This new Lake Chad Programme Strategy (2018 - 2023) outlines Plan International’s bold ambition to transform the life of girls and their families in the Lake Chad Region. It moves beyond a humanitarian vision towards a full spectrum programme, working at the nexus of humanitarian and development efforts to promote children’s rights and gender equality.
The overall programme goal statement for the 2018 – 2023 strategy period is “Girls and boys in the Lake Chad region are resilient and realize their rights in safety and with dignity”. This will be achieved through the following Strategic Programme Objectives (SPOs):
- Ensure and maintain equal access to relevant safe, quality and inclusive education for girls and boys in the Lake Chad region.
- Improve the protection of girls and boys from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation in the Lake Chad region.
- Promote the economic rehabilitation and empowerment of adolescent girls and youth in the Lake Chad region.
- Promote effective participation, empowerment and leadership of adolescent girls and youth in the Lake Chad region.
To achieve the ambition set out in this strategy, the LCP will apply different programme and influence strategies. Plan International will:
- Continue to provide direct assistance including cash and vouchers to the affected population to alleviate suffering and to protect them.
- Work at the nexus of humanitarian and development efforts through a full-spectrum approach including investments in social cohesion.
- Build resilience to ensure that girls, boys, and their communities are able to deal positively with shocks and stresses affecting them and adapt to future shocks and stresses.
- Transform social norms, attitudes and behaviours by analysing and challenging structural and systemic gender inequality and girls’ rights issues and ensuring that all projects are at least gender-aware, contributing to an overall gender-transformative LCP.
- Influence on the basis of evidence with girls at the heart of this approach.
- Actively pursue a strategy of widening and strengthening our partnerships and networks among relevant state and non-state actors.
The protracted crisis in the Lake Chad Basin region remains one of the most severe humanitarian emergencies in the world, affecting the North East of Nigeria, the Far North region of Cameroon, the Lake region of Chad and the Diffa region in Niger. More than 17 million people are living in the affected areas across the four countries. 10.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance to survive, more than 6 million of them are children. The crisis has unfolded in a region beset by chronic fragility where poverty, underdevelopment, gender inequality, unemployment and a lack of prospects for young people fuel extremism. This is compounded by environmental degradation and the impact of climate change.
The Lake Chad Programme (LCP) is a joint initiative from Plan International’s Country Offices (COs) in Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria, as well as Plan International’s West and Central Africa Hub. It was established to address the crisis in the Lake Chad Basin through an integrated and regional programme approach. Though the response to the crisis started in Cameroon and Niger in 2014, the joint programme vision for the LCP was developed in May 2016. This resulted in the first Regional Programmatic Response Strategy, which guided from September 2016 and included the response activities in North East Nigeria. The LCP has matured in the last two years, building on a clear regional programmatic vision with solid experience and observable outcomes in the areas of Education in Emergencies (EiE), Child Protection in Emergencies (CPiE), Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Livelihoods.
Taking into account the protracted nature of the crisis, this new Lake Chad Programme Strategy (2018 - 2023) outlines Plan International’s bold ambition to transform the life of girls and their families in the Lake Chad Region. It moves beyond a humanitarian vision towards a full spectrum programme, working at the nexus of humanitarian and development efforts to promote children’s rights and gender equality. This approach recognizes the importance of meeting immediate humanitarian needs while tackling the developmental deficit of the region which is both a contributor to and an outcome of the crisis. In addition, it is crucial to promote social cohesion, girls’ rights and gender equality which are central issues in the region and at the heart of this strategy. Moreover, building the resilience of girls and their communities is vital to ensure they are able to cope with and adapt to the significant shocks and stresses they face currently and may face in future.
The development of this strategy was a highly participatory process grounded in consultations with key stakeholders in the three countries. This included a three-day strategic choices workshop which gathered representatives of Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria Country Offices, the Lake Chad Programme Unit and representatives from different National Organisations (NOs), West and Central Africa Hub and the Global Hub. The strategy builds on the country strategies and aligns the programme purpose and expected results to Plan International’s global strategy and Plan International’s Disaster Risk Management vision. It will also guide the extension of Plan International’s Lake Chad Programme to Chad.
The LCP identified five key issues relevant to Plan International’s mandate that affect children and young people in the realization of their rights and the achievement of gender equality:
- The crisis has led to a multitude of protection concerns, particularly for children, adolescent girls and women.
- Children are deprived of quality education opportunities.
- Adolescent girls lack access to sexual and reproductive health services.
- Girls are impacted in a disproportional way by the inability of families to cover their basic needs.
- Adolescent girls and youth are excluded from decision-making arenas.
Plan International believes that no real progress can be made unless children and youth are protected, their right to education upheld and they are empowered to participate and take the lead in decisions that affect their lives and collectively work to transform their communities. This strategy is an affirmation that protecting girls’ rights and promoting gender equality is not only inherently positive for girls, but for their families, communities and the entire region.