Sunday, 13 February 2011

Start of Part 2 – NEST


Last Sunday I travelled to Ibadan to start my new placement at NEST.  My job is called “Climate Change Technical Writer” and the aim of it is to support the finalisation of a three or four year project (can’t remember which), BNRCC – Building Nigeria’s Response to Climate Change.


NEST has had four VSO volunteers, Sarah who was transferred to Abuja, and Brent, Karen and Ellen who arrived a year ago and have all just left.  I overlapped with Brent and Karen for a week, and together with Brent and Abdul from VSO facilitated a two day Organisation Development Workshop for NEST on Wednesday and Thursday, talk about being thrown in at the deep end!


Organisational Development is not in my job description, but fortunately for NEST I have already had some experience in this area, as I helped my friend Patience, a Ugandan volunteer in Abuja (sadly leaving shortly) deliver a similar workshop.  The idea of OD, is that it helps the organisation to assess its strengths and weaknesses and come up with a plan for addressing them.  The process involves a series of one to one interviews, where staff  rank the organisation against various indicators, the workshop was similar, we ranked around 50 indicators, on a scale of 1 to 4, NEST has done nothing in this area, to NEST is doing very well, along with suggestions of how it could improve.  There are indicators for around ten capacity areas such as Strategy and Vision, Staff Management, Programme Management.


I will be living in Bodija, near the university, where Karen was living, she is leaving today, making me the only VSO volunteer in Ibadan.  Currently until Tuesday I am staying at the rather nice Davies Hotel, and enjoying a big bed, my new place only has a single, air conditioning, hot water, and constant electricity, while I can.  However the novelty of eating alone in the restaurant is wearing off, romantic dinner for one on Valentines Day coming up tomorrow!


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