In partnership with our sister organization in Nigeria, the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND), NDPI achieved a number of milestones during the first quarter of this year in the program areas of Peace Building, Economic Development, Analysis and Advocacy and Capacity Building.

Highlights

  • Georgetown University Partnership Announced
  • Peace Building in the Lead Up to National Elections
  • Training To Boost Cassava Production
  • Women Leading Efforts on Conflict Reduction


Programs

Peace Building

The Lead Up to the Elections
NDPI worked closely with its partners in the lead up to the Nigeria state and national elections to engage stakeholders in election violence prevention through roundtables and workshops held in the Niger Delta, Abuja, Nigeria and Washington, DC.

In January, NDPI’s Partners For Peace (P4P) Network in the Niger Delta sponsored a forum in Port Harcourt, Rivers State examining stakeholder’s responsibilities throughout the 2015 election process. More than 100 individuals participated, representing a variety of sectors and demographic groups —business, security, religious, youth, healthcare, government and others. Stakeholders discussed mitigation strategies for how to avoid a repeat of the violence that took place during Nigeria’s 2011 elections.

“For the first time we were able to gather virtually every community stakeholder into one room to discuss their shared concerns about security during elections,” said Michael Gonzalez, Team Leader, P4P. “The result was a communiqué that was widely distributed to the public and news media that provided very specific steps the public and government officials could take to stem potential violence during the 2015 elections. As a result of one of those steps outlined, Radio Nigeria and the National Television Authority decided to hold a forum on media responsibilities during the elections. It promoted more balanced and unbiased coverage of events by the news media which many believe was a major contributing factor towards diminished incidents of violence.”

Developing Technology to Promote Peace
Technology is key for conflict early warning, assessment, and response. In the lead up to the 2015 elections, NDPI and the Fund for Peace upgraded the P4P Peace Map platform for the mobilization of local Peace Agents.

Peace MapInteractive P4P Peace Map
A SMS text messaging platform was piloted in three Niger Delta states, so that volunteers could report issues of conflict risk in real time for more effective mitigation responses.  The data also was triangulated against the Fund for Peace interactive peace map to provide deeper insights into conflict and security trends.

In the future, the new technology and early warning system will enable NDPI to activate networks of people to intervene when conflicts emerge or organize the deployment of emergency services. Ultimately, the system will be available for all 3,000+ members of the P4P network to utilize in their peace building work across the nine Niger Delta states. 

Women Leading Efforts on Conflict Reduction
In recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8th, PIND published the profiles of eight women peace agents working across the Niger Delta on NDLink. The series highlighted the key women who, through their actions and work, have helped create more peaceful environments which has led to greater economic opportunities for the men and women in their communities.

WomenPeaceAgents

In addition, more than 75 women attended a training event in Bayelsa State jointly held by P4P and the Bayesla Chapter of the National Council for Women Society to help mitigate potential violence against women during the election period. (See the news article: Six Amazons of the Niger Delta, The Nation, March 13, 2015).

NDPI’s Program Manager Eniola Mafe spoke at a roundtable on women’s economic empowerment hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center and the Harvard Kennedy School Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative (CSRI). More than 300 participants attended the event, which focused on how the private sector can economically empower women who live and work in communities near company operations. Participating organizations, including NDPI, will be featured in an upcoming CSRI-led report on empowering women through economic initiatives.

Economic Development

Georgetown University Partnership Announced
GSEI LogoNDPI and the Global Social Enterprise Initiative (GSEI) at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business announced a partnership to collaboratively support the reduction of conflict and promote equitable economic growth in the Niger Delta. During 2015, NDPI and GSEI will partner on jointly publishing articles, case studies and reports on topics related to Niger Delta development and corporate social investment. 

Value Chain Development
Aquaculture: Expanding Best Practices in Aquaculture to More Farmers: As part of the capacity building program, PIND facilitated local consultants to train 35 members of the United Ufuoma Fish Farmers Association (UUFFA) in entrepreneurship, micro-business management and Board governance. The training was part of UUFFA’s strategic plan to build the capabilities of its leadership for effectively managing the association and enhancing its value for members.

Cassava: Increasing Harvests and Incomes:
PIND signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish an out-grower initiative with the Edo State Ministry of Agriculture, Thai Farms – a local cassava processing company – and two farmer associations. The objective of the arrangement is to ensure a more consistent supply of cassava for Thai Farms and to generate greater income for farmers from dependable demand for their harvests.

CassavaCassava farmer, Justina Okocha, planting cassava stems at the NDPI cassava demo plot in Ubulu - Uku, Delta State, April 29, 2015.
In addition, PIND’s Economic Development team facilitated a two-day training for more than 200 cassava farmers in Delta State to share best practices on a wide range of critical aspects of cassava cultivation, including land selection, planting methods, harvesting and fertilizer application. Three input supply companies were also in attendance to share knowledge of their products and build potentially commercial relationships with the farmers.

Palm Oil: Technology Building Markets: Members of PIND’s P4P and Appropriate Technology Enabled Development programs collaborated to train harvesters of palm fruit in Abia State on the efficiency and financial benefits of using mechanical palm fruit harvesting technology.

Appropriate Technology Enabled Development (ATED)

Training to Improve Sanitation: As part of the ATED program’s focus on water, sanitation and hygiene, a training on latrine construction was conducted at the Economic Development Center in Warri, Delta State. PIND performed the training in partnership with the Canada-based Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology. Participants came from different organizations working on community-led sanitation efforts in the region including the Niger Delta Wetland Center, Concern Universal and the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Water, Sanitation & Hygiene:
PIND’s ATED team collaborated with NDLink to raise awareness on the impact of poor sanitation on local communities. The team also organized an interactive radio show on Wazobia FM Port Harcourt in recognition of World Water Day to discuss water, sanitation and hygiene in the Niger Delta and promote the use of bio-sand filters. This radio show reached approximately 14 million people. 

BiosandFilterHenry Erikowa with one of the biosand water filters he manufactured for NDPI’s ATED project in Warri, Delta State, May 2, 2015.

Analysis & Advocacy

NDlinkA Growing Network of Engaged Citizens: NDLink, an information and communications platform aimed at leveraging the power of the Internet to empower communities and unite stakeholders in the Niger Delta, is growing rapidly, totaling nearly 1,500 members by the end of the first quarter. NDLink has also seen an increase in the number of women who are registering to become members.

Capacity Building

Online Tools and Training to Strengthen Capacity: In partnership with West Africa Development, PIND’s CAPABLE (Capacity Building for Local Empowerment) program trained members of local non-profit organizations on how to effectively utilize information communication technology and social media to help achieve their development and advocacy objectives. Fifty-six individuals from 20 different nonprofit and civil society organizations participated in the training.

NDPI and PIND in the News

NDPI’s New Deputy Executive Director
Heather Kulp joined NDPI as the organization’s new Deputy Executive Director to support overall oversight of the initiative and manage NDPI’s office in Washington, D.C.