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Capacity Building for SPDC Staff in Nigeria
Contributed by Kennedy Lweya, IMA International   
IMA international has recently completed a short training programme in country for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria. IMA International and Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) have worked in partnership in capacity building for social development since the 1980s, largely through regular attendance of SPDC staff to IMA scheduled courses held in either Brighton, UK; Bangkok, Thailand or Cape Town, South Africa. This growing partnership has increased the level of confidence and the need for more to be done to enhance SPDC’s staff capacity for the programming and delivery of sustainable community development in the Niger Delta. As such, IMA International was invited by SPDC to develop tailor-made courses to be delivered in Nigeria to SPDC staff drawn from the Sustainable Community Development (SCD).

copyright: IMA International

Over 80 participants attended four separate but interrelated courses: Project/Programme Cycle Management (PCM); Development Planning and Management (DPM); Monitoring and Evaluation in Development (M&E), and Rural Development/ Small Business Management/ Microfinance and Agribusiness Development (RD SBM). All the four courses were specially tailored to meet the expressed training needs of the course participants whose theme was sustainable community development. These training needs were identified through a training needs analysis and discussions with SPDC officials.
Each of these courses was delivered in 5 days at the Edjeba Learning Village in Warri, Nigeria. Project / Programme Cycle Management, and Development Planning and Management Courses were run concurrently from  29 May to 2 June 2006 while Monitoring and Evaluation in Development, and Rural Development/ Small Business Management/ Microfinance and Agribusiness Development courses were also delivered concurrently from 5 to 9 June 2006.
The majority of course participants were involved in planning and implementation, monitoring and general management of SCD’s development projects and programmes ranging from general social services provision, peace and security, community liaison to economic empowerment through micro-credit. A few participants were managers and supervisors responsible for teams in their respective departments. All the participants work closely with other stakeholders such as government officials, contractors, non-governmental organisations, contractors, community leaders, other service providers and the community at large. They all had a good understanding of the development challenges of the Niger Delta albeit with varied levels of skills and experience. As such they made very useful contributions which made the training programme a great success through their sharing of experiences, skills and knowledge as will be evidenced in this report. This report largely presents their perspectives in terms of the learning outcomes of this course programme.
In general, each of the four courses was a great success both in terms of content, relevance, delivery and usefulness. Participants were very optimistic about applying the skills gained from the courses in their day-to-day work. They were re-assured of SCD and IMA commitment to support them as they implement their action plans.
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