The number of poverty in the region increased by ? and over 6 million per year. If current trend continues, Africa will be the only region where a number of poor people in 2015 will be higher than in 1990. It will account for nearly ? of the poor in developing world, up from less than a fifth in 1990… (United Nations MDG report 2006). Although this United Nations account of poverty is for the entire Africa countries, Nigeria happened to be one of the countries that the UN Millennium Declaration 2000 rated as having income poverty and hunger affecting more than half of our population.
This study took its framework from inclusive leadership as the art of influencing people in terms of income and resource distribution through a subsumed democratization process. This process will not be complete without education as a tool for human capital development. The purpose of this study therefore is to assess the extent to which people oriented Transformative Leadership and Education would be used to address poverty issues as a Millennium Development Goal (MDG) one and its expressed dynamics.
An unstructured questionnaire was used to address eight identified dynamics of poverty in Nigeria which include extreme poverty and hunger; household income and standard of living; access to basic education and quality of participation; child right to education; basic health awareness and protection of ecological values. A 25 – item questionnaire titled Inclusive Leadership in Education for Poverty Alleviation Questionnaire (ILEPAQ) was used to generate non – parametric data around the around the identifiable poverty variables.
Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used with graphical illustrations of relevant data. Based on the findings of the study, projections and recommendations were made for relevant authorities, institutions, agencies and persons concerned. The research findings will help to identify critical actors and change agents for down streaming programme and innovations of government and private agencies to the grassroot for actual action based poverty alleviation. Introduction
The picture painted by the United Nations Development Report in 2002 about a compassionate society goes a long way to illustrate factors responsible for people’s inability to achieve goals for human emancipation. He posited that the global society is not a very compassionate society, though we are quite fond of describing ourselves as one world, one planet, one humanity, and one global society. The blunt reality is that we are at least two worlds, two planets, two humanities, two global societies – one embarrassingly rich and the other desperately poor, and the distance between these two worlds are widening, not narrowing.
We cannot really call it a compassionate society when the richest one – fifth of the world consumes 80 per cent of the natural resources of this planet and commands an income 78 times higher than the poorest one – fifth of the world. Also, it cannot be really called a compassionate society when there is so much wasted food on the table of the world’s rich at a time when 800 million people go hungry every night and 160 million children are severely malnourished and when billion adults grope around in the darkness of illiteracy, and when 1. billion people survive in absolute poverty on less than one dollar a day. (Mahbub ul-Haq in Mhanaz Afkhami 2002). It is certainly not a compassionate society when 134 million children in South Asia alone work for over 16 hours a day in inhuman conditions for a wage of only eight cents a day and when they lose their very childhoods to feed the greed for higher profits by their indifferent employers, several of them the most powerful multinationals of our world.
It is certainly not a compassionate society when over one half of humanity – the women of this world – are economically marginalized and politically ignored, when $11 trillion contribution to household activities is simply forgotten in national income accounts and when they command 50 per cent of the vote but are less than 15 per cent of the parliaments of the world. (Mahbu ul Haq 2002).
A global compact was reached in March 1995 in the World Social Summit in Copenhagen that the developing nations will devote 20 per cent of their existing national budgets and the donors will earmark 20 per cent of their existing aid budgets to five human priority concerns, namely, universal basic education, primary health care for all, safe drinking water for all, adequate nutrition for severely malnourished children, and family planning services for all willing couples. This was the famous 20:20 compact which requires no new resources but a shift in priorities of existing budgets.
Such a compact will remove the worst human deprivation within a decade. The increasing challenges in the area of information explosion, economic reforms, micro – economic development, ICT renovation, unemployment, moral laxity, religious bigotry, the Nigerian nation is consistently confronted with the realities of accountability through self/peer/community periodic reviews. There is also the need to generate data about her ever – growing population income levels, lifestyle and quality of life skills available to her populace.
The Federal Government is constitutionally permitted to design, review and entrench programmes on basic needs (food, shelter and amenities), health, finance, education, demographic data base/plan implementation, oil, federal character, youth, women and children. NEEDS is a laudable economic development programme. However at state and local council levels, key actors had been government (state and council) through political leaders who were not completely attuned to the strategic goals of NEEDS.
Thus NGOs, CBO and CSO were completely not in control, so the common man and woman at the grassroots or domestic sphere was inadvertently neglected. This is so replicated along the levels and tiers of government and counter socio – economic development. Through her institutions, parastatals and agencies, MDG – driven policies ought to be implemented to achieve national needs and at the same time meet global challenges. No society succeeds without a larger percentage of her citizenry who form the basic fabric called communities.
Nigeria has 774 local council areas with replicate offices to drive down national programmes. (Onyene and Ashiru 2008). The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) embody the aspiration for human betterment, expressed in a limited set of numerical and time – bound targets. They include halving income poverty and hunger; achieving universal basic education and gender equality; reducing under – 5 mortality by two – thirds and maternal mortality by three – quarters; reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS; and halving the proportion of people without access to safe water.
These targets are to be achieved by 2015, from their level in 1990. In Nigeria, the situation is disheartening as the nation is ranked as one of the 25 poorest nations on earth. This situation where about 38 million of Nigerians are extremely poor becomes pathetic and embarrassing considering the abundant supply of human and material resources that Nigerian is endowed with. Poverty continues to manifest itself in different forms depending on nature and extent of human deprivation. Adeyemi (2001) contended that poverty in Nigeria permeates all socio – economic indicators of progress.
In abid to eradicate poverty, a lot of laudable programmes such Youth Empowerment Scheme, Rural Infrastructure Development Scheme, Social and Welfare Service Scheme and Natural Resource Development and Conservation Scheme were launched. These programmes need to be backed with education and inclusive leadership in order to sustain poverty eradication. Promoting respect for democracy, the rule of law, diversity and solidarity can contribute to the elimination of institutionalized inequalities and is therefore critical to successful social integration.
Countries that provide opportunities for all people to voice their grievances peacefully and allow them to participate in the political process and influence policy formulation, implementation and monitoring are less likely to experience internal conflict. Some contend that the true meaning of democracy is the ability of a person to stand in the middle of a town square and express his or her opinions without fear of punishment or reprisal. This takes democracy beyond the institutional definition to include tolerance and acceptance at individual and group level.
It also underscores that democracy cannot be imposed by an outside source. Where democratic institutions are not permitted to flourish, and where there are no outlets for peaceful dissent, specific groups become marginalized, social disintegration is rife, and there is a greater chance for political upheaval. Democratic, transparent and accountable governance is indispensable in achieving social development. There are now more democratic countries and a greater degree of political participation than ever before.
The 1980s witnessed what has been called the “third wave” of democratization. In 1980, 54 countries with a total of 46 per cent of the global population had some or all of the elements of representative democracy. By 2000, these figures had risen to 68 per cent of the world’s population in 121 countries. However, there is some skepticism about the consolidation of newly planted roots of democracy in some regions; the momentum gained during the 199os appears to be slowing and in some places may be receding (United Nations Development Programme, 2002).
Democratic political participation consists of more than voting in elections. The idea of “one person one vote” is often undermined by unequal access to resources and political power. Thus, there is a danger of decreased motivation to participate, demonstrated by low voter turnouts, unequal capacities to influence policy outcomes. Formal political equality does not necessarily create increased capacities to participate in political processes or influence their outcomes, and the transition to democracy does not in itself guarantee the protection or promotion of human rights.
Civil, cultural, social economic and political rights as well as inclusive leadership are essential for maintaining a democratic society. These human rights are mutually reinforcing and must include freedom of association, assembly, expression and participation for all citizens, including women, minorities, indigenous peoples and other disadvantaged groups. Respecting and upholding human rights is crucial not only for the wellbeing of individuals, but also for the active engagement of citizens and the wellbeing of society.
If democracy is to flourish, it is not enough to enshrine these freedoms in legislation; they must be backed up and protected by policies, political will and inclusive leadership to ensure that all people have the opportunity to participate actively in the processes that affect their everyday lives. Inclusive Leadership Inclusive leaders are invested in building alliances across cultures, and they use their "toolkits"--the behaviors, customs, and values associated with the multiple identities including class, race, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, geography, etc. --to do so.
Inclusive leaders who understand their own areas of privilege and marginalization are best able to ensure that others from different backgrounds are treated equitably. Their awareness of self and others can foster work environments that provide opportunities for diverse interpretations and opinions to receive visibility. Inclusive leadership is particularly important in relationships between faculty members, both within and across disciplines. The first step toward becoming an inclusive leader is developing awareness of these biases, understanding their origin, and learning to correct them.
Inclusive leaders are aware of, and take steps to minimize, their own and other's biases when making decisions related to faculty recruitment, particularly when that recruitment has potential to diversify the faculty. Inclusive leaders can use the same skills to enhance departmental policies and faculty development opportunities that benefit all faculty members. By fostering visible alliances across the broader faculty, these leaders may also assist faculty recruitment by demonstrating evidence of an institutional commitment to creating an inclusive environment.
Multicultural Work in the Classroom. Inclusive leadership has particular significance in the classroom, where the seeds for inclusiveness as well as recruitment and retention of future scientists are planted. By demonstrating inclusive leadership to undergraduate students who are just entering the educational pipeline, faculty can enhance the learning experience for all students and stimulate those who have been historically underrepresented in the disciplines to consider advancing in the sciences.
Instructors can exercise inclusive leadership in the classroom by intentionally including multiculturalism in the curriculum. The curriculum should include evidence of how people from a range of cultures have contributed to scientific fields (such as how indigenous African cultures applied mathematics, a history of discovery often ignored or attributed to others). This practice benefits students with race and gender privilege, who will have more comprehensive educational experiences when their coursework includes these examples.
It is also beneficial to marginalized students in the same classroom, who see that their culture matters and that faculty recognize its importance. Statement of the Problem Participation is central to the development process and is essential for sustainability. Although often overlooked in the past, marginalization has emerged as a critical element in the re–evaluation of poverty reduction strategies. Nonetheless, many policy prescriptions are still designed without adequate analysis of how they might affect the poor.
The most vulnerable groups in society, including the poor, remain outside the sphere of political activity and influence, excluded from the formulation, implementation and monitoring of the very policies developed to address their plight. As a result, poverty reduction programmes may suffer from an urban bias, despite the fact that three quarters of the world’s poor live in rural areas (International Fund for Agricultural Development, 2004). In some countries, stakeholders have successfully advocated for an increase in the share of public resources allocated to social development.
However, even in countries in which poverty programmes have been developed through widespread consultations, the priorities identified are not necessarily linked to budget mechanisms, and the final programmes may fail to target the poorest. The present situation requires inclusive leadership in education if the MDG one is to be achieved. There is need to know the extent to which political participation can be used as a means of achieving social empowerment.
Thus, the analysis of trends in transformative leadership in poverty eradication and hunger reduction would provide a basis for making conscious effort to reach the grassroot. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study is to assess the extent to which people oriented Transformative Leadership and Education would be used to address poverty issues as a Millennium Development Goal (MDG) one and its expressed dynamics. Research Questions 1. Would inclusive leadership as offered by education programme facilitate poverty reduction through improved standard of living? 2.
To what extent would inclusive leadership ensure access to basic education? 3. Would inclusive leadership enhance quality participation in governance starting with family, school structure and controls? 4. Would inclusive leadership help in the propagation of child right? 5. Would inclusive leadership enhance health awareness among the citizens? 6. Would inclusive leadership help in the protection of ecological values? Methodology The study employed a descriptive survey research design. The population of the study consisted of youths of Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State.
The sample was made up of 120 youths. Inclusive Leadership in Education for Poverty Alleviation Questionnaire (ILEPAQ) was designed to collect data. Information was also obtained through interview. All the 120 questionnaires administered were returned, thus representing a 100% response rate. The data collected were analyzed using were analyzed using simple percentages. Research Question One: Would inclusive leadership as offered by education programme facilitate poverty reduction through improved standard of living Table 1: Inclusive leadership as offered by education programme and poverty S/N Sub-variables tested Agreed Disagreed Undecided | |Inclusive leadership enhance 73 35 12 | |the Provision of information (60. 8%) (29. 2%) (10%) | |by people in Areas of self | |sustainability. |People’s involvement in 54 60 6 | |leadership creates (45%) (50%) (5%) | |employment opportunities | |for the people | |Inclusive leadership 86 31 3 |Encourages entrepreneurship (71. 7%) (25. 8%) (2. 5%) | |Among youths | |Inclusive leadership 92 22 6 | |in education promotes (76. 7%) (18. %) (5%) | |acquisition of basic | |Survival skills. | From the above table it was observed that 73 (60. 8%) of the responds agreed that inclusive leadership enhance the provision of information by people in areas of self sustainability, 35 (29. 2%) disagreed and only 12(10%) were neutral. 4 (45%) of the respondents believed that people’s involvement in leadership creates employment opportunities for the people, 60 (50%) disagreed and 6 (5%) have no stand pertaining to the issue. 86 (71. 7%) of the respondents were of the opinion that inclusive leadership encourages entrepreneurship among youths, 31 (25. 8%) were not in tune with this opinion, while 3 (2. 5%) were positionless. 92 (76. 7%) agreed that inclusive leadership in education promotes acquisition of basic survival skills, 22 (18. %) and 6 (5%) were neutral. Research Question Two: To what extent would inclusive leadership ensure access to basic education? Table 2: Utilizing inclusive leadership to ensure access to basic education. |S/N Sub-variables tested Agreed Disagreed Undecided | |1. Inclusive leadership 30 83 7 | |encourages enrollment (25%) (69. 2%) (9. %) | |expansion in schools. | |The more the number of people | |included in leadership roles the | |better the opportunities of 101 19 0 | |indentifying education of the (84. %) (15. 8%) (0%) | |people. | |Government provides more | |school only when they are 24 94 2 | |aware of the need for it and (20%) (78. 3%) (1. 7%) | |the areas affected. |Inclusive leadership enables | |the members of the community 39 79 2 | |to contribute to school plant (32. 5%) (65. 8%) (1. 7%) | |planning so that the schools | |are not sited in areas it will | |not be well utilized. | | | | The above table shows that 30 (25%) were in tune with the fact that inclusive leadership encourages enrollment expansion in schools in response to the yearnings of the people, 83 (69. 2%) disagreed and 7 (9. 8%) had no position. 101 (84. 2%) were in conformity with the position that the more the number of people included in leadership roles the better the opportunities of identifying education needs of the people, and 19 (15. %) were not in agreement with fact. 24 (20%) of the respondents were of the opinion that government provides more school only when they are aware of the need for it and the areas affected, 94 (78. 3%) disagreed, while 2 (1. 7%) neither agreed nor disagreed. 39 (32. 5%) supported the fact that inclusive leadership enables the members of the community to contribute to school plant planning so that the schools are not sited in areas it will not be well utilized.
Research Question Three: Would inclusive leadership enhance quality participation in governance starting with family leadership, school structure and controls? Table 3: Inclusive leadership and participation in governance. |S/N Sub-variables tested Agreed Disagreed Undecided | |Involvement of masses in 54 63 3 | |governance affords them the (45%) (52. %) (2. 5%) | |Opportunity to address areas | |leaders can be of help | |When people are included 99 20 1 | |in decision making their (82. %) (16. 7%) (0. 8%) | |contributions enables the | |leaders to know their problem | |areas | |Leaders can empower the 75 41 4 | |masses to execute projects (62. 5%) (34. 2%) (3. %) | |initiated by them because | |they are more able to | |understand how to solve | |problems | |Involvement of the citizens 14 105 1 | |in governance enables (11. 7%) (87. 5%) (0. %) | |leaders to cover more | |grounds on their electoral | |promises | |Projects on social infrastructure 31 88 1 | |cannot be abandoned if there (25. 9%) (73. 3%) (0. 8%) | |more people involved in | |governance | | | The above table reveals that 54 (45%) of the respondents agreed that involvement of masses in governance affords them the opportunity to address areas leaders cannot be of help, 63 (52. 5%) disagreed, while 3 (2. %) of them did not take any stand. 99 (82. 5%) agreed that when people are included in decision making their contributions enables the leaders to know their problem areas, 20 (16. 7%) disagreed and 1 (0. 8%) were indecisive. 75 (62. 5%) supported the fact that leaders can empower the masses to execute projects initiated by them because they are more able to understand how to solve problems, 41 (34. 2%) disagreed and 4 (3. 3%) did not decide. 14 (11. 7%) agreed that involvement of citizens in governance enables leaders to cover more grounds on their electoral promises, a whooping 105 (87. 5%) disagreed and only 1 (0. 8%) were of no opinion. 31 (25. %) agreed that projects on social infrastructure cannot be abandoned if there are more people involved in governance, 88 (73. 3%) disagreed and only 1(0. 8%) neither agreed nor disagreed. Research Question four: Would inclusive leadership help in the propagation of child right? Table 4: inclusive leadership and propagation of child right. |S/N Sub-variables Agreed Disagreed Undecided | |Government will initiate 68 48 14 | |children immunization (58. 7%) (40. 0%) (3. %) | |if they are well informed | |by the people | |Strong partnership and 67 38 15 | |committed leadership (55. 8%) (31. 7%) (12. 5%) | |are needed to ensure | |children’s right. | |Promoting respect for 52 62 6 | |democracy can enhance (43. 3%) (51. 7%) (5. 0%) | |the right of children to | |be educated. | | |Birth right vouchers 64 47 9 | |should be given every (53. 3%) (39. 2%) (7. 5%) | |new born child that | |guarantees their education. | The table presents that 68(58. 7%) of the respondents agreed that government will initiate children immunization if they are well informed by the people, 48 (40. 0%) disagreed and 14 (3. 3%) Research Question Five: Would inclusive leadership enhance health awareness among the citizens?
Table 5: Inclusive leadership and health awareness programmes for poverty reduction. |S/N Sub-variables tested Agreed Disagreed Undecided | |(D) (U) | | | |The leaders do not have monopoly 57 61 2 | |of information on health. (47. 5%) (50. 8%) (1. %) | | | |Inclusive leadership in education 98 22 - | |will entrench proper health (81. 7%) (18. 3%) (0%) | |programmes and facilitates their | |implementation. | | | |Inclusive leadership education 49 69 2 | |ensures that all the people have (40. 8%) (57. 5%) (1. %) | |access to basic health amenities. | | | |Involvement of masses in governance 77 35 8 | |affords the people to contribute their (64. 2%) (29. 2%) (8. 6%) | |ideas on health matters. | | | From the above table it was observed 57 (47. %) of the respondents agreed that the leaders do not have monopoly of information on health, 61 (50. 8%) disagreed and 2 (1. 7%) took no stand. 98 (81. 7%) agreed that inclusive leadership in education will entrench proper health programmes and facilitates their implementation, while 22 (18. 3%) disagreed. 49 (40. 8%) were in tune with the fact inclusive leadership in education ensures that all the people have access to basic health amenities, 69 (57. 5%) disagreed and 2 (1. 7%) were indifferent. 77 (64. 2%) supports the position that involvement of masses in governance affords the people to contribute their ideas on health matters, 35 (29. 2%) disagreed and 8 (8. 8%) had no decision on this matter. |S/N Sub-variables tested Agreed Disagreed Undecided | |(A) (D) (U) | |1. Masses can be destructive if they 58 53 9 | |don’t have the understanding of (48. 3%) (44. 2%) (7. 5%) | |government plans. | |2.
There is high level of cooperation 46 71 3 | |with government while executing (38. 3%) (59. 2%) (2. 5%) | |project provided the people are well | |informed. | |3. People protects public properties if 55 64 1 | |they are given sense of belonging at (45. 8%) (53. 3%) (0. 8%) | |the planning stage. | |4.
People will voluntarily protect ecological 84 35 1 | |Value if they are given proper orientation (70%) (29. 2%) (0. 8%) | | | Research Question Six: Would inclusive leadership help in the protection of ecological values? Table 6: Inclusive leadership and protection of ecological values Discussion The study shows that inclusive leadership as offered by education programmes facilitate poverty reduction.
From table one; the four items are scored high showing that people involvement in leadership would not only promote the acquisition of basic survival skills (76. 7%), it will also create employment opportunities and make people self sustainable. It is therefore necessary that education programmes should include inclusive leadership as a tool – kit for re-orientating the people. These findings can contribute to the important role of inclusive leadership as a dynamic process. Kotter 2001 has argued that because of the important attached to inclusive leadership government should enhance the provision of basic amenities, embark on proper information dissemination and enhancement of basic survival skills.
Conclusion The findings of the study also revealed that the youths under study prefer to be given the opportunity to participate in governance and that the absence of sense of belonging will often jeopardize the implementation of most of the programmes embarked on by the government. The level of conformity to participation is seen in their willingness to contribute to decision making. References Adeyemi, A. B (2001). Relevance of Technology To Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria. In T. A. G. Oladimeji, O. T. Ibenene, O. M. Adesope, and M. A. Ogunyemi (Eds) Technology education and Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria (pp. 105 - 107). Lagos: Fembis International.
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