There has been a proliferation of NGOs and their sibling-organizations (namely Civil Society Organisations, Community Based Organisations and Farmer Based Organisations) throughout the West African sub-region. It is publicly acknowledged that they are key development partners to national and local government institutions and agencies. Notwithstanding this recognition, NGOs, both local and international have come under severe criticism for a number of reasons most of which are directly related to the quality of leadership/management in their operations.First, there appears to be grave deficiencies in the technical and managerial know-how on the part of staff of many of these organizations. Second, there is the twin problem of accountability and transparency in their operations with respect to management and finances. Third, questions are raised about the real (both actual and perceived) impact of programmes run by NGOs on the lives of communities they serve in relation to their funding levels and the relative comfortable working and living conditions of their staff. Fourth, there is the issue of duplication or multiplication of initiatives/projects at the community level all in the name of independence of missions and goals. There tends to be limited, if any at all, coordination and collaboration between and among NGOs within communities they serve. Another compelling reason for this proposed programme of study is the speed with which privatization as a strategy for accelerating development has overtaken Africa resulting in a lot of social and economic services being delivered directly through NGOs by donors and benefactor-governments. There is the felt need to prepare theoretically and technically competent leaders for the community development world of today and the future.
Primarily, the programme has a dual purpose: to train high calibre development professionals who will provide sterling leadership first, in research and scholarship in NGOs and community development, and second, effective and efficient management of their programmes. Essentially, the programme will be tailored to meet the research/academic, technical and managerial expertise required by professionals (i.e. academics, researchers, and practitioners) to effectively function in the ever-changing community development arena. Furthermore, this will ensure that, first, development practitioners do not lose sight of the fundamental philosophy and spirit of philanthropy and volunteerism in promoting the cause of especially the poor, marginalized, women, and children. Second, it will create and maintain a collegial environment for research and scholarly work in NGOs and community development studies.
Provide students with the opportunity to acquire relevant knowledge and skills as well as desirable attributes to respond effectively to current and emerging challenges in NGO management for sustainable community development. Specifically, the programme will:
- assist students to build sound conceptual, theoretical and technical knowledge based on community development by NGOs
- assist students to develop desirable attributes for research and scholarly activities in relation to NGOs and community development,
- assist students develop requisite skills in the management of NGOs and community development programmes,
- improve students’ chances for upward mobility in academic, research and professional institutions and agencies both public and private,
- create and maintain a reliable knowledge system on NGOs in particular and community development in general through research, documentation, storage and dissemination.
Students will complete a total of 10 courses for a total of 30 credit hours in Year I. Year II will be devoted to research work.