Early Warning / Early Response Mechanisms in Northern Nigeria: Final Evaluation Report (2019 October)


1. Executive Summary

This report presents the summative findings of the quasi-experimental evaluation of SFCG’s project to strengthen mechanisms for Early Warning and Early Response in the Nigerian states of Adamawa and Borno.
The project encompassed a number of SFCG initiatives to convene and train community leaders to engage in dialogue processes at the local and state levels (Community Security Architecture Dialogues (CSADs) and Peace Architecture Dialogues (PADs), respectively) in order to promote increased collaboration among community members, civil society organizations and government agencies and improved capacity of and greater confidence in governmental and nongovernmental security structures in insecure areas. The aspiration of the project was to allow these communities to benefit from early warning of and early response to potential violence in order to effectively mitigate these threats. The goal and objectives of the project are as follow.


Expanded and strengthened early warning and early response processes that enhance community and state actors’ ability to protect citizens in Borno and Adamawa States.


1: A reinforced and expanded community-based early warning and early response system;

2: Strengthened engagement between state and local actors to secure communities; and

3: Strengthened capacity of partners to support and monitor early warning systems.

The express interest of SFCG project leadership was for the evaluation to primarily consider SFCG’s contribution to the realization of the stated goal and objectives of the project, specifically (i) to identify the contribution of the project to these outcomes and (ii) to explain the causal pathways through which this contribution was realized. Additionally, the discussions with SFCG project leadership clarified SFCG’s strong interest in identifying to the extent possible the project’s contribution to the “ultimate outcome,” or “impact” – a decrease in victimization of populations by community-level violence, particularly from insurgents.

In fact, a priority of this evaluation that sets it apart from many other project evaluations is that SFCG had aspirations for the evaluation itself to serve a role in helping to advance the broader field of peacebuilding by serving as a model of more rigorous evaluation, employing mixed methods to better assess the impact of these types of interventions. To this end, the evaluation incorporated a carefully constructed research design that could offer a quasi-experimental comparison of communities exposed to the project and others not exposed to the project. As such, the final research design should be looked to as a valuable effort by SFCG to contribute meaningfully to the advancement of the field of peacebuilding as a whole, which can certainly be improved upon but which also offers an important model for the field to build upon.

To this end, the evaluation is thus informed by primary data collected in two periods – October 2017 and July/October 2019. Each period consisted of (1) a population-based survey of more than 800 persons in Adamawa and Borno states (more than 400 from each state in each survey) and (2) key informant interviews with more than a dozen stakeholders of the project, including participants in the project’s activities and other persons familiar with the project or insurgency-related violence in the communities of focus of SFCG’s work. The collection of this data in these two periods was done in such a way, discussed in this report, that allows for quasi-experimental inferences to be made of the project’s influence on community security, with a particular focus on insurgency-related violence, which was the primary focus of the project at its inception.

Overall, the project can be judged to have been moderately to strongly effective in realizing its Goal and Objectives. This achievement is summarized in the table below, which identifies the variation in the level of achievement among the objectives, reflecting the project’s particularly strong realization of the outcome of improving community and state actors’ ability to protect citizens from violence.