As part of AHI’s interventions for improvement and sustainability in the Ogun State Home Grown School Feeding Programme (OGHGSFP), a Monitoring and Evaluation Workshop for the Ogun State Home Grown School Feeding Team was conducted on February 21, 2020, to strengthen the capacity of their monitoring and evaluation efforts to ensure programme sustainability.
The following dignitaries were present at the high table: The Honourable Commissioner Ministry of Special Duties, Ogun State, Mr. Olumide Sotubo; Permanent Secretary, Mr. Aka Adewale; and Special Adviser Ogun State, the State Operations Officer for the OGHGSFP, Mrs. Mopelola Osolukoya. Also, present at the high table were the Executive Director, Action Health Incorporated (AHI), Mrs. Adenike Esiet and the Senior Technical Assistant to the President, Programme Delivery (NHGSFP), Ms. Nneka Folake Ikejiani.
The meeting commenced with opening remarks by Mrs Adenike Esiet. She stated that the meeting was convened to ensure sustainability in monitoring the HGSFP in Ogun State and highlighted the importance of inviting the Senior Technical Assistant (NHGSFP) to facilitate the workshop.
Following the opening remarks, Mrs Mopelola Osolukoya gave an overview of the Ogun state programme. In her presentation, she gave a brief description of the Ogun State Home Grown School Feeding Programme’s Monitoring and Evaluation at the Local Government Level and explained the organizational and payment structure of cooks. She stated that the cooks’ pay is determined by the number of pupils that they serve and that payments are made fortnightly. Also, the Federal Government disburses payment for 20 days at a time. She discussed the role of cooks and stated that eggs will be added to the menu to improve the protein content size served. She enumerated the challenges the cooks faced which were: lack of access to banks by cooks; the remoteness of some communities from banks; no telephone network access in some communities, hence some cooks do not receive text messages; and low literacy level of some cooks. She noted that despite these challenges, there has been an increase in enrolment, a boost in local agriculture, and over 2779 women have been employed so far.
As a way forward, Mrs. Mopelola Osolukoya enumerated the following:
- Cooks’ accounts have been moved from Gateway Bank to Wema Bank.
- Cooks have been redistributed to schools near their communities to help reduce transport costs.
- Cold Chain Partners have been increased from 67 to 236 and 1 aggregator will be assigned per ward. Also, in some remote communities, the cold chain partners will deliver protein to the cooks at home.
- ID cards will be given to every cook to avoid proxy cooks
- Yam has been added and Eba removed from the menu. When Yam is not in season Cocoyam or Potato will be used as a substitute, Jollof rice and egg will be served on Friday to encourage attendance of pupils on Fridays in schools.
Mrs. Osolukoya’s presentation was followed by the introduction of the Ogun State Commissioner for Special Duties, Barr. Femi Ogunbanwo and the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Sotunbo Olumide. During his remarks, Mr Olumide mentioned the protocols and aim of the Ogun HGSFP which started on January 31st, 2017 with 1,381 cooks for 170,927 pupils. Hon. Barr Femi Ogunbanwo commended AHI as one of the State’s leading partners in Ogun State and gave reassurance of continued partnership.
A group session titled “Challenges in Implementation – Field Experiences till Date in Monitoring and Evaluation” was presented by Ms. Ikejiani, thereafter she made an introduction to basic Monitoring and Evaluation concepts and discussed the importance of an M&E plan. She concluded by saying that M&E is critical to the success of the HGSFP and it must be fit for the state’s purpose.
At the end of the workshop, Mrs. Adenike Esiet expressed her appreciation to the participants of the workshop.