I have been working in development for more than 12 years, after making a switch from the private sector, where I had worked for 8 years. Within the development sector, I have worked for different NGOs across multiple African countries. Currently, I’m the country director for Pact in Nigeria. In my development sector career, I have experienced different development programming approaches but the one that has stuck with the most is Pact’s focus on and prioritization of local solutions. This is an approach that is able to achieve sustainable and transformative change mainly because it emphasizes working with beneficiaries and enabling them to apply their own solutions to their challenges. It is one of Pact’s three core values and one I’m proud to support in Nigeria.
Being an ethnically diverse and highly populated nation, Nigeria presents a lot of complexities. Despite such challenges, I am motivated by the spirit of the people, who are eager to face their many challenges, and are dedicated to pursuing better livelihoods. Pact has been working hand-in-hand with the government, communities and local organizations for more than a decade to support democracy building and improvement in primary health delivery while facilitating economic development at both the macro and micro levels.
We believe in collaboration, and we believe that a diverse array of local voices should guide us as we set priorities and plans for the future.
To that end, last week, the Pact Nigeria team convened a panel discussion that was attended by more than 40 international development organizations, state and federal government, multilateral and bilateral donors, local NGOs and civil society and private foundations. Participants represented a variety of sectors, including health, governance, security, natural resource management, emergency and humanitarian aid, livelihoods and economic growth. The panel discussion had four sessions that grappled with the theme: “The Role of the Development Sector in Nigeria’s Evolving Challenges.” Discussions focused on emerging development sector challenges, engagement among development stakeholders, innovative strategies in the development sector, and partnerships and sustainability for development.
The conversations provided government officials with additional information and insights into key issues needing attention on the national development agenda. The panel discussion also provided an open space for development stakeholders to collectively explore solutions. For Pact, the panel discussion also sought to identify key needs, challenges and evolutions in the Nigeria development sector, which will guide the country office’s three-year strategy review, which took place a day after the panel discussion. This was part of ensuring that the 2017-2020 Pact Nigeria country strategy will support Nigeria’s development priorities.
From the panel discussion, it was encouraging to note the passion and intention by all stakeholders to address development challenges to better serve the people of Nigeria. As we move forward, the people of Nigeria know best what their challenges are, and how best to address those challenges. This was unanimously supported during the panel discussions. As development professionals, we should support local ownership and local solutions, supporting them with the necessary information, tools and skills to succeed.
Because, when we work together and in partnership with those we serve, we create meaningful, lasting impact.
Hear more insights from the discussion participants in this brief video: