Through capacity-building training and support provided by V2P partners, Community Based Monitors (CBMs) are successfully engaging in the monitoring of public service delivery processes to ensure quality control and assurance for the benefit of the communities they represent. The lack of community monitoring of projects in the past has been identified as one of the barriers that existed to proper infrastructure and community development. CBMs are selected through an inclusive and participatory process by community members. They act as representatives of their communities in engagements with government and service providers.
Trainings provided by V2P partners, such as power analysis; one which enables them identify the different relevant power dynamics that can influence decisions around a community development issue have been useful for CBMs to carry out their duties in representing their communities. Through this and other trainings, CBMs and community members are now enlightened on how to engage with the government; holding them to account, demanding and monitoring government projects to ensure standard delivery.
For Ezinifite Aguata, a community in Aguata Local Government Area (LGA) of Anambra state, this new skill has been useful in driving development as community members were unaware of their position and power in monitoring and taking ownership of government executed projects in their community before their engagement with V2P partner, JDPC Nnewi.
Eloka Mmaduka, the President General (P.G.) of Ezinifite said: “we were like blind people before now. We didn’t know our left from right, and we never ever imagined that we can ask government questions, we thank this group from Nnewi, I mean JDPC who brought this project of V2P.”
Before their engagement with V2P, they were unable to voice their complaints to the government on the poor standard of structures and infrastructures, abandoned and unimplemented government projects such as bore holes, roads and health centres. However, the newly empowered CBMs of Ezinifite are at the moment are ensuring quality control for the on-going Ekwulobia/Ezinifite/Unubi road construction.
Noticing during a monitoring inspection, the compacting of laterite without scraping the sand; a practice which would result in rapid deterioration of the road, one of the CBMs raised his voice, and working with his colleagues and the Igwe of the community, the contractor was held accountable for this practice. The project will be completed shortly and is expected to be standard and durable.
It is expected that these CBMs and other community members continue playing the role of active citizens and engage in dialogues with government agencies and service providers, and hold them to account in order to achieve meaningful development in the community. V2P is committed to continue building the capacity and encouraging willingness of citizens to achieve this expectation.