Ewuola Bayo is a Communication Intern, with EVA.
On 30th October, Education as a Vaccine commenced a 4 day training for Youth Data Reporters for its ACT!2030 Project with 50 young people across 12 states of Nigeria.
According to Itoro Ekanem, the Program Officer, ACT!2030 is a global movement of young people advocating for the rights to sexual and reproductive health and services of young people supported by IPPF, UNAIDS and PACT.
“Implemented by alliances of youth led organisations in 12 countries our activities are carried out by using evidence based data to show governments the realities that young people face, advocate for better policies, and hold them accountable on their promises to the citizens”, he explained.
Working in collaboration with National Bureau of Statistics, the training is organized to build the capacity of selected young people, design a comprehensive adolescent and young people led data collection to provide evidence on the status of SDG implementation within Nigeria and ensure meaningful youth engagement with the implementation, follow-up and review of the Sustainable Development Goals in order to meet the 2030 deadline.
For the actualisation of Sustainable Development Goals, young people have determining roles to play. The data collected will be used to develop advocacy tools and messages that will be used to hold government accountable their actions and inactions.
Patrick Enweren, Team Lead Advocacy and Policy Influencing made a presentation on “Youth and Research” where he explained that one of the problems faced by the country is limited data. To raise a prevailing measure over this challenge, he stated the need to involve young people in data collection processes in order to gather data that reflect the realities of youth experiences in Nigeria. He said: “Young people, being drivers of change, have an important role to play in the implementation of sexual reproductive health of individuals”.
He listed some of the targets of the SDGs and how indicators will be used to track those targets. “Young people should not only be seen as targets, but also as collaborators/implementers of the SDGs and also as beneficiaries”. Contributing to a question asked on how to proffer solutions to some root causes of societal problems, Janet Isaac said “our parents have failed us. My mother never told me about menstruation, we cannot afford to make the same mistake. There is need to scale up the need to teach younger ones on sexuality education”. The training also has field work where participants will be taken to selected Secondary Schools and Health Care Facilities in Abuja where the data collectors will get accultured with the data collection tools and the processes involved.