(i) CONSULTANCY SERVICES TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ON PUBLIC SERVICE REFORM
Since the year 2002, the Federal Government of Nigeria embarked on a comprehensive reform programme, the Public Service Reform Programme (PSRP) which is aimed at strengthening and transforming the Public Service into a professionalised, dependable, performance and result oriented machinery for formulating and implementing development policies and programmes. The ultimate goal of the PSRP is to set in motion a sustainable system improvement process that will be strictly internally-driven in order to ensure ownership by public servants, as core stakeholders, while at the same time, building their capacity to ensure its successful implementation.
The Management Services Office (MSO), Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) is expected to be the arrowhead of the Reform Programme. It is in pursuance of this new strategic objective that the West African Management Development Institutes Network (WAMDEVIN) was commissioned to undertake a Study with particular focus on the implementation challenges that the Public Service Reform Programme (PSRP) might present to the Management Services Office (MSO).
This was the most comprehensive and demanding consultancy assignment that consumed a substantial part of our time and resources in the early part of 2003. The report was in three parts namely:
- baseline study of professional challenges and problems of the Management Service Office (MSO);
- reconcepting the Management Service Office (MSO); and
- capacity development projects for Management Service Office (MSO) staff.
A critical component of this assignment is the capacity building opportunities which were identified. Indeed, it is envisaged that for the client to make a success of transforming the Nigeria Public Service, it has to embark on a large number of training programmes for its staff. All these are well articulated in the report.
(ii) CONSULTANCY TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR
As a strategy for revenue generation and making WAMDEVIN’s impact felt in the private sector, contact was made in year 2002 with the African Project Development Facility (APDF) which is an affiliate of the World Bank. The APDF assists African entrepreneurs to develop their business proposals into sound business plans and to obtain local and foreign financing to set up their ventures. Indeed, the Facility’s mandate is to work with African entrepreneurs through the project preparation cycle until the project is implemented. Typically, the APDF supports projects whose investment costs range from $.25m to $7m but also considers small projects depending on the economic conditions in the entrepreneur’s country and the social and economic impact the project can have.
From this contact, WAMDEVIN has been able to establish crucial linkages as capacity building providers to the organized private sector particularly in SME development.
(iii) NIGERIA IMMIGRATION SERVICE (NIS)
WAMDEVIN was commissioned in 2005 to effect a revamping of Training Schools of the Nigeria Immigration Service to meet the Capacity Building needs of the agency in the face of rising global challenges including internal and external security. The project covered Training Needs Analysis (TNA) of the staff of the Training Schools in Kano, Sokoto, Orlu and Ahoada followed by a Training of Trainers (TOT) programme for officers of NIS.
(iv) NIGERIA ASYCUDA PROJECT
ASYCUDA is an acronym for the Automated System for Customs Data. It is a software specifically developed for customs procedure and management. The ASYCUDA project/technology is micro-computer bound. The ASYCUDA software was primarily developed to respond to the needs of member states of ECOWAS and is now the most popular among like systems used in Custom Departments world-wide. WAMDEVIN is the executing agency for the Nigeria ASYCUDA Project. In implementing the project WAMDEVIN trained many top senior and middle management staff of the Nigerian Customs Service. Part of the training included Total Quality Management (TQM), Computer and Internet Connectivity, Team Building, Project Management, Strategic Management, Leadership, among others.
(v) NIGERIA PRISONS PROJECT
WAMDEVIN was commissioned in 2005 to effect a revamping of Training Schools of the Nigeria Prisons Service to meet the Capacity Building needs of the agency in the face of rising global challenges including internal and external security. The project covered Training Needs Analysis (TNA) of the staff of the Training Schools in Kano, Sokoto, Orlu and Ahoada followed by a Training of Trainers (TOT) programme for officers of NPS.
(vi) NIGERIA COLLEGE OF AVIATION TECHNOLOGY
(a) PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT WORKSHOP FOR SERVICE DELIVERY
The Performance Improvement Workshop for Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, was organized by WAMDEVIN from October 19 – 23, 2004. The aim of the workshop was to enable the participants improve on their performance in service delivery to its customers. The specific objectives among others were to:
- appraise the performance level of the organization (NCAT), identify their strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats;
- understand the mission of NCAT and contribute effectively to its achievement; and
- render high quality services to their internal and external customers.
(b) REORGANIZATION OF NCAT REGISTRY
Following a formal invitation from the management of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) in 2005, WAMDEVIN conducted a study of the records management practices of the College and made recommendations for the revamping/reforming of the Registry so that it can function more effectively as the information power house that will help the College meet its current needs and prepare for future challenges.
(vii) COMMONWEALTH SECRETARIAT, LONDON (COMSEC) SPONSORED TRAINING OF TRAINERS (TOT)
The Training of Trainers (TOT) Course was conducted by WAMDEVIN under the sponsorship of the Governance and Institutional Development Division (GIDD) of the Commonwealth Secretariat, London from 6-24 August, 2007. The Course was designed specifically to address professional deficiencies in the Management Development Institutes (MDIs) with a view to strengthening the operational efficiency of the training function. The target audience of the course was faculty staff of MDIs who needed basic training knowledge/skills and techniques/methods that will assist them to discharge their responsibilities satisfactorily.
(viii) UNEDIL PROJECT
The UNEDIL (UNDP, EDI, AND ILO) is a capacity building project for the whole of Africa with its headquarters in Washington. Its projects are compartmentalized into areas of specialization and WAMDEVIN was given the specific task of handling one of its most important projects – Training Needs Analysis (TNA) and Group Facilitation. To effectively execute the Project a Nigerian, specifically from one of the WAMDEVIN, was recruited by UNEDIL to serve as the Project Consultant.
(ix) RESEARCH ON MUNICIPAL AND URBAN MANAGEMENT IN WEST AFRICA
This was also commissioned by MDP-WA and the main objective was to develop a database of resource persons and institutions used in the implementation of the programme Municipal and Urban Management in West Africa. Again, Nigerian WAMDEVIN consultants constitute 90% of those recruited for the project.
(x) THE INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATIONS (ILO) requested for and obtained the assistance of WAMDEVIN in executing its programmes on Entrepreneurship Development Transfer to the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM), Freetown, Sierra Leone. ASCON consultants under the auspices of WAMDEVIN provided this much needed assistance.
(xi) INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT (IPAM) recently requested and obtained funding for its local government projects from the Overseas Development Administration (ODA) through the British Council and, having performed brilliantly on the Entrepreneurship Development Programme, Nigerian consultants from WAMDEVIN were used to implement these projects.
(xii) COMMONWEALTH SECRETARIAT, LONDON (COMSEC) SPONSORED TRAINING OF TRAINERS (TOT)
The Training of Trainers (TOT) Course was conducted by WAMDEVIN under the sponsorship of the Governance and Institutional Development Division (GIDD) of the Commonwealth Secretariat, London from 4 – 14 May, 2010. The Course was designed specifically to address professional deficiencies in the Management Development Institutes (MDIs) with a view to strengthening the operational efficiency of the training function. The target audience of the course was faculty staff of MDIs who needed basic training knowledge/skills and techniques/methods that will assist them to discharge their responsibilities satisfactorily.
(xiii) WORKSHOPS AND SEMINARS ORGANISED BY WAMDEVIN
(a) Seminar on Repositioning of Management Development Institutes (MDIs) for Public Sector Policy Reform in West Africa:
The seminar was organized with a view to repositioning the MDIs for public sector reforms in West Africa. The specific objectives of the Seminar, among others, were to:
(i) redefine the critical role of MDIs in supporting government public sector reform;
(ii) identify major factors inhibiting the contributions of MDIs towards the policy reform efforts in West Africa and map our strategies for their greater involvement; and
(iii) Enhance the capacities of MDIs on key public sector development requirements.
(b) Workshop on the Improvement of Poverty Alleviation:
The workshop on Poverty Alleviation Programmes was conducted by the West African Management Development Institutes Network (WAMDEVIN) from June 23 – 27, 2003. The major objective of the workshop was to examine existing alleviation schemes with a view to improving upon the content and delivery of such schemes for the attainment of declared goals.
(c) Micro Credit Workshop
The objectives of the workshop were to:
(i) facilitate the design of micro-credit schemes, extension and support service strategies for effectively monitoring and evaluating micro credit projects;
(ii) identify the challenges and special problems of micro credit projects;
(iii) acquire skills as trainer motivators to counsel entrepreneurs in the areas of micro credit operations; profiling micro-enterprises; and capacity of entrepreneurs (women/poor) to implement economic activities under different environment conditions; and
(iv) establish informal network amongst organisations promoting micro credit schemes and support services.
This particular workshop attracted a lot of interest as the micro credit departments of the banks were also in attendance. Participants also came out with their own newsletter called SUCCOUR, which was meant to provide up to date information on micro credit financing in the West African sub-region but starting first with Nigeria. The intention was to extend this experiment to other countries in West Africa.
As a result of the success story of this capacity building programme, on the Micro Credit Financing, WAMDEVIN made another request to the Commonwealth Secretariat for funding of similar programmes in 2002 and 2003. These two workshops were also held in Nigeria because they were designed to be in-country programmes. Participants were drawn not only from WAMDEVIN MDIs but also from Foundations, Women Development Centres, EDP agencies, NGOs, micro credit institutions and religious organizations.
The purpose was to provide delegates with networking opportunities during and after the workshop. The micro credit institutions and stockbroking firms with bias in micro credit were specifically targeted in this workshop because credit is a crucial element in poverty alleviation.
(d) Workshop in Decision Making for Women in Top Management Positions in BANJUL, The Gambia:
This workshop was sponsored by the Commonwealth Secretariat, London, and four Nigerians under the aegis of WAMDEVIN served as consultants to the project.
(e) Local Government Seminar For Top Management Held in Accra Ghana, July, 1994:
This workshop was sponsored by the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, an International Donor Agency. Again, under the auspices of WAMDEVIN, two consultants from WAMDEVIN were used for the project.
(f) Workshop on Revenue Generation:
This was sponsored by another international donor agency MDP-WA through the World Bank. Two consultants were also used from WAMDEVIN.
(g) Revenue Generation and Utilization:
This workshop was organised by WAMDEVIN and was held in Ghana in 2001. Many participants from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Liberia and Ghana attended.
(h) A follow up Workshop “Revenue Generation and Utilisation: Lessons of Experience” was held in Gambia in 2002.
(i) Workshop on Marketing Services for Income Generation was also organised by WAMDEVIN in 2003: The workshop was held in Ghana.
(j) Urban Management Workshop in Lome, Togo:
The MDP-WA, an international organisation located in Cotonou, recently organised a workshop on Urban Management in Lome, Togo. The two representatives nominated by WAMDEVIN were Nigerian.
(k) Organization of Conferences – West African Management Innovation Forum (WAMAIF):
Again, because Nigeria is the Secretariat of WAMDEVIN, the biggest conference ever to be held by WAMDEVIN was held in Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria, in August, 1995. About 250 delegates including foreign participants attended the conference while most of the resource persons were from Nigeria.
(xiv) RESEARCH INTO INFORMAL SECTOR
The Informal Sector, particularly in a developing economy, plays a very important role in national development. In West Africa, most of the informal sector organizations are involved in small business and social services. In addition to laying the foundation for the evolution of large firms that ultimately dominate the formal sectors, it also provides general employment opportunities for both rural and urban sectors. Another major advantage of this sector is that it consumes a considerable portion of domestic labour and raw materials. It also provides low cost on-the-job training for numerous apprentices in skills and occupations that are in demand.
In spite of the aforementioned advantages, little attention is paid to the capacity building and training needs of the informal sector operators hence, they have not been able to fully harness their potential and contribute maximally towards the development of the national economy in our sub-region. It was in an attempt to fill this gap that WAMDEVIN in 1997, entered into a working collaboration with two of its members namely: Community Development Foundation (CDF) and Development Associates (DA) on the study of the human resources and capacity building needs of informal sector organizations in West Africa using three centres in Nigeria as our pilot study.
The Report on the Study was finally presented and distributed at a stakeholder conference in Lagos in October 2001. The training needs identified in the report and recommended strategies for building the capacity of the Informal Sector has since provided much needed inputs into the agenda of NGOs and agencies concerned with developing the potentials of the Informal Sector.
In pursuance of its mandate, the Network has since embarked on the following publications: These are:
(a) WAMDEVIN newsletter whose objective is basically to disseminate information on WAMDEVIN activities to members and non-members world wide.
(b) WINET-INFO is a quarterly publication of topical issues which are obtained from reputable authors and circulated to all WAMDEVIN MDIs free of charge.
(c) SUCCOUR: SUCCOUR was first published in December, 2000 by WAMDEVIN with the objective of:
- developing a network of Micro Credit Trainers;
- building a general awareness of the advantages of Micro credit in poverty alleviation;
- showcasing the achievements of the nation’s informal sector as an incubator for a virile SME sector;
- providing necessary linkages for Micro credit development in the Micro Finance Industry (MFI);
- supporting micro credit providers with essential skills through current information dissemination that will position them as advocates of the use of micro finance for socio-economic development;
(d) Directory of Experts; and
(e) The book on SMEs edited by Dr. Olu Fadahunsi and ’Tunji Daodu.
(xvi) MANAGEMENT FILMS
In recognition of the important role training plays in increasing productivity, WAMDEVIN, embarked on the development of training materials such as management films that feature African actors in management scenarios peculiar to the region’s socio – cultural environment. The films are on:
(i) Executive Stress Management;
(ii) Delegating for Results;
Responses from MDIs and other corporate bodies that have bought the tapes confirm their relevance to their training needs and based on this, WAMDEVIN is making move toward developing more films on other management themes.