PIND’s Local Capacity Building Project (LCBP) aims to build the capacity of individuals within government, civil society, and communities. PIND believes environments conducive to economic growth are those with strong mechanisms for service delivery, planning, transparency, accountability and public-private dialogue.
In March 2011, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) announced that it had set aside a N1.35 billion fund to support infrastructural development projects across the 185 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the Niger Delta. Also in 2011, PIND and Accord for Development, a non-profit organization (NGO) based in Port Harcourt, reached an agreement to establish the Local Capacity Building Program (LCBP) to support this initiative.
The objectives of the LCBP project are to:
- Facilitate the process of generating project ideas from sound analysis for the NDDC funding through participatory planning and project appraisal techniques. Doing so will ensure that the projects selected by local Government officials will be the most likely to promote inclusive economic growth within their communities
- Build the capacity of local Government officials and government agencies to use public resources for boosting access of the poor to market infrastructure and income generating services
- Improve the ability of members of traditional institutions and community-based organizations, particularly women and youth, to better engage with their elected officials
- Promote a more peaceful environment for socio-economic development within the Niger Delta
Providing a Platform for Dialogue
As part of the Local Capacity Building Program (LCBP), PIND and Accord for Development organized interactive forums with local Government officials and community representatives from target LGAs such as Akuku Toru LGA in Rivers state and Oguta LGA in Imo state. The forums provided a platform for participatory and inclusive decision making. Participating Government officials were trained to plan and appraise potential NDDC funded infrastructure projects that were feasible, viable and add value to income-generating community infrastructure projects. Through the training, PIND helped the LGA officials responsible for project selection gain a better understanding of which projects would be sustainable and provide benefits to the most number of poor people.
Establishing Project Management Committees
Under the LCBP, community-based Project Management Committees (PMCs) were also established in Imo and Rivers states. The PMCs are comprised of both community representatives and officials of the respective Local Government Councils (LGCs). These PMCs will help to facilitate and ensure the effective implementation and sustainability of the community development projects that NDDC’s funding will be used for.
Though the LCBP project ended in September 2012, the PMCs will continue to play vital roles in enhancing constructive engagement and responsive interaction between community members and members of the LGCs.