• Saturday, May 18, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

UNICEF partners UNN, unveils Institute of Social Policy Studies

UNICEF partners UNN, unveils Institute of Social Policy Studies

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), has established a new Institute of Social Policy Studies at the Nsukka campus of the institution.

Speaking with journalists after the unveiling of the new institute, the Officer-In-Charge of UNICEF Enugu Field Office, Olusoji Akinleye, said that the partnership with UNN that led to the development came as a result of long collaboration that UNICEF had with the University through conferences and workshops.

“UNICEF uses academics in overseeing most of its programmes, that is how this partnership started first of all, with conferences, workshops, along the line training of government officials, before this one,” he said.

According to Akinleye, “It started in 2018 and basically geared towards having programmes to promote the study of social policy, few universities were invited it was the University of Nigeria that has shown interest as part of that collaboration, the PGD started, after that the MSc, in social policy, last year the PhD also started to put all these together UNN management in their wisdom decided a full Department of Social Policy and it has been launched.”

He said that UNICEF’s involvement in the establishment of the institute was to build capacity, giving logistics support, brainstorming, conceptualisation, approaching the NUC and financial support.

He added that UNICEF would continue to support the institute in actualizing it’s dream in whatever way it can.

Also, in his speech, the director of the new institute, Okey Ikeanyibe, said that many people were thinking that social policies are all comers’ affair, saying that such notion led to the failure of many social policy programmes of various administrations due to lack of expertise by people handling it.

Ikeanyibe, a professor of Administration and Policy at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), said: “Everybody thought it to be an all comers’ affair but there is expertise and that is why you see many government social policies fail.

“For example, a lot of poverty alleviation policies in the country are being implemented by politicians which is not supposed to be so; there is eligibility and processes of doing all these things,” he said.

He said that UNN was collaborating with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to make the institute stand the test of time.

“In 2018, the issue of social policy came up and many universities in the country were invited and later it was discovered that only UNN that was doing Social Policy at the undergraduate level.

“When this was discovered, other universities were invited and at the end it was only the University of Nigeria that picked it up to develop programmes with UNICEF, first for Post Graduate Diploma, Master, Professional master in Social Policy and master programme on Social Policy.”

Ikeanyibe said that the Social Policy Studies took off in the Department of Local Government and Administration of the University.

“However, due to distractions and all that we saw that the programme was not receiving the attention it required, the University then resolved to establish an institute to have a focused attention for the Social Policy Studies,” he said.