The CAPABLE Project was born out of the desire to improve the capacity of organizations, communities, and target members – particularly women and youth – in the Niger Delta. As the Capacity Building Manager for PIND, my team and I were given the task of starting and running the project. The first step we took was to conduct focus group discussions and key informant interviews across the nine Niger delta States to understand the strengths, weaknesses, constraints, and opportunities of these target groups. Our findings showed that most of the organizations required capacity in the management of organization, program, and financial resources as lack of capacity had affected their ability to generate resources and lasting relationships required to achieve their development objectives.
The second step was to find a partner as one of the major pillars of PIND is to build partnerships. Crown Agents, an organization with global reputation for training became our partner. With Crown Agents on board, we were able to develop three modular training in Understanding Grants Making and Proposal Writing; Computer and Communications in a Business Environment and Financial Management and Reporting.
Based on feedback after running the three modules, we included additional three modules in Monitoring and Evaluation, Advanced ICT and Social/New Media, Resource mobilization and Fund Raising. We have further introduced other specialized courses. We also now provide post-training coaching and mentoring support as well as give seed grants to allow organizations to ‘learn by doing’; we call the grants ‘Challenge Fund’. The CAPABLE project is not all about just training. The ultimate aim is for these organizations to reach out to attract and leverage resources – human, financial, material – for achieving their objectives of bringing about development in communities of Niger Delta – this is the real reason for the CAPABLE training.
A typical CAPABLE training week starts with series of pre-training activities and then the actual delivery of the training and after that, post-training activities. The training sessions are facilitated by very experienced trainers and coordinators. We always engage two trainers to take advantage of complementary skills and rich, diverse experience. The class is rich and very engaging with theory and practical sessions, class assignments as well as take-home assignments. The class is for 20 participants although there are times when we have to admit a few more due to pressure. Participants are 20 to ensure we properly manage the class and give good attention to all. We have daily evaluations of the training to help address issues in subsequent days. We advise each organization to send two participants to help organizations develop complementary skills and maintain skills in case of staff turnover. There are rules to keep the class orderly and help maintain quality; one of such rules is punctuality. A regular latecomer stands the risk of being asked to discontinue class or to retake the class. Attendance has always been very encouraging, 95/100 percent.
We follow-up after training; we provide support to help address gaps after training. We regularly receive reports of achievements, success stories from CAPABLE organizations and challenges also. With CAPABLE training, we have helped over sixty organizations in the Niger Delta to improve their proposal writing skills, run their organizations efficiently and put in place systems and processes that have strengthened their financial and operational accountability. They have developed sound monitoring and evaluation systems and are using social media to engage in advocacy, partnership building and resource mobilization. They have built and maintained vertical and horizontal relationships with donors, development partners and stakeholders and also with other CAPABLE organizations.
PIND is very happy that with CAPABLE project support, organizations are attracting more project resources, collaborating and increasing their influence and resources in the region and increasing interventions in Niger Delta communities.
Bosede Eitokpah joined PIND in 2010 and is the Capacity Building Program Manager for PIND