Supporting institutional transformation in Nigeria
AWARD has the most massive footprint in Nigeria, with more than 290 AWARD Fellows, Mentors, and Fellow’s Mentees. We continued to increase our footprint in Nigeria by partnering with select institutions to bolster our intra-country engagements.
AWARD partnered with the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB) to conduct a series of capacity-building interventions to improve awareness of gender responsiveness and create a shared understanding of the rationale for GRARD as part of an organizational change process. The AWARD-FUNAAB partnership delivered various interventions that directly benefited 142 (68 female and 74 male) staff. The key interventions included:
- A mentoring program that seeks to foster knowledge sharing among staff members with different levels of experience. The mentoring program included a series of workshops such as the AWARD Mentoring Orientation Workshop, progress monitoring meeting, and regular mentoring meetings to assess their progress, challenges, and lessons. FUNAAB has now initiated the process of institutionalizing this mentoring program.
- AWARD Scientific Writing and Publishing Skills Course: We delivered a five-day course at FUNAAB that equipped early career researchers with skills and tools to effectively communicate their evidence to different audiences and publish research findings in peer-reviewed journals. A total of 27 junior scientists (55% of whom are women) attended the course. Their feedback revealed the richness of content, increased interaction through group works, experience sharing, and mutual learning on various scientific concepts and approaches. The field trip organized at a FUNAAB model village was also an opportunity to practice selected gender tools at the community level.
- AWARD Gender Training for FUNAAB senior management: This training sought to equip participants with knowledge on the rationale for gender responsiveness in agricultural research and institutional processes.
- AWARD Leadership Skills Course for Emerging Leaders: Four staff from FUNAAB attended the regional leadership skills course for emerging leaders in Accra, Ghana.
- AWARD Leadership and Assertiveness Course for 35 FUNAAB staff (18 male and 17 female) drawn from research, monitoring, and evaluation and administrative departments. The course helped the early career staff members to assess their capacities and manage themselves for effective leadership.
Bolstering its interventions in Nigeria, AWARD further designed and delivered a special Mentoring and Advanced Leadership Skills Course for 80 participants from Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), a program designed by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DIFD) to help Nigeria achieve public-sector reform. One participant described the course as “overwhelming,” saying that they had “acquired knowledge, information on key topics that affect my work and my life in general.” The course sought to equip participants with mentoring, leadership, and negotiation skills.