Drawing from feedback and input gathered from the broad range of stakeholders engaged in developing PIND’s strategy, it became apparent that even though there are numerous development projects in the region, there has been a lack of conscious effort to identify, understand, document and share best development practices and models. The MODEL project seeks to address this gap and establish a network of institutions and individuals committed to sharing knowledge and learning on development within the region.
In recognition of this reality, PIND created the MODEL project to identify, understand, design, and promote socioeconomic development models. It is believed that the adaptability and acceptability of these models if replicated by government, development partners, communities and other key stakeholders within the region will generate a multiplier effect for business opportunities and job creation that will strengthen the local economy and improve the lives of community members within the Niger Delta.
The MODEL project aims to:
- Identify and share development models that address a broad range of development constraints such as pro-poor market development, service delivery and conflict resolution mechanisms, through the application of an experiential learning approach
- Inform development practitioners and current practices in socio-economic development programs/projects and interventions about various models that could be adopted within a defined context
- Develop a database of development models that can be replicated and scaled up by other development organizations, donors and corporate social responsibility initiative promoters
- Promote the practice of knowledge sharing, experiential learning and research on Niger Delta development programs/projects
- Strengthen PIND’s advocacy program component
In July 2012, PIND facilitated and organized a workshop in Abuja to launch the MODEL project with representatives from PIND’s project partners, the Brookings Institution Africa Growth Initiative (AGI) and the Nigerian Institute for Social and Economic Research (NISER). The workshop’s objective was to determine which development models would be selected as case studies for the project. Selection criteria used to evaluate the list of proposed models included:
- Evidence of “Perceived Success”
- Whether the project is currently being considered for replication or scale-up
- “Scope” of the project’s geographical coverage
- Use of a participatory approach
- Funding source
- Availability of information on the project
- Project duration
During the process three models were selected:
- Akassa Development Foundation Model
- Songhai Farm Initiative (also known as the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency Model)
- Bonny Utility Company Model
PIND is continuing to work with AGI and NISER in preparation for the research and data collection on each of the selected models to begin. The finalized report that will be disseminated to stakeholders is scheduled for completion in 2013.