N’Delta Gets Framework for Inclusive Growth as PIND, USAID Wind down Programme

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Ugo Aliogo

Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) Thursday celebrated its five-year collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) which gave rise to a framework for reform that promotes inclusive economic growth in the Niger Delta.

At a well attended winding down programme in Abuja, the Chief of Party of Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement (SACE), Charles Abani, said the intervention has achieved its objective of increasing engagement and efficiency of civil society organisations (CSOs), towards ensuring that public institutions serve the interests of citizens.

Abani said, “The programme which has taken roots in the nine states that make up the Niger Delta also engages marginalised people such as women, youth and people with disabilities and supports good leadership and innovation”.

Also speaking at the event, SACE’s Deputy Chief of Party, Lydia Odeh said SACE had achieved its specific objective to strengthening civil society capacity to demand for reforms that promote inclusive economic development in the region. According to her, SACE had been able to discover and work with an alternative model of collaboration that aligns the diverse efforts of many actors towards the same social change goals.

“Building on this learning, the SACE Project understands that transformational change requires that we incorporate the fundamental principles of effective voice and accountability programmes, generate suffi-cient public awareness and engagement, and promote effective transfer of knowledge in order to align the actions of many different actors to have an impact that goes beyond what one organisation can accomplish,” she said.

Lydia explained that a quality that stands SACE out is that it adopts an ecosystem approach by influencing clusters of partner organisations to create collective impact. “We have a unique method known as STAR, System for Transformation and Results, which enhances the organisational performance of CSOs”, she explained.

PIND Executive Director, Dr. Dara Akala, while giving his remark, commended the project team for a job well done and urged all actors in the room to continue using their resources in pushing for responsive governance, inclusive and equitable economic growth “not only in Niger Delta region, but in Nigeria as a whole.

“At PIND Foundation, our overarching strategy is predicated on partnership,” he noted, adding that UK agency values partnerships that enable institutions and organizations to combine resources, capabilities and technical expertise to bring about systemic change.

He said: “Looking back to that day more than four years ago when SACE was launched, and taking stock of how far we have gone in implementing the SACE project and addressing the major objectives, we can say unequivocally that the goal and objectives of the project have been achieved and we would want more development partners to come and work with us in the region.”

The PIND Executive Director expressed appreciation to Chemonics International and Root Change for their exemplary commitment to the SACE project implementation.

SACE, which has been in operation since January 2014, is implemented by Chemonics International and has received support from both the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND).

Through the project, PIND has been able to support the works of a number of CSOs and Business Membership Organisations in the Niger Delta, including Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR), Leadership Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment (LITE-Africa), Youth Alive Foundation (YAF), among others.