Emergent Agency among poor households and CSOs in Nigeria
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and related government measures is having great impact in Nigeria. Since 27 February 2020 when the Federal Ministry of Health confirmed Nigeria’s first case of COVID-19 in Lagos State, there have been fears as to what the spread of the pandemic could mean for vulnerable populations in the North East. Research from other contexts as well as Nigeria show the impact health crises can have on society. Indeed, the most significant short-, medium- and long-term impacts of the pandemic may lay beyond the health sphere, and be most stark when it comes to livelihoods, levels of violence against women and girls (VAWG), conflict dynamics, and social relations. COVID-19 and related government response affect people differently and magnify already high levels of inequality along age, class, disability, gender, income, and other lines. Girls and women are disproportionately affected due to gendered power relations and persistent and structural inequalities.
Sequel to the declaration of the COVID-19 a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020. the Nigerian government just like other governments over the world have instituted wide-ranging measures to curb the spread of the disease. Some of these measures include among others: travel restrictions, night-time curfews, the banning of large gatherings, observance of proper hygiene, use of face masks and social distancing. These measures had swift and dramatic social and economic consequences for all sectors of society, including civil society organizations (CSOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs).
Most local and national coverage of the Covid-19 crisis in Nigeria largely concentrated on the impact of the disease and the official response. What often goes missing is human agency – the way individuals, communities and grassroots organizations respond to the new challenges, both of the disease and the official response. In Nigeria for example, emergent ground-up responses are also emerging in order to address the gap and lack of direction from state responses. While vulnerable households saw opportunities for entrepreneurial activities such as production of hand sanitizers and face masks using cloth materials to make ends meet, the same could not be said of the CSOs. The CSOs had their fair share of the consequences of the pandemic which disrupted a lot of their activities and source of funding. We expect to see new tactics and new issues emerging as the crisis unfolds, with new possibilities for collective action, new models of feminist leadership and mutual care, and putting forward visions of a more just, equitable and inclusive future.
As the crisis evolves, these exercises in emergent agency can help inform ‘building back better’ options at local and national level – policies and practices that can turn the Covid-19 crisis into a critical juncture for the design of a more equitable and sustainable future.
While the main focus of the project will be on emergent agency in the grassroots Covid-19 response to bring analytical coherence to the proposed partnership, the research questions will not be prescriptive. We anticipate that research questions could include and build on these:
Understand the individual and collective agency is emerging among low-income households and communities across different groups at the intersection of multiple inequalities, precarious and informal workers, and non-state actors, as they respond to the health pandemic and its economic and social fallout?
Evaluate the responses from CSO’s/INGO’s in Nigeria. What is emerging and new from their responses as a result of covid.
Understand how the pandemic affected the ability of CSO’s to function effectively especially as it relates to service delivery and raising funds?
Map out initiatives that were created during the COVID-19 response and the stakeholders involved.
Assess how these experiences reshape how donors and governments understand needs, vulnerabilities and agency, and options to reduce emerging or entrenching inequalities?
Understand how these examples inform how the civil society (CSOs, CBOs and INGO’s) amplify impacts through policy influencing and other scaling efforts?
The assignment will involve site visits to states (Plateau, Nasarawa and the FCT) where Oxfam projects are present. The documentation will involve situational analysis, key informant interviews with data collected from both secondary and primary sources.
We propose a loose framework of data generation and analysis methodologies, based on participation and listening and rooted in feminist principles. Possible data generation methodologies to capture short frontline worker/local leader/citizen observations and experiences include:
• Listening posts, e.g. text, phone surveys, voice recorders to collect community voices
• Covid Diaries (either self-diarizing or via researchers), based on IDS/Oxfam’s previous work on governance diaries
• Round ups of coverage from the media, intellectuals and other unusual channels (e.g. websites, thinktanks)
• Social Media Narrative/stories – focusing on commonly held narratives from communities.
A comprehensive report of not more than 30 pages
A summary PPT version (not more than 20 slides) with visuals/infographics etc for presentation
Audio visual recordings from interviews
Qualifications and competencies required:
The interested consultancy firm will require the following qualifications:
Experience in carrying out similar research
Experience of working in Nigeria
Excellent interpersonal and communication skills including ability to facilitate and work in a multidisciplinary team.
Strong analytical skills and ability to clearly synthesize and present findings in useable formats to diverse audience
Ability to draw practical conclusions and to prepare well‐written reports in a timely manner;
Ability to interact with host government, partners and/or others as requested by Oxfam
Ability to relate and communicate in local language (Hausa and pidgin) will be an added advantage.
The consultancy should be for a period of 21 working days.
How to apply:
Interested and qualified persons/firms should visit https://nigeria.oxfam.org/get-involved-work-us/procurement-consultancy to fill a request for proposal/quotation template along side supplier enrollment form & submit a technical and financial proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org by 14th March 2022.
Applicants submission must include.
• A detailed 21-day workplan which constitutes the entire duration of this work.
• A minimum of two references
• Samples of previous similar assignments/links to previous reports;