Presidency launches VFM project, pledges delivery of nutritious meals to school children

The presidency has launched the value for money (VFM) project aimed at achieving the objective of delivering  nutritious meals to primary school children across the country.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on School Feeding, Dr Yetunde Adeniji who made this known in a statement, explaining that the project will assess the impact  recorded so far on the National Home-Grown School Feeding Program in Nigeria.

Adeniji disclosed that the study is being conducted in Partnership with Imperial College London, United Kingdom, Harvard University, United States of America and the Partnership for Childs Development. 

Stating that the VFM will help determine the effectiveness and efficiency of the program in delivering nutritious meals to school children across the country, she explained that the study would be carried out in selected states in the country, adding the parameters for each state selection would be done in line with global best practices.

She said the objective of the study which would be forensically analysed by local and foreign experts led by the renowned Professor Lesley Drake to include ; the effectiveness and impact o of school feeding programs towards improving student attendance and academic performance, cost-effectiveness analysis of school feeding program in Nigeria thus far, comparing the benefits of investing in school feeding versus other education interventions.

It also entails the evaluation of the nutritional impact of school feeding program on Nigerian students’ health and well-being, assessment of the sustainability of school feeding program in Nigeria, including the long-term impact on students’ educational outcomes and nutritional status and exploration of innovative funding mechanisms for school feeding program in Nigeria, such as public-private partnerships or social impact bonds.

Furthermore, the research would focus on the potential for scaling up school feeding programs to reach more Nigerian students in need, while maintaining quality and value for money, research on the role of school feeding programs in addressing broader development goals, such as poverty reduction, gender equality, and social inclusion, analysis of the policy environment for school feeding programs, including the role of government regulations and support for implementing and monitoring program effectiveness, examination of the impact of external factors, such as climate change or political instability, on the effectiveness and value for money of school feeding programs and engagement with local communities and stakeholders to ensure that school feeding programs are responsive to their needs and preferences and are culturally appropriate and sustainable in the long term, Amongst others.

Adeniji added that the collaboration is coming at the right time, as the Federal Government of Nigeria is restructuring School Feeding program in Nigeria, noting that the VFM study will be vital in enhancing the impact and sustainability of the school feeding program through recommendations from economic, agricultural, social welfare and academic professionals.

“She however expressed enthusiasm about the number of youth population in Nigeria who would be engaged as enumerators during the study,who would  receive adequate training as well as financial benefits through receipt of weekly allowance for the period of the study.”