Framework For Evolving And Strengthening Capacity Utilization In NCFR

INTRODUCTION

This framework addresses the need and provides measures for evolving new ways for strengthening NCFR operations in the areas of partnership, having a clearer mandate, efficient human resource capacity utilization and policy administration. This framework is very necessary as a way of preparing the Commission to device means of responding to the new dynamics in forced migration. And this is coming at a time when the world is experiencing new and rapid forms of complex emergencies: the revolution in the Arab world; the unfolding Ivory Coast crisis; in Nigeria, the spate of violence conflict and environmental induced displacement, and the recent Nigeria Evacuees from Egypt and Libya. All these throw up new challenges for emergency preparedness and capacity utilization.

OBJECTIVES

– To suggest ways for fostering Inter-agency co-operation in order to understand the operational boundaries of the various intervention institutions implicated in managing complex emergencies particularly in humanitarian aid delivery and displacement.

– Introduce best practice model for the Commission in order to establish impact assessment profile and strengthen capacity.

– Professionalize commission’s operations by way of establishing an efficient communication channels.

– Evolve practical ways for enhancing the internal operations of the Commission by creating modules of day to day work schedule for all the departments and units in order to continuously strengthen the operational skills of the individual staff member, units and departments and avoid redundancy.

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

The theoretical framework briefly addresses the dynamics of forced migration to be able to interpret the new challenges that may arise in displacement management.

The recent evacuee from Egypt and Libya is very apt and requires a deliberate effort for policy administration. For example, apart from the particular nature of “statelessness”, forced migration generally occurs in two forms

1. As refugees: i.e. those who have crossed an internationally recognized border.
2. IDPs: Those displaced within the borders of their countries of nationality or place of habitual residence.

What is novelty here is the fact that the Nigeria evacuees from Egypt and Libya do not exclusively fall into the operational definitions of the instruments defining refugees and IDPs. In any case, considering the events that had led to the incidence of evacuating Nigerians from these crisis turned countries, it can be inferred from all the protection instrument that these evacuee are ”PERSONS OF CONCERN” covered by the NCFR mandate. Ordinarily, within the framework of the National Policy for IDPs and the AU Kampala Instrument, these evacuees do not exist as IDPs because they have not been displaced by any event occurring in Nigeria. But, they have a ‘well founded fear of persecution because of events occurring in their country of habitual residence’ but they did not cross into a third country as refugees. Again the question of statelessness does not arise because they have and still retain their Nationality as Nigerians.

Rogge’s classification of forced migrants is very instructive here. Rogge provides the operational definition for an evacuee as a forced migrant. And as such, they constitute the class of ‘persons of concern’ to the institutions implicated in refugee and IDP management.

In recent years, there has been a rise in ethnic and racial strife, religious fundamentalism, and other xenophobic movement. Strife and oppression, based on ethnicity, religion and race are still unsettlingly common. In the West Africa sub region, the unfolding Ivory Coast crisis calls for urgent concern. And in Nigeria, the spate of ethnic-religious clash and environmental inducing displacement is becoming unprecedented. Again, the geometric population increase in the West Africa sub region also impact the management of displacement. For instance, about 3 centuries ago, it took the world 123 years to add 1 billion people to the global population. Now, it is expanding by 1 billion about every thirteen years. Sub Shara Africa alone, contributes about 30 percent to this global population increase per annum. The phenomena of global warming and climate change are other contributory realities. A report issued in 1999 by the Goddard Space Science Institute estimated that the Arctic ices cover had thinned by 45 percent over the previous 40 years period, with the size of the iced cover shrinking by about 14,000 square miles, the result of which the IPCC reports estimated is that, up to 118 million people could be displaced by raising seas over the next century. By implication, the Nigeria coastal cities are particularly vulnerable.

Therefore, intervention agencies like NEMA and NCFR must understand their operational boundaries in responding to complex emergencies. Nigeria is caught-up in the web of globalization and it is also implicated in all displacement inducing phenomena. Given her status on the Africa continent, especially the West Africa sub region, it does become pertinent to evolve measures for dealing with the new trends and dynamics in forced migration.

PLAN OF ACTION

– NCFR must initiate a platform for inter agency interaction. This will help to define the operational boundaries of each intervention institution and enhance cooperation. It will also provide a window for experience sharing, impact assessment and encourage collaboration.

– NCFR must create a media image in order to establish an active identity. This should be done by posting images of displacement, advocacy, and promoting specific themes relating to forced migration in the mass media (TV and Radio advert). The effect of this cannot be over emphasized.

– The Commission must have an active user friendly web site; and create a web page for all the departments and units for monthly update. This is extremely important because it is a way of measuring the Commission’s output. All departments and units should be mandated to update their web page with results of their modules of work schedules. This is to encourage global best practice.

– All special application for specific needs of persons of concern to the Commission should be web based. For instance, in terms of documents renewal procedures for refugees, all field protection officers should on daily basis fill online application form for renewal of UN travel document on the Commission’s website. And on weekly basis, the Protection Unit at the center should download all such application form, analyze and process as appropriate and dispatch promptly. As such, refugee will not suffer the frustration of traveling to Abuja for document renewal and all other complaint. All Units and department with field based officers must on daily basics fill an application form regarding any specific complaints of “persons of concern” and these forms should be downloaded, accessed, analyzed and processed by the Unit or department concern. This will form the modules of work schedule that will be imputed into the webpage of each department and unit on monthly basics.

– NCFR should also create an interactive platform on social network site like Facebook and Twitter; upload pictures and comments daily to generate response from a wide range of interest groups and individuals.

– The commission should, on annual basics, organize stake holder conferences with specific themes of interest that would serve as a focal point for media advocacy in each succeeding year. The stake holder conference should involve Local, national and international actors implicated in humanitarian aid delivery.

– The Commission should on quarterly basics organize a round table discussion for impact assessment on new trend in managing forced displacement.

– The commission should on monthly basics develop a chat for accessing all the units and department and rating performance.

– The Commission should from time to time partner with relevant agencies and institutions in the area of gender, human rights, child’s right, migration, displacement, etc. The synergy of partnering with other institution will create a window for the commission to see through alternative approaches to humanitarian management

CONCLUSION

In respect to other ad hoc activities and stop gap measures developed to address some specific challenges that may arise from time to time, this framework only provide a frame for routine activities and professionalism. This framework is open ended and can be adjusted from time to time to permit all forms of contingencies. It only serves as a starting point for the commission’s efforts in seeking ways to assert itself in the national scheme of event and influence on the global stage. Therefore, the commission, with a firm commitment, needs to seek ways to expand its budgetary allocation and justifies the need for such expansion through efficient and effective resource allocation and capacity utilization