Breaking the Vicious Circle

Additional Research supported WYG and the Centre for Research Documentation to evaluate the Nigerian National Security and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP), a five-year (2012-2017) GBP £39 million UK Department for International Development (DFID)-funded programme supporting Nigerian-led initiatives to manage conflicts non-violently and reduce the negative impacts of violence on the most vulnerable. 

With a population of 174 million, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. It is also a country of extreme diversity, with 250 ethnic groups. Despite significant oil wealth the country also has some of the poorest social development indicators in the world. Violent conflict in Nigeria has been rising since 2006, in what was already the most violent country in Africa (not at war) and hundreds of thousands have been internally displaced by that conflict. 

Violence holds back social and economic development by preventing children going to school, reducing access to health care, destroying property, reducing investment and jobs, and creating divisions within and between communities. 

To break this literal vicious circle, the NSRP operates at federal, state and local government level in eight of Nigeria’s most conflict-affected states. A wide range of activities are supported, from engagement of marginalised groups, employment generating initiatives, media mentoring, to supporting national forums for dialogue. 

The programme is delivered by a consortium headed by the British Council and including International Alert and Social Development Direct. The programme is DFID’s first international programme explicitly designed to address violent conflict. 

The NSRP is a complex programme operating in diverse and challenging environments requiring an evaluation design that is flexible enough to accommodate this. As such the current mid-term evaluation utilises mixed-methods: desk-based qualitative and quantitative analysis of secondary source data with qualitative primary data collection. 

Together, the approach provides for programme-wide learning, as well as in-depth examination of specific activities and programme elements: what is working well, for whom, and in what circumstances. 

The emerging findings from the mid-term evaluation will provide an opportunity for the NSRP to adapt its approach as well as providing learning on integrated peace-building approaches that can inform related interventions. 

Contact Alastair at Additional Research for further information on our support for international development evaluation. 

Recent in-country experience also includes East Africa (Rwanda, Malawi), as well as the policy areas of private sector development, climate change adaptation & mitigation (see