2023 Annual Report: Echoes of Impact

Communications 14 June 2024 0

It’s been an incredible, exciting, and eventful year for us at Connected Development marked by tremendous growth and impactful achievements. However, we didn’t achieve this alone. It was a collaborative endeavor, made possible by the support and dedication of our donors, partners, stakeholders, and the outstanding CODE team.

Our work in 2023 addressed a number of pressing issues, ranging from the decline in girl-child education to gender-based violence, climate challenges, transparency issues in government and so on. Despite facing significant challenges across these fronts, we emerged victorious, as we always do. Through our work, we were able to reach more people and make a tangible difference in their lives.

Read the full report here.

Call for State Support Officers in Imo and Rivers State

Titus Tukurah 16 July 2024 0

Position: State Support Officer (SSO)

Location: Imo and Rivers State

Project: Power of Voices Partnership (PVP) Project

Introduction 

Connected Development (CODE), is on the lookout for dedicated and dynamic individuals to join our team as State Support Officers (SSOs) for the Power of Voices Partnership (PVP) Project in Imo and Rivers State. This project aims to empower Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and community stakeholders to enhance transparent governance, particularly in regions rich in oil resources with support from OXFAM Nigeria. 

Qualifications:

  1. A degree in Social Sciences, Development Studies, Project Management, or a related field
  2. Minimum of 1 year of experience in community development, project management, or a related role.
  3. Experience working with students and teachers.
  4. Strong understanding of governance issues and civil society dynamics in Nigeria.
  5. Excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills.
  6. Ability to work with little or no supervision
  7. Proficiency in Google Suite and other relevant software.
  8. Fluency in English and the local language(s) of the state.

Roles and Responsibilities of State Support Officer: 

  1. Organize and lead community meetings, workshops, and sensitization sessions to promote project objectives. 
  2. Oversee the implementation of project activities at the state level in alignment with the project’s goals and timelines. 
  3. Prepare and submit reports on project activities, progress, and impact to the project lead 
  4. Promote awareness of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and its adoption in the state.
  5. Provide guidance and support to the patrons and matrons of the civic clubs, ensuring they have the necessary resources and materials to function effectively.
  6. Foster strong relationships with local government officials, traditional leaders, and other key stakeholders
  7. Performs any other duties as requested by the Project Lead.

REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS: THIRD-PARTY MONITORING M&E EXPERT

Communications 12 July 2024 0

Deadline: 25 July 2024

Job Description

Monitoring and Evaluation Expert

Location: Abuja

Job Type: Full Time

Education: MA/MSc/MBA

This position is reserved for only women

This is a one-year contract with a possibility of renewal

Reports To: TPM Project Lead and Technical Manager

Organizational Background

Connected Development [CODE] is Africa’s leading civil society organization whose mission is to empower marginalized communities in Africa. We strengthen local communities by creating platforms for dialogue, enabling informed debate, and building capacities of citizens on how to hold their government accountable through the Follow The Money project. CODE provides marginalized and vulnerable communities with resources to amplify their voices with independence and integrity while providing the communities with information that ushers social and economic progress. To enhance effective democratic governance and accountability, CODE creates platforms [mobile and web technologies] that close the feedback loop between citizens and the government. With global expertise and reach, we focus on community outreach, influencing policies, practices, and knowledge mobilization. 

About AGILE Project Third-Party Monitoring (TPM)

The Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) project was created against the backdrop of constraints of accessing and completing secondary education facing adolescent girls in Nigeria, as well as disparities in the education that boys and girls receive; low female adult literacy rate; and poor exposure of girls to economic empowerment opportunities. The AGILE project aims to lay the foundation for a long-term engagement on adolescent girls’ education and empowerment. The project is funded by the World Bank and implemented through the Federal Ministry of Education (FME), under the Ministry’s National Project Coordinating Unit (NPCU). The project provides a holistic approach to improving equitable access to quality education for adolescent girls through improving school infrastructure, providing conditional cash transfers to low-income households, combating social norms that inhibit girls from attending school, and empowering girls with life, digital and economic empowerment skills. AGILE is implemented across a total number of seventeen states, including the parent states: Borno, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, and Plateau.

CODE has been re-engaged by the NPCU to provide third-party monitoring (TPM) services for the AGILE project. The objective of the TPM is to provide necessary monitoring services and verify the completion of works and services executed across the seven parent states of the AGILE project. The TPM is utilitarian in providing independent perspective on project performance while augmenting existing monitoring capacities of the NPCU and State Project Implementation Units (SPIU).

Therefore, CODE is calling for an M&E Expert for the AGILE TPM who will join the team to carry out the following responsibilities below.

She will be responsible for assisting the project TPM team to design, coordinate and implement robust monitoring and verification measures for qualitative and quantitative evidence gathering that inform project performance in Abuja.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Provide technical assistance in the design and implementation of AGILE TPM monitoring  and verification systems.
  • Assist in supervising data collection by state teams during monthly TPM or bi-annual verification of completed works and services, quality assuring data collected by state teams, as well as in reviewing monthly reports submitted by state leads.
  • Assist in quantitative and qualitative data analysis of TPM monthly or bi-annual findings when required.
  • Assist the project lead in developing monthly, quarterly, bi-annual and annual monitoring and verification reports.
  • Identify key findings in reports, challenges, lessons learned and recommendations to mitigate project implementation deficiencies, as well as prepare summary presentations for the monthly NPCU meetings, and during World Bank missions.
  • Attend key meetings at the NPCU and World Bank and make technical presentations on TPM findings when required.
  • Assist the project lead in developing or reviewing monitoring and verification checklists and data collection tools for state teams to improve measurements and objectivity in field visits.
  • Provide technical and strategic leadership on a wide range of technical areas in monitoring and evaluation in the AGILE project; identify emerging M&E approaches, methods and tools that can be internalized in the TPM.
  • Assist the project lead in providing technical support and building the capacity of state teams on TPM approaches, strategies and on data collection.
  • Assist in ensuring the Monitoring Information System (MIS) is up to date and performs optimally.
  • Participate in quarterly and annual HQ site visits to AGILE parent states and focal schools and communities.
  • Support follow-up, tracking, and reporting on project-level monitoring and verification recommendations.
  • Undertake any other responsibilities assigned by the project lead.

REQUIREMENTS:
Must possess the following requirements:

  • Master’s degree (or higher) in education, development studies, international development, social sciences, or related field.
  • Online/offline course in Monitoring and Evaluation.
  • Minimum of 5 years experience in performing M&E functions in local or international NGOs.
  • Experience in girls’ education and empowerment programming projects (preferably).
  • Proven expertise in quantitative and qualitative methodologies, data analysis, and report writing. 
  • Strong technical and analytical skills, including the ability to analyze qualitative and quantitative data using one or more statistical software packages (e.g., SPSS, MS Excel, Stata). 
  • Excellent analytical and presentation skills coupled with proven ability to display data as appropriate for different audiences.  
  • Excellent diplomacy skills and a proven ability to establish and maintain interpersonal and professional relationships with program partners, and representatives from other key stakeholders.

ESSENTIAL SOFT SKILLS:

  • Ability to coach, mentor, and develop the capacity of state support MEL staff.
  • Excellent skills in facilitation, team building, strategic thinking, and coordination.
  • Excellent communication and writing skills, as well as negotiation and management skills. 
  • Proven ability to prioritize, plan, multi-task, work independently, organize workflow to tight timeframes, and maintain professional flexibility and adaptability. 
  • A demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards and a diverse workplace.
  • Fluency in English.  

PREFERRED SKILLS, ABILITIES, AND FUNCTIONS:

  • Able to work and travel within AGILE parent states and focal schools and communities.

METHOD OF APPLICATION:

Interested candidates should fill out the form provided in the link below. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Only women are advised to apply.

CALL FOR THIRD-PARTY MONITORING M&E SUPPORT OFFICER, FOR THE ADOLESCENT GIRLS INITIATIVE FOR LEARNING AND EMPOWERMENT (AGILE) PROJECT

Communications 11 July 2024 0

DEADLINE: 19th July 2024

Job Description
Monitoring and Evaluation Support Officer 

Locations: Borno, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Plateau States

Reports to: Project Lead

Organizational Background

Connected Development [CODE] is Africa’s leading civil society organization whose mission is to empower marginalized communities in Africa. We strengthen local communities by creating platforms for dialogue, enabling informed debate, and building capacities of citizens on how to hold their government accountable through the Follow The Money project. CODE provides marginalized and vulnerable communities with resources to amplify their voices with independence and integrity while providing the communities with information that ushers social and economic progress. To enhance effective democratic governance and accountability, CODE creates platforms [mobile and web technologies] that close the feedback loop between citizens and the government. With global expertise and reach, we focus on community outreach, influencing policies, practices, and knowledge mobilization. 

About AGILE Project Third-Party Monitoring (TPM)

The Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) project was created against the backdrop of constraints of accessing and completing secondary education facing adolescent girls in Nigeria, as well as the disparities in the education that boys and girls receive; low female adult literacy rate; and poor exposure of girls to economic empowerment opportunities. The AGILE project aims to lay the foundation for a long-term engagement on adolescent girls’ education and empowerment. The project is funded by the World Bank and implemented through the Federal Ministry of Education (FME), under the Ministry’s National Project Coordinating Unit (NPCU). The project provides a holistic approach to improving equitable access to quality education for adolescent girls through improving school infrastructure, providing conditional cash transfers to low-income households, combating social norms that inhibit girls from attending school, and empowering girls with life, digital and economic empowerment skills. AGILE is implemented across a total number of seventeen states, including the parent states: Borno, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, and Plateau.

CODE has been re-engaged by the NPCU to provide third-party monitoring (TPM) services for the AGILE project. The objective of the TPM is to provide necessary monitoring services and verify the completion of works and services executed across the seven parent states of the AGILE project. The TPM is utilitarian in providing an independent perspective on project performance while augmenting existing monitoring capacities of the NPCU and State Project Implementation Units (SPIU).

Therefore, CODE is calling for a State M&E Support Officer for the AGILE Project who will join the team to carry out the following responsibilities:

S/he will be responsible for assisting the project TPM team to design, coordinate and implement robust monitoring and verification measures for qualitative and quantitative evidence gathering that inform project performance in either of the following states: Borno, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, and Plateau.

Specific duties:

  • Liaise with the SPIUs to access data on AGILE focal schools by subcomponents in your state for monthly, quarterly and bi-annual TPM monitoring and verification.
  • Conduct monthly TPM through data collection from stakeholders and field observation/monitoring across AGILE focal communities/schools in your state using relevant data collection instruments.
  • Prepare monthly TPM and project reports, and prepare presentations when required.
  • Post real-time information on TPM monthly, quarterly and bi-annual visits on the Management Information System.
  • Conduct bi-annual TPM verification exercise through data collection from stakeholders and field observation/monitoring across sampled schools/communities in your state, across AGILE subcomponents.
  • Support TPM monthly harmonized states reporting, quarterly project reporting and bi-annual reporting; as well as bi-annual and final client verification reporting.
  • Support the HQ project team during training for SPIUs and NPCUs.
  • Provide all the necessary support to the TPM civil engineer in your state.
  • Attend all relevant AGILE project meetings in your state or in Abuja.
  • Perform other duties as may be assigned by the TPM project lead or technical manager

Skills & Qualities  

  • Minimum of three (3) years of professional experience in an M&E position. 
  • Have a BSc/BA degree or HND degree.
  • Experience in data collection from diverse stakeholders, analysis and reporting writing.
  • Experience in using data collection instruments; and good knowledge of safeguarding procedures, do no harm, and research ethics during data collection.
  • Experience in working in communities, and stakeholder management.
  • Advocacy, interpersonal and communication skills (both written and verbal).
  • Fluency in English.
  • An ego-free attitude when it comes to taking constructive feedback and implementing such.
  • Ability to work methodically and meet deadlines.
  • Positive, flexible, solution-oriented, and excited to work with a diverse team of professionals working toward a common goal.
  • Resident in the applicable state.

Method of Application:

Interested candidates should fill out the form provided in the link below. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Women are strongly advised to apply.

Interested candidates should send 

Inter-Faith Dialogue on Climate Change

Communications 1 July 2024 0

This policy brief is based on the work of Connected Development (CODE) concerning climate justice and interactions with different communities, including religious groups, government, and civil society organizations (CSOs) engaged in climate action in Nigeria. It comprehensively analyzes an approach to effective communication in climate messaging and how the pertinent issues here are often associated with faith. Accordingly, the brief sets forth a new approach towards climate communication and messaging within the context of religion to enable greater effectiveness and outreach, as well as to improve vulnerable groups’ understanding of climate science and its attendant effect on their everyday lives.

See the full document here

Harnessing Data for Better Advocacy and Policy-Making Processes

Communications 24 June 2024 0

By Mohammed Gimba

In an era where information is abundant, data is the backbone of informed decision-making, shaping policies, and improving advocacy efforts. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, the role of data in advocacy and policy-making cannot be overstated. It is a powerful tool to identify societal challenges, measure progress, and drive meaningful change.

Advocacy thrives on evidence, and data provides the necessary evidence base to advocate for change effectively. Whether it’s advocating for social justice, environmental conservation, or healthcare reform, data sheds light on the magnitude and nature of issues, giving advocates a compelling narrative to drive their agenda forward.

For instance, in public health, data-driven advocacy campaigns utilize statistics on disease prevalence, healthcare access, and mortality rates to raise awareness, mobilize support, and influence policy decisions. By presenting data clearly and compellingly, advocates can effectively communicate the urgency of addressing pressing issues and rally stakeholders around common goals.

Policy-making, likewise, relies heavily on data to craft effective strategies and allocate resources efficiently. Data analysis provides policymakers with insights into the impact of existing policies, identifies areas requiring intervention, and predicts future trends. Whether it’s crafting legislation, designing social programs, or allocating funding, data-driven policy-making ensures decisions are grounded in evidence and aimed at achieving tangible outcomes.

For example, in education policy, data analytics can reveal disparities in academic achievement across demographic groups, highlight factors contributing to student success, and inform targeted interventions to improve educational outcomes. By leveraging data, policymakers can tailor policies to address the specific needs of diverse communities and foster equitable access to quality education.

Challenges and Opportunities

While the potential of data in advocacy and policy-making is immense, it also presents challenges. Data privacy, accuracy, and accessibility issues must be carefully navigated to ensure the integrity and inclusivity of decision-making processes. Moreover, effectively translating data into actionable insights requires technical expertise and effective communication skills.

However, these challenges are outweighed by the opportunities that data affords. Advancements in technology, such as big data analytics and machine learning, offer new avenues for extracting valuable insights from complex datasets. Furthermore, the democratization of data through open data initiatives empowers citizens to actively participate in the policy-making process, fostering transparency and accountability.

Data catalyzes positive change, empowering advocates and policymakers to address pressing societal challenges, especially in this increasingly complex and interconnected world. By harnessing the power of data, we can build more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable societies. Let us embrace data-driven approaches to advocacy and policy-making, leveraging technology and collaboration to drive meaningful impact.

Government Spending VS Service Delivery

Communications 16 May 2024 0

Nigeria’s education, healthcare, and WASH sectors are deficient, creating inequalities at all levels. In 2018, UNICEF reported one in five out-of-school children in Nigeria. The challenges facing education have created a poor and unconducive learning and teaching environment, affecting enrollment, retention, and completion rates, especially for girls. Primary healthcare is almost co- matose, putting pressure on secondary and tertiary facilities that are also understaffed. UNICEF reports that only 26.5 percent of Nigerians use improved drinking water and sanitation facilities. SEE THE FULL REPORT HERE

From Virtual Internship to Real-world Impact: Our CODE Story

Communications 13 May 2024 0

By Alice, Noor and Rabiee

In a world increasingly reliant on technology, harnessing its power for social good has become paramount. Our enriching experience collaborating with Connected Development (CODE), has had a transformative impact on our journey and we’ve tried our best to capture the moments here. 

For us, CODE transcends the traditional notion of a workplace; it functions as a diverse community that nurtures individual development, enhances staff skills, and places a high value on the well-being of its employees. Through our three months of research, we got the chance to explore topics such as Nigeria’s climate finance plans, artificial intelligence, and education. Members of the CODE team have guided us with warmth, support, and endless kindness, helping us to develop relevant ideas that could benefit people at the grassroots. This has, in turn, allowed us to grow as individuals, academics, and budding researchers. 

We were drawn to CODE’s innovative approach, utilising platforms like social media and mobile technology to engage citizens and catalyse grassroots movements. One of the most rewarding aspects of working with CODE is witnessing the tangible impact of their initiatives in empowering marginalized communities. Through projects like FollowTheMoney, we’ve seen firsthand how communities are mobilised to demand transparency and accountability from policymakers. Furthermore, CODE’s commitment to inclusivity and collaboration has been inspirational. We have rarely witnessed such a thriving office culture with employees at all levels speaking their minds and being listened to by the rest of the team. It was refreshing for us to see. 

Alice:

“I have enjoyed my experience at CODE so much and value the three months I have spent working with Dr. Augustine and the rest of the team. I initially had some reservations about working remotely from London and how this would impact my interactions with the team but, with the wonderful support that Noor, Rabiee, and I have received from CODE, it has often felt like we were in Abuja with the rest of the office. It is rare to encounter a workplace whose values of community and empowerment translate throughout the organisation and I want to thank the team for this excellent opportunity.”

Alice Allfrey

Noor:

“My time at CODE has been enriching in more ways than I could have imagined. Through weekly meetings with Dr. Augustine, workshops with Mustafa, and frequent contact with the rest of the team, I have truly felt a sense of belonging. Although my work has been online with my co-researchers, Alice and Rabiee, the team at CODE never let me feel the distance. I have grown both professionally and personally, and I am truly grateful to have gotten the chance to work at CODE.”

Noor Dhingra

Rabiee:

“From the very start, CODE welcomed us with open arms. Despite the virtual nature of our placement, the team’s warmth and inclusivity made us feel like valued members from day one. Their dedication to fostering a collaborative community shines through in every aspect of their work.  I’ve been consistently impressed by the open communication, support, and genuine care they show for each team member’s development. This placement has deepened my research skills and ignited a passion for using data and technology as tools for positive social change. Working alongside my colleagues, Noor and Alice, has been an absolute highlight – their insights, dedication, and collaborative spirit have enriched the experience immensely. I’m especially grateful for Dr. Augustine’s guidance and mentorship; his commitment and CODE’s supportive environment have created a truly empowering learning experience.”

Rabiee Ibrahim

Our journey with CODE has been nothing short of transformative. To see how highly CODE values community activism and empowerment gives us great hope for the future, particularly in a world that faces more and more complex obstacles to reaching a more equitable society.

We look forward to doing more.

365 DAYS OF BLISS AT CODE

Communications 2 April 2024 0

By Ifunanya Okeke

As I reach my one-year milestone at Connected Development (CODE), I cast my mind back to that special day when I first joined the team. I remember waking up that morning with a mix of happiness, nervousness, and a strong sense of determination to give my all. When I received the email congratulating me on getting the job a week earlier, I was overwhelmed with shock as I couldn’t believe I got the job.

I stepped into the office on that Monday morning, March 6th, 2023, trying to hide my nervousness by constantly adjusting the corporate black-flowered dress that I had finally settled for the previous night, as per the lawyer that I am. I looked around and noticed that others weren’t as formal as I was. They looked smart but relaxed, which made me feel more at ease. It was nice to see that the environment was friendly and welcoming.

We had a Teams Meeting that morning –  as is the culture – and the energy was something else. I was introduced to the team.

Ever pictured an environment that brings your ideas to life? Or a group of youthful enthusiastic and vibrant individuals that bring to life all your imaginations? Or a small community of diverse tongues (what many would call the WAZOBIA community), yet connected in one spirit towards a common goal? Ever imagined change-makers, creators of societies that to some might just be a mirage? If you connect with any of these questions, then welcome to Connected Development (CODE).

The moment I settled in, work kicked off swiftly. I was handed numerous tasks with tight deadlines; there was no time to spare! I was then entrusted with the role of Project Manager for an 8-month project; Open Parly Nigeria. Initially, doubts crept into my mind about my ability to excel in this position, but I drew strength from my foundation in human rights, gender, children, and access to justice, having traversed the development sector before joining the esteemed team at Connected Development (CODE). I embraced the opportunity and was eager to learn from anyone who could contribute to ensuring the project’s success. 

The Open Parly Nigeria project aimed to bridge the gap between government and citizens by enhancing awareness of the legislative process in three states (Kwara, Oyo, and Yobe). Through interactive platforms, we endeavored to demystify legislative processes and empower communities to hold their elected representatives accountable. Witnessing the project’s impact on deepening citizens’ engagement in democracy has been immensely rewarding and fulfilling.

Co-managing the Digital Mobilization Lab has also been a highlight of my journey at CODE. This initiative harnesses the energy and passion of young leaders from diverse regions of Nigeria, equipping them with the tools and knowledge to drive positive change in their communities. Through comprehensive training on governance fundamentals and digital advocacy tools, participants have emerged as champions for social change, leading campaigns that amplify citizen voices and garner public support.

Over the past twelve months, I’ve been privileged to contribute my part to the progress of several transformative projects aimed at empowering marginalised communities and fostering accountability in governance across Africa. From drafting Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) and Freedom of Information letters to crafting position papers, proposals, concept notes, attending meetings, and travelling to implement projects in different states, the achievements recorded so far from these projects give me satisfaction and tell me I’m in the right place.

Looking ahead, I’m excited about the opportunities that await and committed to continuing the vital work of empowering marginalised communities and fostering accountability in governance. As I embark on the next chapter of my journey at CODE, I extend my deepest gratitude to the organisation for the invaluable exposure, experiences, and lessons learned during my first year. Together, we form a family where the true spirit of teamwork thrives. Moving forward, we will continue striving towards a future where every voice is heard, and every community is empowered to shape its destiny.

Gracias!!!