerment Learning Center (ELC).

The Team introduced the Empowerment Learning Center (ELC) as a center to provide quality assured capacity development services of House hold methodologies (HHM) to promote increased availability of new approaches for HHM for specific thematic areas and to reach particular target groups such as women and youths with the overall intention targeted at over 6,000 beneficiaries. The selected ten will now form the ELC team. They will be responsible for training people in and outside the learning center as the need arises. The champions are expected to identify areas to generate funds for the running of the ELC. The champions will be in charge of GALS in various communities, and will also be responsible for training other champions without any support. This training will produce champions that can stand to educate others and also design how GALS in various communities can work through the ELC.

Training of Beneficiaries on GALS Tools

During the period under review, NANTS conducted in-depth trainings and sharing on the use of the various GALS tools to enable the ELCs members acquire deeper understanding of the tools, knowledge and skills that would help them train others inside and outside the ELCs. The aim of the trainings was to identify and select GALS Champions who will become GALS trainers of the ELC.

Before starting the training for the day, the GALS team of NANTS welcomed the entire participants on behalf of NANTS President and management and expressed their happiness to see the GALS family after four 4 years.

Stage 1 Training: The Introduction of Tools

 A four-days training was conducted from 9th-12th of April, 2019 with 30 participants in attendance with 18 women and 12 men drawn from the three (3) communities namely: Ruwayo, Aridi and Rafin Kudi. The aim of the training was to introduce some of the GALS tools to the participants.

Five key strategic tools introduced to the participants are as follows:

  1. Gender Justice Diamond,
  2. Challenge Action Tree,
  • Vision Road Journey,
  1. Empowerment Map and
  2. Livelihood Gender Balance Tree.

Gender Justice Diamond

The Gender Justice Diamond is designed to identify different gender needs between women and men. It is also used to identify gender inequality in respect to the economic activities and relationship between men and women. This tool brings out what women and men like and/or dislike so as to prioritize and harmonize them to make women and men work together in order to create wealth at household level. It also points out what both gender have in common.