A community-driven approach
No two communities are the same, and while there are similar infrastructural deficits in poor areas across Nigeria, the exigencies of their needs would be different.
At the heart of CSPD interventions is a Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach which empowers communities through the provision of grants to benefiting Communities.
“It is a bottom-up approach where the communities are the drivers,” said Aderonke Funmi Abokede, the general manager of Osun CSDP in southwest Nigeria. “A good reliability plan in place has helped Ola community to maintain the projects there.”
Her state has been implementing projects in several communities through the CSDP scheme for 10 years now, and Ms. Abokede said they are still going strong because of one key component: communities provide a certain percentage of the funds to execute projects.
“The aspect of contribution ensures ownership; they see themselves as stakeholders who have a stake in the project. If there is no money put in by the community, they will not see it as theirs”, she said of the CDD. “It’s a very good one that should be replicated everywhere, especially in developing countries.”
The success of the program, which can be found in 29 of Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), is that it also gives a voice to marginalized groups such as poor widows in Dingis community, in Bauchi State. These widows, when asked, pointed to orphaned children learning under a neem tree and said they wanted classrooms built for them.
Though the wide shades of the tree protected the children from the harsh sunlight that can get as high as 42 degrees Celsius, heavy winds carried their notebooks into the sky, sandstorms blew specks of dust into their eyes. The narrow leaves could not withstand the rains, which meant that classes were disrupted during the rainy seasons. After raising some money to build a block of classrooms, which was not enough, the community knew it was time to ask for assistance.
The widows also requested a health in Dingis, which has been constructed under the Gender and Vulnerable Investment component of CSDP. “I feel very happy women are involved”, said Aishatu Abdullahi, project officer for Gender and Vulnerable in Bauchi state. “Most times, the voices of these widows are not heard because they are very vulnerable in most communities.”
It is a similar story in Osun state where an incubation center was built in the capital Osogbo after a meeting between state officials and the deaf community.
The center was built with the support of Osun state CSDP through the World Bank, which contributed 95% of the fund while the deaf community contributed 5%.
“Here we train the hearing impaired with various vocational skills such as tailoring, hairdressing and catering”, said Olaniyi Temitope who is also hearing-impaired. “The center also has a hall which other than being used for meetings, is also rented out to raise money for its maintenance.”
Dingis community, in Nigeria, now has a health centre which was one of the priorities of the women. © Sanumioluwa Modupe Dawodu, The World Bank