Testimonies Trail USAID-State2State Project in Ebonyi As Partner CSO Host Review Meeting

By Oswald Agwu, Abakaliki

Partners and beneficiaries of the USAID-State2State supported Accountability Project in Ebonyi have testified to its impact in shaping governance and service delivery in the State.

The project: Promoting Principles of Co-Creation, Civic Participation & Monitoring for Accountable Governance & Improved Service Delivery In Ebonyi State is implemented by a Civil Society Organisation, Development and Integrity Intervention Goals Foundation, DIG. It is focused on health, education as well as Water Sanitation and Hygiene, WASH.

In a third quarterly project review meeting in Abakaliki recently, representatives of the relevant State Ministries, Departments and Agencies; Community Leaders, the Media and other CSOs applauded DIG Foundation and USAID-S2S for raising the consciousness of citizens and the government on the need for synergy in formulation of public policies.

They noted that the program has increased citizens understanding and Participation in governance issues in the State through Community engagements, trainings and effective advocacies, adding that political representatives were beginning to be more accountable to their constituents in Ebonyi State.

Presenting project benefits in his domain, one of the participants and the traditional Prime Minister of Nkaliki Echara Community in Abakaliki Local government area, Chief George Nwibo, stated that State2State and DIG, through orientation and sensitization have made his community's needs to be captured in 2023 budget of the State government.

"So, I am happy, they are doing a good job.
"They are gradually transforming our society to be a better place.
"I wish to urge them to keep it up; development is a gradual process." Nwibo testified.

Those who spoke for the CSOs, including Reverend Vincent Nwachukwu of the Methodist Care Ministry, George Etamesor of Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Centre and Hajiya Saidatu Ajah of the Federation of Muslim Women's Association of Nigeria, among others, expressed joy that activities from the project have strengthened collaboration and cooperation among all CSOs in the State, birthing a platform for greater impact.

For the Media, Rosemary Ezeubi of  Radio Nigeria, Unity FM, Abakaliki and Oswald Agwu who represented the Print Media in the State noted that apart from enriching their programmes and pages with content, the USAID-S2S/DIG projects have further enriched their knowledge on civic rights and obligations as media workers.
"As  a journalist, the DIG activities have exposed the powers I have to go beyond reporting, to taking active part in community engagements.

"Taking part in USAID/DIG' Community Charter of Demand development and other such innovations have been rewarding, providing a platform for Citizens' inputs in budgeting process better than mere media reporting" Agwu added.

The Executive Director of DIG Foundation , Oliver Ajah Chima, while speaking on the objectives of the meeting said it was to conduct final review of the USAID-S2S supported project of DIG in Ebonyi State.

He added that the essence was to create understanding on the impact of the projects, share experiences and lessons learnt, as well as strengthen opportunities for further partnership among CSOs and State actors in Ebonyi State.

Appraising further the activities of DIG, the State2State Citizens Engagement and Capacity Building Specialist in Ebonyi State, Dr. Ibiam Azu Agwu noted that DIG success stories are among the most rated  in the global page.

Agwu charged MDAs, CSOs, the Media and other partners to sustain the tempo.
Development and Integrity Intervention Goals Foundation is one of the implementers of the USAID funded State Accountability, Transparency and Effectiveness (State2State) activities in Ebonyi State.

The Civil Society Organisation is aimed at cultivating a strong and vibrant society  through a broad range of civic engagements.

Through its USAID-S2S supported activities in the State, including high level constituency - legislative interface, community needs assessments, Community Charter of Demands, among other strategies, it has engineered positive reforms in governance by providing platforms for Citizens'inputs.

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