Teachers Absenteeism in Nigerian Public Schools (TANPS)

The broad aim of the Teachers Absenteeism in Nigerian Public Schools (TANPS) project is to work for the improvement of educational standards in Nigeria through research and follow up advocacy and to provide a clear understanding on the phenomenon of teacher absenteeism from multi-dimensional perspectives. Focusing on primary schools in Lagos State, TANPS seeks to quantify the costs associated with absenteeism, recording the cost of absenteeism as the number of times a respondent did not report for work multiplied by gross income. It generally highlights the social costs of absenteeism and its impact on education as a development vehicle and on the enjoyment of the right to education as a social and economic right in Nigeria. TANPS focuses on frequency of the phenomenon, interrelations between absenteeism and examination failure, social factors that promote absenteeism (such as family, schools and local community), education and teaching methods in primary schools.)

TANPS takes a multi dimensional methodological approach: desk study, focus group discussions, facility visits and survey questionnaires, as it illuminates the absenteeism phenomenon from diverse and multi-dimensional perspectives, identifying its types (or kinds), causes and consequences as well as distinguishing between excused absence and unexcused absence thereby providing a clear understanding on this phenomenon that has very little body of evidence in Nigeria. IAP concludes that teachers’ absenteeism is a severe problem that stakeholders (policymakers, civil society groups, parents, communities, etc.) must confront. TANPS is being implemented with funding support from the Result for Development Institute and the World Bank. The TANPS report will be available for download in August 2010.

Corruption & HIV/AIDS
In 2009, IAP finalised its programme that examined the nexus between the funding of HIV/AIDS and corruption, titled Promoting Accountability and Transparency in HIV Funding (PATH). Investigations revealed that a huge percentage of funds been allocated to fight HIV is being misappropriated at various levels and this IAP programme examines the sources of ‘leakages’ is working with relevant governmental and non-governmental establishments to improve transparency and accountability in this sector.

The outcome of PATH, supported by the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is a report, Transparency Deficit: A report on HIV/AIDS Funding in Nigeria. A component of PATH is a Roundtable discussion involving diverse stakeholders working on HIV/AIDS issues in Nigeria where over 40 stakeholders, including representatives of donor agencies, the print and electronic media, non-governmental organisations research institutes adopted a five-point campaign agenda to promote transparency and accountability in HIV/AIDS funding. Transparency Deficit scrutinised HIV/AIDS funding related issues, the performance of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the State Action Committee on AIDS (SACA) against the background of corruption in the nation’s health sector. The report looks at why, despite the seemingly large amounts of money being pumped into the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, results have been slow and minimal and makes practical recommendations to the federal and state governments, public institutions and the donor community.

Transparency and Primary Health Care (PHC) in Nigeria
In Nigeria, studies on health care delivery in Nigeria have largely focused on the role of local governments and community based organisations in the delivery of primary health care services from the perspective of service providers, not from the perspective of service users. There are very few studies on perceptions on the public services from the citizens’ perspectives and more specifically, there have not been any report on primary health care from the users’ or citizens’ perspective, hence IAP has designed the proposed project titled Report Card on Primary Health Care (RECAP), using the Citizen Report Card approach. RECAP, with funding support from the American Jewsih World Service (AJWS) is examining, in the course of 2010, the effectiveness of Primary Health Care (PHC) delivery in Lagos, focusing on maternal and child health care; immunization against the major infectious diseases; and provision of essential drugs, from the perspective ordinary community citizens. RECAP will closely scrutinise the level of community involvement and participation in the planning and implementation of PHC delivery, and through evidence based advocacy strategy, IAP will campaign for better community involvement. RECAP will amplify the voices of community citizens and make practical recommendations for a more effective and participatory PHC delivery system.

Measuring Corruption: Nigeria Corruption Index (NCI)
The highly successful Nigeria Corruption Index (2005 and 2007) is a survey which collated and analyzed responses from ordinary Nigerians on their daily encounters with various forms of corrupt practices at different levels. Rather than mere perception of the degree of corruption, the survey approximates the magnitude of corrupt practices and provides benchmarks of integrity based on actual incidences. The Nigerian Police topped the league table of the most corrupt institutions with incidences of reported bribery standing at 96 per cent. Next was the Power Holding Corporation of Nigeria (formerly National Electric Power Authority, NEPA), and the Customs and Excise Department which posted 83 and 65 per cents respectively. Other corruption-ridden organizations included the Ministry of Education, while at the Immigration and Passport Office, survey respondents reported incidence rate of 63 and 56 per cents respectively.

Judiciary Watch
The Judiciary Watch Programme seeks to promote transparency and accountability in the Nigerian judiciary, thus enhancing the capacity of court and legal officers to carry out their duties impartially and effectively. The judiciary, which ordinarily should be the last hope of ordinary Nigerians, continue to face a gamut of challenges, including allegations of bribery, partiality and corruption. Hence, this grassroots-based initiative has been designed to carefully examine these and other issues, devise a tool to proactively educate the citizens about the workings of the judiciary, especially at the Magistrate level, thereby empowering them to ask critical questions and actively monitor its performances. Being the closest to the ordinary citizens, the Judiciary Watch focused on the Magistrate Courts. Nigeria: The Bench and the Challenge of Corruption was published as a component of the programme which was supported by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA)

Cost of Democracy Project
The Cost of Democracy (COD) project, which was concluded in 2009 seeks to highlight the pervasive role of corruption in governance by underlying the real cost of democracy in Nigeria: how much, for instance, does it cost Nigerians to maintain federal legislators in power, including the coterie of aides, their remuneration and lavish lifestyles and more broadly, the low ‘returns’ tax payers are getting on their ‘democratic investment.’ COD focuses on the federal legislators (but not exclusively) because of their crucial role in Nigeria’s democracy, in approving federal budgets and so on. The major output of the project is the COD report which will document the huge sums of money being spent by the legislators on political campaigns, and provide information that civil society groups and other stakeholders can use in their anti corruption advocacy efforts. Using the report as an advocacy tool, IAP will undertake follow up advocacy initiative to advocate for various policy reforms that will enshrine transparency and promote the culture of accountability through lobbying, campaigning and other forms of policy influencing and to draw clear linkages between corruption, poverty and development as a means of moving Nigerians to action in rejecting corruption.

Anti Corruption Curriculum for Elementary Schools (ACCES)
In Nigeria, corruption is a major driver of bad governance, as such, there is a need for the delivery of a carefully designed interdisciplinary anti corruption education project targeting youths in elementary schools. As a programmatic intervention, IAP designed the Anti Corruption Curriculum for Elementary Schools (ACCES) project, to support education authorities in developing an anti corruption curriculum - arrived at through a broad civil society consultation process - which ensures that youths are aware of their direct role now and in the future, in promoting transparency and accountability. ACCES also seeks to mobilise civil society action on the important role of education in the process of fighting poverty and the enjoyment of human rights, as the enjoyment of the right to education is key to fighting poverty and corruption.

With support from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), ACCES, one of IAP's current programmes seeks to systematically raise the awareness of elementary school pupils in a sustained manner on the adverse effects of corruption on development and their current role and as tomorrow’s leaders in fighting corruption and promoting integrity in the country. This will be a pilot study in Lagos State which may be expanded into other states of the country in future. The idea is to actively build a network of informed pupils - tomorrow’s opinion leaders - who will continually – in later years - actively work against corruption in all its ramifications.

Advocacy, Lobby & Campaigns Programme
IAP is particularly involved in awareness raising – using the new and traditional media and the alternative media such as drama sketches (especially in educational institutions) aimed at promoting democracy and good governance. The organisation issues press statements and posts relevant news from other news sources on its website. Besides, the organisation also conducts lobby activities at the National Assembly in Abuja and the Lagos State House of Assembly to advocate for specific legal reforms, including campaigning for the Freedom of Information Bill. IAP collaborates and networks not only with governance groups but with a wide range of NGOs, including human rights groups on a wide range of projects.

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