On October 11, 2017, the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) and the Market Development Project in the Niger Delta (MADE) teamed up with the Nigerian Economic Summit’s Sustainability Policy Commission to sponsor a breakout session at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja themed “Low Carbon Investment Opportunities for Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) in Niger Delta Communities”.
Our Capacity Building for Local Empowerment (CAPABLE) project seeks to enhance the institutional and technical capacity of development organisations and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the Niger Delta to achieve their goals and objectives
As Nigerian local development organisations including civil society organisations, business membership associations, community-based organisations and some development oriented government agencies strive to make contributions to development in various spheres, the challenge of low or lack of institutional and programmatic capacity keeps limiting their ability to achieve development goals and objectives.
Assessments of PIND’s stakeholder consultations in early 2011 showed capacity building of Niger Delta-based organisations was a primary concern for stakeholders throughout the region. The capacity needs ranged from effective organisational and program management and development to communication and information management, financial management and reporting, strategic planning, organisational governance, operational systems, and controls as well as sector specific capacities.
PIND initiated the Capacity Building for Local Empowerment (CAPABLE) pilot project to address this deficiency of institutional, program and sector specific capacities and to attract interests of organisations and individuals to economic opportunities in development support training services in the Niger Delta region.
Through CAPABLE, we are helping to open up a strong, sustainable market for capacity building services for local organisations in the Niger Delta
Pilot phase of the CAPABLE Project ran from 2012 – 2015 with the following main objectives:
CSOs Institutional and Technical Strengthening
During the pilot CAPABLE project, PIND’s partnership with Crown Agents Foundation developed and delivered three interactive training modules to 57 individuals from 30 Niger Delta Civil Society Organizations. The interactive modules cut across thematic areas and demographic differences as they focused on the critical areas of management, budgetary oversight, financial management, information, and communication technology. 40 additional participants representing 20 different organisations were also trained
Youth Leadership and Entrepreneurial Capacity Building
We partnered with the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD) in the CAPABLE YOUTH project to train a total of 80 youth from the nine states of the Niger Delta in two batches over a two-year period on Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Computers and Communications, Peace Building and Project Management. These training sessions were followed with a six-month mentorship program in which the youths were attached to mentors within the region.
Organizational Capacity Assessment Service Providers
CAPABLE worked with our USAID co-funded project, MARKETS II to train 13 participants on development and use of Organizational Capacity Assessment (OCA) tools.
Business Membership Organisations’ Strengthening
Using the OCA service providers trained, CAPABLE provided continuous association strengthening support to PIND’s value chain Business Membership Organizations (BMOs) and other target local organisations working with us.
Our pilot CAPABLE trained CSOs have recorded tangible and unfolding results. They have leveraged resources to support development activities in communities.
“Before CAPABLE, we were having problems with funding, our proposal writing skill was poor. We are now able to write proposals that are focused with sections such as risk assessment, stakeholders’ analysis, and logical framework as we were thought in CAPABLE class. We have received three grants of about N15 million. With these funds, we are implementing projects in 16 rural communities and 12 community schools, reaching women and youth. We have created jobs for 10 young people engaged in the field. All these would not have been possible if we have not attended CAPABLE training”.
This was a success story from Ideal Women Advancement Initiative, a CAPABLE beneficiary organisation. There are several stories told by beneficiaries of improved ability to submit winning proposals that have helped to increase their activities in the communities. More importantly perhaps is that participating organisations have shifted from the traditional grantor/grantee relationship and now see themselves as partners in their own success and organisational development, some expending their own funds to implement CAPABLE acquired policies and strategies.
“The Centre LSD/PIND mentorship program has given me a great opportunity for a good and sustainable source of livelihood, working on my own and not depending on anyone for money. Through the help of my mentor, I now have my own pond in the UUFFA. She helped me to get the fingerlings to stock the pond and gives me advice on the daily management of my ponds to get the best results. I am now a proud owner of a fish farm in the UUFFA and I am hoping to get more funds to expand the business and make more profit. I am very happy to be a business owner and an entrepreneur”.
This exciting story is from Akamune Ogheneogbukome, a CAPABLE YOUTH beneficiary. Of the 80 youth trained so far in the program, at least 30 are engaging in social work in their communities and 61 are currently earning incomes through entrepreneurship. Without prompting, each batch of trained graduates formed a non-profit organisation to contribute to social development and awareness at the local level. Most gratifying is the significant changes in the disposition of the trainees as we hear them testify to a change in their attitude and a renewed sense of purpose.
“There are changing perceptions of what fish farming is. The community does recognize us. We are strong in this community. We are no longer side-tracked as those backyard farmers any longer. PIND has wheeled us into mainstream and we know that in no distant years, we as farmers will have a stronger say than before’’
This story of confidence is from the leadership of the United Ufuoma Fish Farming Association (UUFFA) whose strengthened ability is helping them to serve their members’ interests better. Some enabled local organisations have also become co-facilitators for PIND projects and activities and a survey conducted by PIND in January 2015 showed that about 80 percent of the OCA service providers have used the skills to carry out OCA for over 80 organisations
Overall, a participatory evaluation of our CAPABLE pilot project December 2015 summed up its achievements thus:
Download the CAPABLE Factsheet belowCapacity Building for Local Empowerment CAPABLE Factsheet.pdf (50 downloads)
Given the outcomes and impacts of the pilot CAPABLE project, we rolled out a follow-on CAPABLE Phase 2 in 2015 to continue to:
CAPABLE 2 builds on lessons learned and feedback from participants and other potential donor partners and takes a more holistic approach to capacity building. It focuses mainly on CSOs and BMOs to maximize use of resources and results.
What we learnt from a participatory evaluation of the pilot CAPABLE training for CSOs:
In responding to the lessons learnt from pilot phase, we partnered with the Agricultural, Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI) and the West African Development (WAD) Limited to design CAPABLE 2 to include:
CAPABLE 2 has produced 25 market development facilitators and implementers from organisations across the nine states of the Niger Delta who are already adopting the approach in their work.
“After participating in the Making Markets work for the Poor (M4P) training, we have discovered that we should not be the ‘burden bearer’. All we need do is to facilitate the process of connecting them with resources – technical, material and financial resources available in their communities, local government, financial institutions, private outfits, development agencies, the State’’
This story is from Franklin Oloniju, the Executive Director of Life and Peace Development Organization (LADPO) who participated in the M4P training organized by PIND, MADE and PROMPCOM through CAPABLE in October 2015.
Every year, we produce an annual report that reflects on the work we have done, the partnerships we have forged, the impact that has been made on this journey to improve incomes and build peace in the Niger Delta. The theme for this year’s is “Broadening Our Reach for Bigger Impact”. You can read the…