The European Union’s Micro Projects Program for the nine Niger-Delta States (MPP9)’s social mobolization aspects got underway earlier in the year. RIVCHO is one of the Civil Society Organisations engaged to facilitate this process in Communities and RIVCHO works in Bomadi and Okpe Local Government areas of Delta State.
The commencement of MPP9 project implementation by Riverine Communities Health & Development Organization Inc. (RIVCHO) started with a desk research on the communities assigned to RIVCHO in the Month of April, 2011. Here, preliminary data about each of the communities were gathered. A checklist of what information is to be collected while in the communities was developed.
The next stage was community entry & involvement, awareness creation, sensitization and mobilization in the contact communities. Discussions were held with key stakeholders in each community to introduce MPP9 and gain endorsement from community leaders.
In all of the communities visited in the two local government areas, public meetings were organized to sensitized communities and explain MPP9 to them. Part of the activities of the sensitization was informing communities to organize and empower themselves with legal constitutions and democratic, good governance rules and principles. It was reiterated that obtaining support for women’s and vulnerable groups’ full participation in post-election community planning and decision making is important.
PRA/ Preparation of CDAP document:. RIVCHO facilitated the drafting and adpotion of Community Development Action Plans (CDAP) by community residents to clearly identify the problems and needs of their communities and the right group of beneficiaries. In integrating deeply into the local development process, RIVCHO ensured that women, youth and vulnerable members of the community felt free to voice their preferences and register same in the CDAP through feeding those plans into overall community deliberations. Communities learnt to understand and participate in the determination of a development plan. Similarly, Adequate discussions of what communities can do for themselves, what help MPP9 can provide, and what help other donors/programmes may be able to provide was ascertained.
Formation of PMC/PIC:. All of the community’ leaders, women, youth, men, vulnerable groups, etc were invited in a meeting in other to form a seven (7) member elected Project Management Committee (PMC) from among the participants. RIVCHO ensured that elections for the PMC/PIC officials were organized effectively with secret ballots and participation (providing all adults in the communities over 16 years of age with equal chance of voting). Furthermore, RIVCHO officers confirmed with communities, the candidates with highest number of votes as officers of the PMC/PIC while ensuring adequate representation of women on the committee. It was made mandatory that a woman is appointed as a vice-chairperson in each PMC/PIC. Conclusively, discussions were facilitated about the roles and requirements of the PMC/PIC officials. Thereafter trainings were conducted for the PMC members and other community stakeholders. These trainings include:
- Training of PMC on Roles & Responsibilities
- Training of PMC on good governance
- Training of PMC on Transparency
- Training of PMC on Accounting
- Training of PMC on Project design budgeting & monitoring
- Building PMC capacity on Mgmt skills, Peace building etc
- Other cross cutting issues that were designed as part of capacity building were gender equity, HIV/AIDS, household hygiene etc.