Neighborhood Network Scheme (Updated 12/10/15)
The idea is to restore communities in southwestern Nigeria’s poorest urban slums by facilitating connection between Neighbors
EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA
In urban slum southwestern Nigeria, people struggle with a lot of socio-barriers in relation to climate change. These people are often poor users of public & social services because of the bureaucratic process involved. As a result, these neighborhoods are in a typical bad condition caused by the effect of CC.
Our idea is to create a platform to facilitate neighborhood engagement. We propose to train & support local citizens called “Leaders/Neighbors” who have been identified for their leadership skills & desire to engage in their community. Part digital tool, NNS will provide every NNS Leader a unique crowd-resourcing platform to collect donations, provide project updates & recruit local volunteers within their communities. Part service organization, NNS will offer grassroots fundraising, online communications & campaign planning trainings & will assign a success strategist to support every NNS Leader as a sideline coach, providing additional technical assistance as needed. Furthermore, they will go door-to-door in these communities to provide educational information, gather insight into daily challenges, and connect residents to relevant rights and services they are eligible for to tackle their environmental problems. Our team will build concrete partnerships with public sector organizations such as National Emergency Management Agency and local government institutions who have a strong need to connect with excluded inhabitants in order to fulfill their missions.
This idea is targeted at the urban slum community in southwestern Nigeria. This is to facilitate effective communication and coworkship between neighborhood so that neighbors could work together with people that matters to solve their pressing challenges.There is a need to empower people to connect with the numerous efforts of public institutions, and citizen sector organizations to trigger a virtuous cycle of empowerment and a positive dynamic of community engagement.
HOW DOES YOUR IDEA TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE CONTEXT OF URBAN SLUMS AND CLIMATE CHANGE?
Community-led responses have the potential to contribute significantly to reducing CO2 emissions – from the smallest rural community to the centers of our big cities. The wide adoption by local authorities of targets for the reduction of CO2 emissions per capita by 2030 as part of their performance frameworks places a clear focus on delivering short-term action. Promoting climate change resilience through community networking is sure way to go. At the core of our approach is the value derived from viewing communities as active partners rather than passive recipients of services. The impact of this can be greatly enhanced with a strong local authority role as convenor, facilitator and ‘honest broker’, enabling communities to take a lead in the design and delivery of their own responses to climate change. By working with communities in this way local authorities can help to move community-led action on climate change from a niche activity to the norm. NNS aims to invite public sector organizations and local authorities to build new relationships with inhabitants. These institutions will not only benefit from better use of their services, but also receive valuable feedback to adapt their services and communication to inhabitants of marginalized, isolated or low-income communities. For example, a unique annual event could bring together local officials, public utility representatives, Neighbors and inhabitants. All these stakeholders could experience a unique, facilitated conversation and will be treated as peers, whereas they would otherwise never have met.
Yes, for two or more years
I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for at least two years
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
We are a Nigerian based NGO. We promote, diffuse, support and initiate activities within the social innovative realm. And focus on systemic change and alternative solutions instead of incremental adaptations within the system.
IS THIS A NEW OR RECENT IDEA FOR YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION? HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM WHAT YOU ARE ALREADY DOING?
Neighborhood Network Scheme is a new idea we brainstorm to help slum community in Nigeria. Though we have piloted other programs such as NaijaCon that help connect people from different background and religion to work together and brainstorm solutions to help their community fight the problem of BokoHaram Insurgency in Northern Nigeria. The idea was successful and showed how people could collectively solve their local challenges via peer-peer interaction. We believe using similar methodology to help slum community fight climate change would be a new step in the field across Nigeria. Our experience of working with big organizations at the national level will help us to start this initiative. Thanks to the feedbacks of the people we met during our door to door interactions that will help us to improve on the project. By initiating this project in Nigeria, we aim to create a community of inhabitants eager to better their neighborhoods that will become a strong creative force to fight CC.
HOW IS YOUR IDEA DIFFERENT FROM OTHER SIMILAR INITIATIVES? WHAT ARE YOU DOING DIFFERENTLY? WHAT UNIQUE ADVANTAGES DO YOU HAVE?
Present solutions work in a “come to us basis” and with a lot of challenges to overcome. Meaning they offer services but tend to wait for people to come to them instead of going to the communities to work with them, understand what they feel and co-create solution. However, the neighborhood network scheme has the mission to leverage on the leadership capabilities of the local people to bring people together across lines of difference, create a web of collaboration and exchange and encourage residents from different neighborhoods, as well as institutional leaders, to work together to respond innovatively to the challenges that plague our communities. We believe we all have something to give to spur climate resilience. We need each other to thrive and create a sustainable environment. Communities are stronger when they work together. There are no quick fixes to our community issues, but new options surface when more perspectives are at the table and people stand up to be a motivating factor. That means Neighborhood network can be what you make it!
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR IDEA?
How can we provide seamless access to the services of all organizations through multiple points of entry to bring about climate resilience?
How can we allow for real time sharing of data about the impact of the Network on the self-sufficiency of individual Network Members?
WHY DO YOU THINK THE PROBLEM YOUR IDEA SOLVES FOR HASN'T BEEN SOLVED YET?
For a long time now, rarely did the environmental movement in Nigeria focus on positive change that either addressed small local problems or big systemic issues felt at all scales. We want to create an online tool to power thousands of offline actions for change in local slums. Moreover, we knew that most low-income neighborhoods and communities bear a disproportionate burden of environmental ills with fewer resources to address them. We want to create a tool that could serve the residents in communities that suffer from many of the comingled symptoms of common neighborhood scale issues via NNS
HOW HAS YOUR IDEA CHANGED BASED ON FEEDBACK FROM YOUR COMMUNITY?
Our team went into the field to conduct interviews and other research, talking to locals about people who influence or motivate them in their community. We were referred to community associations of which we attended their meetings. We noticed the people believed in their community association chairmen because of their wisdom but further investigation showed that they lack the motivation and tools to be a social changemaker. we got in touch with the chairmen to seek their opinions on been our program pioneers and we explained what they and the community stand to gain from the program. Throughout the last few days we have been seeking feedback from potential participants who may be our beneficiary.
We had the opportunity to ask 37 individuals for feedback on this project. All 37 people questioned said they would like take part in our program in order to be well equipped to tackle the challenges of their communities. Some said they use to worry about where to get solutions to their environmental challenges such as flooding, bad roads, falling electric poles etc. They also said they were skeptical about the government because of the bureaucratic process involved in their way of doing things. However, our idea is a welcome development for them to help their community. The feedback from these people was very positive, and it leads us to believe we are on the right track with the project, and there would be interest in it.
WHAT WOULD YOU ULTIMATELY LIKE TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS IDEA? WHAT IS YOUR NEXT STEP TO GET THERE?
our goal is to support solutions created close to the problem within local slum communities in southwestern Nigeria leveraging on the leadership skills and commitment of the community members. Our step is to start by engaging the community leaders and equipping them with the NNS tools to help them create climate change resilience in their neighborhood. Within the first 6 months of the project we will recruit and train 50-100 community leaders (neighbors) and equipped them to engage effectively with their communities and providing an ongoing support and networking for them in the process.
How does your idea connect to the broader system of the city where you plan to implement?
Our interactions with the community highlight the importance of information; the importance of empowerment; and the role of community leaders as a resource and empowerment. we do not want to reinvent the wheel, but rather work with the communities and public sector organizations who are at the cutting edge of each service and element of our model to make their efforts work better. We intend to facilitate co-workship to solve the local challenges affecting the people. There are certain existing initiatives which the people can’t properly navigate. Our project will open up their mind to see things from different perspective thereby allowing the individual communities to grow. We are planning to develop a blue print based on our collaboration with other community organizations that can then be used by leaders in the field.