SPARK aims to enable poor communities and social movements in pilot states to engage or influence budget and service delivery systems in the agriculture and health sectors at different levels of government. We want to empower poor and marginalized communities to receive improved basic services for primary healthcare and enjoy greater access to agriculture inputs and women-friendly farming equipment.
Primary Health Care
In SPARK’s focal communities we are seeking to address the underlying factors – such as insufficient resource allocation and implementation and weak oversight systems – that undermine primary health care delivery and result in lack of access to safe water, poor sanitation and hygiene, low-quality maternal health services and a weak infrastructure. We are working with community groups to improve the primary health care sector, including:
- Improved access to drugs and critical equipment for primary health care centers in marginalized communities in Oyo State.
- Improved maternal health care services to expectant mothers in poor rural communities in Ogun State.
- Improved access and quality of primary health care through the provision of clean water and basic sanitation and hygiene at health facilities in disadvantaged communities in Anambra State.
SPARK is working with Smallholder Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) to bolster the collective agency of smallholder women farmers to campaign for better access to critical agricultural inputs and women-friendly equipment, especially in rural areas.
The SWOFON Campaign has included a short-term intervention leveraging the 2019 general elections to draw initial political commitments using the smallholder women farmers’ Charters of Demand, relationship-building with agricultural sector stakeholders and actively engaging with 2020 and 2021 budget planning.
Over on the Open Budgets Blog, SWOFON members chronicled their journey to understand why budgets matter to their livelihood and their fight to get access to critical budget information.
Case Study: Empowering Women Farmers
Our agricultural work in Nigeria began with understanding the underlying budgetary causes of service delivery failures that are preventing smallholder women farmers from raising their productivity and upending the cycle of poverty. We discovered that the budgetary challenges include:
- Poor resource allocation and utilization for the agricultural sector
- Untimely release of funds for critical agricultural inputs
- Non-prioritization of women-friendly farm equipment in the budget
- Limited information and participation in budget processes for rural women farmers
SPARK supported smallholder women farmers campaign to articulate and document their priority needs into Charters of Demand and develop effective strategies to address those needs. Through the campaign, several key government officials (including a serving State Governor), political flag bearers and influential leaders signed the smallholder women farmers’ Charters of Demand to address the challenges facing this community.
The Small-scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) launched its campaign with a mass application by women farmers from the five key states of Nasarawa, Niger, Jigawa, Oyo and Anambra states for access to subsidized fertilizer, improved seeds and women-friendly farm equipment.
Through their efforts, smallholder women farmers received commitments from the ministries in each state to consider the needs of women farmers moving forward. Additionally, applications from the five key states and an additional 31 states will be consolidated and submitted at the national level, as part of measures to pressure the government to be more responsive to the needs of this disadvantaged group.