This report is for the first quarter of the second fiscal year of implementation of USAID|REGIS-ER. Regional teams were involved in intermediary activities: training the 70 facilitators in multiple disciplines, diagnostics of wells, formulating bid requests for well drilling and latrine construction, planning for irrigation systems, getting ready for the next habbanayé operation, and more. All of these activities are in preparation for a robust second quarter in terms of results for all components.
While results in terms of percentages achieved remain low, this does not reflect the tremendous effort that was expended in all regions during the quarter. The preparatory phase of strategizing, training, and establishing a clear vision for all components has been completed, especially for the Health and Nutrition Component that is now fully operational in all regions.
In the next quarter, REGIS-ER indicators will be reviewed and potentially modified.
- The first general assembly for REGIS-ER/Niger was held in December, 2014, to consolidate accomplishments, discuss lessons learned from the first year and recognize our challenges for Year 2.
- Project staff was bolstered by the addition of two natural resource mapping specialists and the recruitment of a replacement to head the Livelihoods component.
- Climate change information and adaptation is being integrated into all field activities.
- With assistance from REGIS-ER, almost 50 ha of land has been deeded to women for gardening and food production.
- The process of setting up Mother-to-Mother groups was initiated, which will lead to widespread adoption of best practices in terms of health, nutrition, and hygiene especially for women and infants.
- An RFP to set up a comprehensive database was developed.
- A strategy for household poultry was formulated and shared with regions.
- The regional office that was headquartered in Bogandé, Eastern Region of Burkina Faso, was moved to Fada N’gourma, for better access to communications and work at field sites.
- Sizeable grant applications are under consideration for rehabilitation and construction of wells, latrines, habbanayé, and complete packages including irrigation, seeds, and fertilizer for women’s gardens.
Points of Convergence
- A joint mission to monitor the quality of health educator work was carried out by Livelihoods and HealthNutrition specialists in Tillabéri South. The presence of pregnant and lactating women were used as criteria to prioritize locations for Mother-to-Mother groups.
- Burkina and Niger Governance teams worked together to identify cattle corridors linking the two countries.
- A meeting was held with NGO SongES in Niger to deepen our understanding of Husband Schools (Écoles des Maris), how they are implemented, the tools needed, and a potential partnership between REGIS and SongES.
- Vulnerable households that should benefit from grants to build latrines were identified by FFP partners in CLTS villages of Gayéri, Barsalogho, and Bouroum.
- A training research exercise was carried out between REGIS-ER, SAWKI, and NGO Lahia for Digital Green in Maradi.
- REGIS ER continues to work with SAWKI to explore opportunities of collaboration in Maradi and Zinder on SAFE SPACE.
- REGIS administration based in Ouagadougou participated in a workshop on rural women’s enterprise incubators sponsored by ECOWAS on 18 and 19 December. REGIS was identified as a partner in the design and implementation of a pilot incubator project.
The participatory approach through involvement of the technical services and local authorities is fundamental to making long-term change and maintaining a solid relationship with partners.