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Further to the mapping and selection of WROs based on the criteria agreed by both implementing partners, an inception meeting was organized to further introduce and strengthen the understanding of the WROs on the project. The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Nigeria and Women for Women International- Nigeria organized a two-days residential inception meeting on the FCDO (Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office) project which is aimed at supporting women’s rights organisations (WROs) in fragile and conflict affected states (FCAS) to increase their independent role in leading programmatic and advocacy on Peacebuilding, Gender Equality, Women’s Empowerment and Participation, GBV Prevention, Response and COVID-19 Response and Preparedness. The meeting was held on the 23rd and 24th of September 2021 with a total of twenty (20) participants which were in attendance representing their various organizations from the Northern and Southern region of Nigeria. The WROs came in pairs from each organization thus having a total of 10 organization (5 from WILPF Nigeria and 5 from WFWI).
Meeting Objectives
The objective of the meeting was;
1.To introduce the project to the selected WROs, agree work plans, update and provide opportunity for WROs to meet – creating a platform for peer learning
2.To design an implementation process in line with the overall project title
3.To support women’s rights organisations (WROs) in Nigeria to increase their independent role in leading programming and advocacy on Peacebuilding, gender equality, women’s empowerment and participation, GBV prevention and response and COVID-19 response and preparedness.
Learning Objectives
The learning objectives for the WROs are;
1.Increased capacity of WROs in project designing and implementation
2.Increased skills set on monitoring and evaluation of programs
3.Institutional capacity strengthening of WROs on areas that need strengthening
The meeting started with arrival of participants which was handled by WILPF Nigeria secretariat. Further to this, the main event started with the national anthem, women’s anthem and an opening prayer. Introduction of the participants was done as this was to serve as a means of creating a network of learning and networking opportunities amongst the participants. The participants all introduced themselves and their various organisations and what their organisation does at different levels.
Thereafter, the two partners- WFWI and WILPF were introduced broadly with the country director WFWI-N Mrs Bukola Onyishi giving details of what WFWI is all about and what they do at the various country offices particularly Nigeria. WILPF Nigeria was also introduced by the administrative manager Ms Oluchi Eze who highlighted what the organization is doing both at the international and the Nigerian session towards the promotion of feminist peace and advancing the women peace and security agenda.
The main crust of the program started with the overview of the project which was handled by both WILPF Nigeria and WFWI-N team. The team spoke on the mapping/baseline survey which was carried out by WILPF in the year 2020 which birthed the need to have this project. This was identified during the mapping that majority of WROs do not engage in advocating for change on the above thematic areas due to capacity gaps and lack of strengthening hence the need for the project to strengthen capacities of WROs to be able to effectively increase their independent role in leading programmatic and advocacy on Peacebuilding, Gender Equality, Women’s Empowerment and Participation, GBV Prevention, Response and COVID-19 Response and Preparedness.
The overall goal and objectives of the project was also highlighted to ensure the participants have a good grasp of what the project is all about and what is expected to be achieved in the short and long run and how they can better carry out programmatic interventions that will speak to these outcome and goal of the project.
Following the introduction of the project, an overview of the RMF which comprised of the impact, outcome and indicator, outputs and indicator was taken by both organizations. This was also followed by the overview of monitoring and evaluation of program for a more and better understanding by the WROs.
The financial and narratives report of the project was also shared by the team with a PowerPoint presentation and an opportunity was given for WROs present to ask questions seek clarifications and contribute to the discussions
Some of the WROs expressed concern over the short duration of the project- (September – March 2022) 6 months while some wanted to know whether they could buy some assets – Laptops and others. Some participants raised questions around the capacity building if it was for every member of the organization or for some selected members. Also some participants raised concerns on how to measure the impact given the short duration of the project. All questions raised by the participants were duly answered by members of the partner organizations.
Day Two
The program continued with a recap of the first day activities where participants mentioned some of the key take away from day one meeting. It was an engaging session as the participants spoke on several areas ranging from the impact of the project, having better understanding on how to go about project implementation especially as it relates to RMF. Participants also mentioned having a better understanding on the project and what is expected from them.
The session for the day started with the group work whereby participants were asked to design work plan by working in pairs per organization. Questions were raised by the participants who were all answered by the partners. Upon the designing of the work plans, the meeting came to a good end with administrative duties carried out by WILPF Nigeria.
In conclusion, the two days inception meeting was a great success and had the objectives of the meeting achieved. This is because from the meeting, the participants had a better understanding on the project and expectations from them, an avenue for peer learning was also established which will be strengthened throughout the project implementation phase.