The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Friday, held a one-day capacity development programme for optimal productivity for social development-focused non-governmental organisations (NGOs)/civil society organisations (CSOs).
Speaking at the event in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, who was represented by the Special Assistant on Admin, Malam Mohammed Dauda, said the workshop is in order to enable NGOs gain new skills and knowledge to strive to reduce poverty, provide social amenities, health facilities, grants and advance education.
He said: “As you may be aware, NGOs are private organizations that pursue activities to relieve suffering, promote the interests of the poor, protect the environment, provide basic social services or undertake community development. In wider usage, the term NGO can be applied to any non-profit organization, which is independent from government. NGOs are typically value-based organizations. NGOs strive to reduce poverty, provide social amenities, health facilities, grants and advance education. They promote harmony and religious tolerance. Also, they create awareness, enlightenment and education of the masses on government policies, social, economic and environmental issues.
“NGOs, through their activities and partnership with different levels of government are able to facilitate development through the use of advocacy and training. NGOs derive their popularity out of the innumerable benefits they provide. They garner increasing support and donations because of their activities especially in the remote communities. In addition they help to complement governmental role of alleviating poverty.
“NGOs operate in different areas and humanitarian contexts. They direct citizens’ attention towards the government, monitor policies and galvanize people to participating in issues of considerable benefits at the community level. They conduct analysis and provide expertise for timely detection of risks, neutralize or mitigate them. Also, they support in implementing international agreements. Competencies of NGOs are in diverse areas. Some of them specialize in human rights issues, environment, health, gender related issues, etc, with substantial focus on advocacy, persuasion, demonstrations to achieve their objectives.
“The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has signed a one-year partnership with an international non-governmental organization – Save the Children International, to monitor Federal Government’s National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) in the states as a third party.
“There is no gainsaying that, good governance enables NGOs to provide legitimacy, leadership, and direction. Commonly, the founders of NGOs are charismatic people who are strongly committed to their purpose and ideas about serving others. The staff members should share the ideals of the founders and be committed to organizational sustainability. Effective leaders of NGOs tap to the enthusiasm of the stakeholders. It is expedient that they involve stakeholders, opinion leaders, community members and be more focused and consistent to gain enduring trust and support in the field.
“NGOs should develop their organization competencies, adopt performance-based policies, implement institutional mentoring programs and facilitate the experiential system. Also, the INGOs expansions should harp on networking with development bodies by implementing joint projects to assist in management capacity building and offering support to good leadership.
“Consequently, change management should be implemented by developing people’s skills to achieve social objectives by adopting non-profit organizations’ policies. Managers of NGOs should work harmoniously and be well focused on mutual benefits, adopting a win-win strategy.
“It is worthy of note that, training programmes such as this, are very necessary to update ourselves on the Ministry’s mandates in order to better the lot of the vulnerable members of our society. It is also an opportunity to brainstorm on strategies for addressing their concerns through effective programming, strengthening networking between the Ministry and NGOs. It also stresses the need for collaboration and partnership as key to bridging the resource gaps which organizations experience when they stand alone.
“At the end of this workshop, it is expected that participating NGOs would have been fully equipped to render better services in the areas of their competence.”
Also speaking, the Director, Social Development Department, Mr Taiwo Ademola Bashorun, said the training is aimed at building and strengthening the capacities of NGOs for effective service delivery and to improve the knowledge of participants on Fundamentals of Social Development-Focused NGOs Programmes, with a view of building their confidence to adapt to the new government functions.
He said: “As you may be aware that, Non-Governmental Organizations have been complementing the Ministry’s efforts toward attaining set goals as regards addressing the needs of target groups. They play pivotal roles as catalysts for development and are useful channels for implementing programmes geared toward the protection of the rights of the vulnerable members of the society.
“It is worthy of mention that NGOs and CSOs also do vital work in building community resilience, which is changing the world at scales – big and small. Clearly, NGOs are veritable organs through which the Ministry could advance her mandate, since they are on ground and close to where the challenges and problems are palpable and real.
“To this end, the Ministry has deemed it necessary to equip NGOs with this training as a technical support for effective delivery of programmes to complement the efforts of government in addressing numerous challenges as well as contributing to meet the SDGs and other national and international conventions and declarations on the elderly, and other vulnerable groups.
“The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development is therefore, organizing this workshop to further empower and strengthen NGOs to enable them impact positively on the lives of the Ministry’s target groups, especially during this difficult period.
“This workshop is expected to substantially increase the participating NGO’s capacities in rendering robust services in areas of their competencies. Therefore, the Ministry has carefully selected seasoned resource persons and scholars that will do justice to the topics to be presented in this workshop.”