The Mastercard Foundation, in partnership with its Impact Partner Organisations (IPOs) made up of Cloneshouse, Preston Associates for International Development (PAID) ,ITAD, and Global Integrity, has through its Young Impact Associates Program, trained 11 Nigerian Youths on Policy Monitoring, Evaluation techniques and evaluation practices to enhance positive growth in the sector.
Dr Nkemdilim Ene, Chief Executive Officer, Preston Associates for International Development (PAID), said this at the graduation ceremony for the Youth Impact Associates Cohort 1, in Abuja. She explained that the foundation and its implementing partners saw the need to build the capacities of young people in the country hence the training. She said that using a multidimensional approach to the various aspects of monitoring and evaluation, the effects of various policies on Nigerians would be known.
“The young graduates have been clear as to where they are going; they are focused on what the immediate future holds, and the alumni platform, which will be launched today, is another platform to make their contributions more cohesively noticed,” she said.
She added that the beneficiaries had in the last twelve months been prepared on how to engage with Nigeria and the continent on how to look at evidence differently.
According to her, Nigerians are always talking about policies, but interpreting those policies into evidence has continued to be a significant struggle in this country.
“We want to see those beautifully crafted policies become real strategies that will unfold in the communities that the government is serving,” she said.
Similarly, the Country Director, Mastercard Foundation Nigeria, Rosy Fynn, said the event wasn’t just a graduation but a testament to the power of young minds to shaping the future.
“Through dedication, learning, and collaboration, these young men and women have embraced the challenge of improving monitoring, evaluation, and learning practices in Nigeria and together with other young impact associates in different countries across Africa.
“They have harnessed fresh knowledge and transformed it into actionable solutions, lighting the way for a brighter continent,” she said.
In the same vein, Mr Oludotun Babayemi, Chief Executive Officer, Cloneshouse, said that the project focused on providing technical knowledge on monitoring and evaluation for young people between the ages of 25 and 35.
He said that the project aimed at creating opportunities to access decent jobs for young people and set them up for leadership positions in the field of evaluation.
“The field of monitoring and evaluation is relatively new and growing in Nigeria, therefore, what it means is that there is need for more people to be able to drive change within the evaluation community,” he said.
He lauded the new legal framework for monitoring and evaluation in the country, adding that it would help strengthen policies at several levels.
“These young people will be the drivers of Nigeria’s evaluation and monitoring policy because once we can monitor, then we can evaluate the programmes, policies, and projects better,” he added.
One of the graduates, Mr Emeka Nwankwo, appreciated the IPOs for the privilege, adding that the exercise had increased his confidence in the monitoring and evaluation space.
“We understand the need in Africa’s evaluation space, and we want to carry this knowledge into society to promote indigenous ways of monitoring and evaluation,” Nwankwo said.
Editing Credit: Deborah Coker/Sadiya Hamza (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)