A community empowerment success story: Nigerian communities taking action to improve health and education
Ma-Umba Mabiala, COMPASS Project
Marcie Rubardt, International Health Consultant
Nigeria’s high levels of poverty lead to poor health care and inadequate educational systems. Increasing dependency on the government and lack of civil society participation worsen the problems of accessing quality services. Community Participation for Action in the Social Sector (COMPASS) is a five year USAID-funded project designed to improve the quality of health care and education in Nigeria’s communities. After three years of implementation, we want to share the experience of using the Community Action Cycle (CAC) approach and the Partnership Defined Quality (PDQ) methodology to empower less privileged communities and help them improve their standard of living. The session will share challenges and lessons learned in forming community coalitions in resource poor settings and in building partnerships between community members and service providers and communities and local governments. We’ll also explore steps that are being taken to ensure sustainability of the community efforts.