A newly-released impact assessment report by the Initiative for Global Development showed that Chevron-supported nongovernmental organizations have “moved the needle” in laying the groundwork for greater development in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria and highlighted how a market-based approach to development can help drive sustainable change and economic opportunity.
The report, “Pioneering New Operating Models and Measurement Techniques for Private Sector-Led Development: Assessing Impact in Nigeria’s Niger Delta”, is the culmination of a yearlong comprehensive organizational assessment of the activities of the Nigeria-based Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) and its U.S-based strategic partner the Niger Delta Partnership Initiative Foundation (NDPI).
“NDPI, PIND, and Chevron have ‘moved the needle’ on corporate social responsibility, shared value, and development to a new level by creating awareness, building knowledge, and changing attitudes, beliefs, capacity, and actions in ways that permanently re-orient the hopes, aspirations, and visions of the people of a society,” the report said.
The Niger Delta region of Nigeria is one of the world’s richest sources of oil and produces nearly 75% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings. Yet, the region has experienced an uptick in violence in recent months and more than 70% of the 32 million people residing in the region live in poverty.
To help encourage peace and stability in the region, Chevron invested $50 million in 2010 to establish the two independent nongovernmental organizations with the mission of relieving poverty and promoting development across the nine states.
IGD was commissioned by NDPI and PIND to evaluate the first five years of their operations and assess the impact and systemic change created as a result. The report featured key findings on the impact and potential of the NDPI-PIND model in the Niger Delta; multiplier effects; opportunities to further enhance impact and stakeholder engagement; and recommendations for capacity-building around impact measurement.
“Achieving sustainable, systemic change does not happen overnight nor by a single institution or sector,” said the lead author, Adrienne Gifford, IGD’s Senior Advisor. “IGD’s impact assessment with PIND and NDPI revealed that their presence is making an impact in the region and creating a new approach to development by initiating market-based systems to spur innovations and progress towards promoting peace and development progress.”
IGD is a network of African and global business leaders who are committed to advancing inclusive growth through business investment. IGD’s Advisory Services arm includes a team of experts who conduct impact assessments of companies and provide strategic guidance for businesses to enhance and maximize economic and social impact.
Due to periodic spats of violence over the years, the Niger Delta region until recently was virtually “untouchable” by the international development community and private sector. The impact assessment report revealed that the work of PIND and NDPI have enhanced the attractiveness of the Niger Delta by reducing risk, which has paved the way for greater development investment in the region.
Interviews with senior-level executives from international organizations now operating in the region highlighted the fact that they would not be working in the region if it were not for the presence, security, office space, and commitment and results demonstrated to date by NDPI and PIND.
NDPI and PIND have catalyzed new investment of more than $92 million into the region and more than $730,000 in new loans from local financial institutions into the market, the report noted. The region receives investment from multilateral and bilateral donors and international NGOs alike, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the Fund for Peace (FFP).
“This amount will likely continue to grow in the coming years as the impacts of NDPI and PIND initiatives continue to take hold and make it easier for organizations to operate in the region,” the report stated. Private sector actors are increasingly realizing the economic potential in the region.
The report drew attention to the market-based approach used by PIND and NDPI to facilitate and catalyze economic opportunities, “rather than create dependency on donor funding”. The NDPI and PIND approach embraces the development of sustainable market systems to create economic opportunities, and also addresses the complexity involved in tackling barriers to efficient markets including conflict and violence, a weak civil society, lack of government participation and transparency, and poor infrastructure.
IGD’s Advisory team conducted the institutional-level assessment of PIND and NDPI operations with a highly tailored approach of methodologies and practices to measure impact that went beyond traditional evaluation metrics. The multi-disciplinary approach combined traditional evaluation methods with emerging best practices to design and implement innovative methodologies and tools, including qualitative and quantitative outcomes metrics, “proof points,” and case studies.
IDG’s new impact measurement approach can serve as useful aides for discussion, consideration, and evolution of measurement techniques for the international development community, the report pointed out.
“Pushing the boundaries can encourage more effective approaches to evaluate impact, determine effective resource allocation, and continue to develop and improve the field of international development, especially in the context of the increasingly important role that the private sector and market-based approaches play in achieving development goals,” the report indicated.
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ABOUT THE INITIATIVE FOR GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT (IGD)
The Initiative for Global Development (IGD) is a 501©(3) organization that engages and harnesses the power of the private sector to create inclusive growth in Africa through business investment. IGD brings together an influential Frontier Leader network of CEOs and senior executives through the Frontier Leader Network to catalyze greater business investment and impact on the continent.