LOCAL RESPONDER CAPACITY STRENGTHENING: Prioritized Training Areas from Past Local Partner Capacity Building Initiatives of the Dutch-Funded Nigeria Joint Response (NJR)

The Nigeria Joint Response (NJR) is one of several Joint Responses (JR) the Dutch government funds through the Dutch Relief Alliance (DRA), in countries with acute and protracted humanitarian crises. Through JRs, INGOs as a consortium, federate their strengths to reach collaboratively as well as in a more coordinated and timely manner, beneficiaries in need. To localize aid provided (one of the tenets of the Grand Bargain for Aid efficiency), as well as promote ownership and sustainability of program gains, NJR Member INGOs partner with local responders especially local NGOs and civil-society organizations (CSOs). In Nigeria, Save the Children, IRC, Oxfam, Christian Aid, TearFund and ZOA are part of the NJR Consortium.

In the past phases of the NJR, series of joint local partner capacity building training were organised for over 115 nominated staff of about 13 local partners including NGOs, CSOs as well as SEMAs (state emergency management agencies) of the three most-affected north-east states where NJR was implemented (Adamawa, Borno and Yobe). Participants were trained on the following capacity needs:

Prioritized Areas Key Topics
NJR 2 Safe Programming
  • Personal safety and security
  • Dealing with aggression
  • Security and crises management
Programme Operations
  • Grant management – (‘’keeping your donor happy!’’)
  • Financial management
  • Procurement, assets management and warehousing
Humanitarian standards
  • Humanitarian principles and Standards including Core
  • Humanitarian Standard (CHS) and SPHERE
NJR 3 Cross-cutting areas of programming
  • Mental Health & Psychosocial Support (MHPSS)
  • Gender Equality & Mainstreaming

The past partner capacity building initiatives serve as an important learning curve for the NJR consortium. Key learning points were made which included the need for continuous local partner capacity building and this should be demonstrated by the donor and grant recipients by allocating dedicated in their budget. Also, beyond requiring trainees to step down training to their peers, capacity building plans should include arrangements for post-training cues-to-action such as internships, shadow deployments at partner INGOs, mentoring and coaching, to name a few.

Below are some quotes from the participants who benefited from the capacity building training:

‘’The security and crises management, as well as the personal safety and security trainings, helped CRUDAN develop and update security SoPs, and close gaps in existing security-related policies.’’– Workshop participant, NJR2 Security training
‘’Through the financial management training, I learnt about the different types of financial documents and instruments, how they are elaborated, and how they should be interpreted and used for reporting. In addition to improving my reporting and accountability skills, the budgeting and grant management aspects of the trainings, gave me insights on how to draft budgets for donors as well as how to engage and negotiate with donors’’ – Workshop participant, NJR2 Financial Management Training

The NJR plans to pursue local responder capacity building during future phases (including the current phase 4).

For more information, visit NJR’s Twitter handle: @NJRConsortium or contact:
Joel Onyeke (joel.onyeke(at)savethechildren.org);
Eta Mbong Ngole (eta.mbongngole(at)savethechildren.org)

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