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Sightsavers International to collaborate with the OGP, Other CS on Strengthening Social Protection systems in delivering milestones that are beneficial to the disability community

Sightsavers International has expressed their willingness to collaborate with the Open Government Partnership Technical Working Group (OGP TWG) on Strengthening Social Protection systems in delivering milestones that are beneficial to the disability community.

This assurance was given when the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Strengthening Social Protection Systems Technical Working Group (TWG) led other civil society partners to paid  a courtesy visit to Sightsavers International on Thursday 28th February 2024, in it’s off in Kaduna .

The visit was to familiarise Sightsavers International with the OGP framework and the opportunities it provides on governance inclusion for persons with disabilities; and discuss and agree on areas of partnership between TWG and Sightsavers International to achieve their mutual objective.

The advocacy team comprised the Co-chair of the OGP Kaduna on Strengthening Social Protection Systems TWG, the Head of Gender and Social Inclusion from the Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment, and Development (CALPED), and the Chairman of Joint National Associations of Persons Living with Disabilities (JONAPWD). Notable attendees from Sightsavers International included the Senior Program Manager of the Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) project, who also served as the Head of Sightsavers International Kaduna Country Office, the Finance and Safeguarding Officer, and the Sightsavers Disability Inclusion Advisor.

Read details of the communiqué Issued at the end of the visit below.

Communiqué Issued At The End of A Courtesy Visit To Sightsavers International To Build Partnership On Strengthening Governance Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities in Kaduna State Leveraging The Open Government partnership

Preamble:
On 28th February 2024, the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Strengthening Social Protection Systems Technical Working Group (TWG) led other civil society partners to pay a courtesy visit to Sightsavers International. The visit was to familiarise Sightsavers International with the OGP framework and the opportunities it provides on governance inclusion for persons with disabilities; and discuss and agree on areas of partnership between TWG and Sightsavers International to achieve our mutual objective.

The advocacy team comprised the Co-chair of the OGP Kaduna on Strengthening Social Protection Systems TWG, the Head of Gender and Social Inclusion from the Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment, and Development (CALPED), and the Chairman of Joint National Associations of Persons Living with Disabilities (JONAPWD). Notable attendees from Sightsavers International included the Senior Program Manager of the Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) project, who also served as the Head of Sightsavers International Kaduna Country Office, the Finance and Safeguarding Officer, and the Sightsavers Disability Inclusion Advisor.

Discussion Points:
1. The advocacy team discussed OGP as a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. To achieve this, an action plan is developed through a “co-creation” process between Government, Civil Society Organizations, and Citizens.

2. The team highlighted the responsibility of the OGP SAP III Technical Working Group (TWG) on Strengthening Social Protection Systems in Kaduna State to co-implement commitments with milestones to be delivered alongside the government partners.

3.Despite the existence of the Kaduna State Disability Law, the implementation plan which has not yet been approved has hindered the effective participation of persons with disabilities (PWDs) in governance.

4.The PWDs face dire conditions such as high poverty rates, unemployment, maternal mortality, and malnutrition, exacerbated by factors like insecurity, accidents, climate change, and gender-based violence.

5.The voice of the disability community is marginalised, with limited advocacy platforms and an absence of a broad based accountability mechanism to ensure their needs are addressed in governance processes.

6.The Kaduna State government’s commitments under the OGP, particularly in strengthening social protection systems, provide a framework and entry point for addressing issues of disability rights and inclusion.

7.The OGP presents an opportunity to empower and amplify the voice of the disability community, demanding safe spaces for their inclusion in governance processes as well as implementation of the recent State Action Plan of the OGP.

8.The advocacy team expressed the need for collaborative initiatives to ensure adequate funding of the Disability Trust Fund and full implementation of the Kaduna State Disability Law, 2021. More especially, by ensuring their active participation in decision-making processes and mainstreaming inclusion in all the sectors.

9.It was expressed that the disability community is usually seen as mere targets and beneficiaries as against stakeholders that should inform and influence decisions being taken on their behalf. To make matters worse there is no comprehensive and credible database to ensure proper planning, coverage of diversity and tailored execution of programmes.

10.The OGP Strengthening Social Protection Systems TWG plans to collaborate with the PWDs community in Kaduna state and partners to educate the disability community about the OGP and the opportunity it provides for them, as well as the SAP III

11.During the meeting, the Sightsavers representatives highlighted their extensive engagement in Nigeria, spanning over seven decades, and underscored their collaborative endeavours with governmental and local stakeholders in implementing various interventions.

12.The Sightsavers team expressed gratitude to both the Kaduna state government and civil society organisations in Kaduna for their efforts in co-creation of reforms leveraging the open government partnership and assured of their willingness to collaborate with the TWG on Strengthening Social Protection systems in delivering milestones that are beneficial to the disability community.

*Resolutions*
1. The Social Protection Technical Working Group (TWG) will share an introductory document elaborate on the specific partnership proposal discussed during the visit.

2. Sightsavers to collaborate with the TWG to advocate for the approval and implementation of the Kaduna State Disability Law 2021.

3. Sightsavers to work with the TWG on mutually identified areas of collaboration, particularly focusing on supporting the inclusion of Persons With Disabilities (PWD) in governance and advancing milestones outlined in the PWD-related advocacy plan.

*Signed*

Sumayya Abdullahi Hussaini,
CS Co-Chair,
Technical Working Group on Strengthening Social Protection Systems, OGP Kaduna.

Suleiman Abdulazeez,
Chairman, JONAPWD.
Member of the SAP III Technical Working Group on Strengthening Social Protection Systems, OGP Kaduna.

Steven Waya,
Convener, CALPED.
Member of the SAP III Technical Working Group on Strengthening Social Protection Systems, OGP Kaduna.

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