How Do Stakeholders Perceive the Quality of Agriculture and Food Security Policy Processes in Nigeria? Results From Two Rounds of SurveysDOWNLOAD FILE
January 3, 2020 - Author: Mywish K. Maredia, John Mazunda, Oyinkan Tasie, and Medinah Ayuba
Mywish K. Maredia, John Mazunda, Oyinkan Tasie, and Medinah Ayuba, 2020. How Do Stakeholders Perceive the Quality of Agriculture and Food Security Policy Processes in Nigeria? Results From Two Rounds of Surveys, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Paper 166.
Effective policy change is an important goal of many development projects and donor-funded investments. However, for policy change to lead to desired results, the quality of the entire policy change process—i.e., to undertake transparent, inclusive, predictable, and evidence-based policy change and its effective implementation, is also important. Strengthening a country’s capacity to manage the entire policy change process and to improve the institutional architecture that supports the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the policies has thus received increased attention in recent years.
The Feed the Future (FTF) Nigeria Agriculture Policy Project is a project funded by the Nigeria mission of the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) to strengthen national capacity, promote and foster informed policy dialogue, and support Nigerian federal and state government efforts to improve their policy process. Underlying these objectives is the goal of the Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project to support efforts to improve the quality of agriculture and food security policy processes in terms of the institutional architecture within which these processes take place, the value of the discussions on the various policy, strategy, and program options being considered, and the degree to which objective evidence is used to guide decision making.
This paper reports the results of a stakeholder survey conducted in 2018 and compares the results with the baseline survey conducted in 2016. The purpose of these surveys is to monitor progress in improving: 1) the quality of the agriculture and food security policy processes in Nigeria and, 2) the quality of the institutional architecture within which those processes proceed. Two hundred and thirty-nine stakeholders representing the government, non-government organizations (NGOs) or civil society organizations (CSOs), private sector, researchers, and donors completed a questionnaire that was designed to capture their opinions on a range of issues related to the current quality of agriculture and food security policy processes at federal and state level in Nigeria. One hundred and ten of these participants were from the same states that were included in the baseline survey (i.e., the states of Ebonyi, Oyo, Rivers, Kaduna, and Gombe) and the Federal CapitalTerritory. The other 129 were from five of the FTF zone of influence focused states (i.e., Benue, Cross River,Delta, Kebbi, and Niger) that were added to the survey in 2018. As a result of this sampling strategy, we got 64 respondents who were the same individuals who had also participated in the 2016 survey.
The aggregate mean assessment score for the quality of policy process in 2018 across the whole sample is estimated to be 1.48 at the federal level and 1.39 at the state level, and for the quality of institutional architecture is 1.96 at the federal level and 1.80 at the state level. On the scale of 0 to 3 used in this study, the scores of 1.48 and 1.39 represent stakeholder opinion on the policy process to be close to ‘somewhat dissatisfied,’ and the scores of 1.96 and 1.80 represent stakeholder opinion on the quality of the institutional architecture to be close to ‘somewhat satisfied.’ In general, the stakeholders perceived the quality of the policy processes and the institutional architecture to be higher at the federal level than at the state level.
Restricting the sample to only those respondents that participated in both the 2016 and the 2018 surveys, values of these two indices in 2018 are 1.47 and 2.02 at the federal level, and 1.25 and 1.89 at the state level. In comparing these values with the mean values for the same 64 respondents in 2016, results indicate that there was no change in stakeholders’ perception of the quality of the agricultural and food security policy reform processes in Nigeria over the two-year period. This indicates that, while some positive developments had been achieved and elements of the policy processes continue to remain strong, there is still room for improvements. On the positive side, the values for the second index (2.02 and 1.89) represent a significant increase in the perception of the quality of the institutional architecture within which the policy reform processes are taking place. Thus, for at least one of the indices, there was an increased optimism among stakeholders that the quality was improving both at the federal and the state levels. We hope the results of this survey will better inform decisions on what sort of investments and institutional reconfigurations may be needed to ensure effective and efficient policy processes on agriculture and food security issues are in place in Nigeria.