Learner’s Submission: Human Resource Capacity Development


“What needs to be done by top Leadership to Align Human Resource Capacity Development with the Development Vision of the Country?


  • Capacity Development refers to the process of unleashing, strengthening and maintaining capacity.
  • For any country to fast track its development there is a need to invest in its most important resource i.e. people. HRCD has become vital if governments must achieve their development objectives.
  • Off necessity are accurate HRM Strategies that seeks out individuals with the right knowledge, skills, attitudes and abilities required to drive any nation to its lofty development goals.
  • HRM Strategies must be reviewed, adjusted and sometimes completely changed to provide an efficient and effective service delivery to citizens.  This is achieved by placing the right people at the right place at the right time with the right skills.
  • The development vision of every country must also be first straightened out. This means that for any vision to succeed it cannot be developed by government alone. The people for whom the vision is meant must be carried along.
  • Government only lays the vision-template which points the direction of development but the final vision-document, must be generated through the involvement and participation of all sectors of the state i.e. citizens, private sector and civil society.
  • This format ensures that the missions of the State will be understood and agreed by all actors. This creates an open society where each governance actor knows what others are doing and encourages collaboration and networking among them.
  • The end product of this collective effort provides a document of reference for which government focuses on what it can and must do to move in the direction of its development vision.
  • The next step will be to restructure the country’s public service. Public service is the human resource capital that is structured to provide public services according to people’s expectations, based on daily needs, challenges and peculiarities.
  • The public service must be reoriented towards the community. It must become responsive to citizens.
  • To achieve an efficient and effective public service institution, the government must develop a clear policy framework that will guide this drive.
  • Policy refers to priorities, guidelines, and orientations deemed necessary to achieve common agreed objectives. It is developed and adopted to address major problems and vested interests of people including stakeholders who live or work in the same area, field, community, development sector, environment or country. Policy is governing actions to be undertaken in its sphere of influence.
  • The sphere of influence here is the civil service, which is a key tool by which government can achieve its objectives.
  • The policy must identify and develop the required human resources in the public sector for addressing the current and future challenges posed by the imperatives of development.
  • These policy guidelines must be coherent and comprehensive and aimed at providing effective and efficient public service delivery. It must state the commitment of government playing the central role in ensuring the transformation and development of the country.” – Vincent Hope – Wudil, Nigeria

Learner’s Submission: How can Citizens Contribute to the Achievement of the MDGs in Nigeria



At the UN Summit in September 2000 in New York, USA, eight MDGs were ratified. They are: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; Achieve universal primary education (UPE); Promote gender equality and empower women; Reduce child mortality; Improve maternal health; Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; Ensure environmental stability; and Develop a global partnership for development. Nigeria is a party to this ratification. However, with less than three years until December, 2015 deadline for achieving the MDGs, Nigeria is still wide-of-the-mark to achieving these goals. Despite all the natural resource wealth Nigeria is endowed with, yet Nigeria lags behind in meeting the 2015 deadline. The greater challenge remains to make the citizens completely aware of the MDGs and the significant values they can add in achieving the MDGs.

It is against this background that this article examines the various ways Nigerian citizens can contribute alongside the government in achieving the MDGs. There is no exhaustive list in this regard. Given the foregoing, highlighted below are ways Nigerians can contribute to the achievement of the MDGs:

  • Involvement:

Greater results will be achieved when citizens are involved in the policy making processes that affect their lives alongside the government. If people are not involved or do not get themselves involved in the process then the end product of MDGs is a mirage. Nigerians seem to be out of the loop of what goes on in the economy. Many Nigerians are oblivious of who the leaders of various government institutions are, hence are unable to know who and for what to hold accountable. Progress in MDGs will be quite elusive if citizens are not conscious of the political and economic activities in the country.

  • Volunteerism:

Volunteerism is an area that has remained unexplored in Nigeria over the years; hence the multiplier effects accruing from volunteerism are lost. The interesting thing about volunteering is that it gives volunteers a first class experience of the challenges facing the areas they are working on, the recognition of the positive impacts on the lives of people in the economy, and the self satisfaction of being part of a team that fosters change on ground. Given Nigeria’s youth bulge, Nigeria is placed at a vantage position of what could be the most transformation in the history of Nigeria if the demographic dividends are harnessed to impact on the MDGs.

  • Empowerment:

Citizens make their voices heard through effective participation in monitoring and reporting of their daily life experiences. An average Nigeria owns a mobile phone and is able to communicate at a basic level. Given this context, creating an initiative where citizens can monitor economic and social activities through text messaging or calls has the great potentials of yielding positive results. Through these they can hold governments accountable on the promises they make.  MDGs cannot be achieved in isolation; people need to be empowered to empower others; and it goes on like a chain reaction.

  • Believe in Nigeria:

Across Nigeria, there is a wind of despondency blowing, especially in the minds of young Nigerians. Albert Einstein rightly said that “weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.” The way Nigerians perceive Nigeria and react to issues that affect Nigeria makes a big difference in solving challenges that behold Nigeria. However, the mindset of the people determines their thoughts; their thoughts direct their behaviour; and their behaviour forms the general belief. Nigerians need to develop a dyed-in-the-wool spirit for Nigeria; a spirit that Nigeria is for all; hence Nigeria’s failure is a failure for all.

  • Collaboration:

The sixth MDG that is concerned with combating HIV/SAIDS, malaria, and other diseases needs collaboration among people for much headway to be made. This goal requires high-priority of hygiene, which is not solely exclusive to an individual. Diseases are spread from individual to individual; hence fight against spread of diseases can be promoted from the pragmatic stand point that involves everyone to maintain high level of hygiene.


  • Respect for one another:

There is poverty of respect for human dignity among Nigerians. This is manifested in the ways Nigerians treat each other. Nigerians see themselves with different perception of identity. Intolerance among Nigerians has eroded the respect for each other. This poses a greater challenge in bringing people together to work for a common purpose, hence mounting a severe strain on the MDGs. The love, strength and faith labored by Nigeria’s heroes past as reflected in Nigeria’s coat of arms should be upheld by Nigerians in dealing with each other to build a unity of purpose needed to make headway on the MDGs.


Achieving the MDGs is a collective effort of every Nigerian and not an exclusive role of the government. Given the lag in delivering on the MDGs it has become a clarion call for every Nigerian to put hands on deck to add value, no matter how little, in achieving the MDGs. In this regard, everyone has a role to play; MDGs are everybody’s tasks; every effort you make in the process adds a great value; your little effort today can foster change and make a big difference. To conclude, Nigerians need to sacrifice their comfort zones and get involved in the tasks of the MDGs.” – Chukwuma Okonkwo – Abuja, Nigeria

Learner’s Submission: How can Citizens Contribute to the Achievement of the MDG’s in India ?


“The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) emerged during the major international development summits of the 90s is challenge for developing countries and countries in transition. The MDGs are 8 goals (time bound goals and measurable targets) – to be achieved by 2015 – that aim to meet the greatest global challenges. It stem from the actions and targets contained in the Millennium Declaration, which was adopted by 189 nations and signed by 147 heads of state during the Millennium Summit in September 2000. These 8 MDGs  associated with 17 quantifiable targets and 48 indicators

The 8 Millennium Development Goals(MDGs) are as follows:

Goal 1:- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Goal 2:-Achieve universal primary education
Goal 3:- Promote gender equality and empower women
Goal 4:- Reduce child mortality
Goal 5:- Improve maternal health
Goal 6:- Combat HIV / AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Goal 7:- Ensure environmental sustainability
Goal 8:- Develop a global partnership for development

As far as first goal of MDGs is concerned ,India has been moderately successful in reducing poverty. However, eradicating hunger remains a key challenge.On second goal of MDGs, India is on-track and in some cases, ahead of targets that relate to universalizing primary education. On third goal of MDGs ,given current trends, India is moderately or almost nearly on track. On fourth goal of MDGs, India would still fall short of the target of 42 per 1,000 live births by 2015. On fifth goal of MDGs, by 2015, it is expected that India will be able to ensure only 62 percent of births in institutional facilities with trained personnel. On sixth goal of MDGs, much of decline in HIV/AIDS can be attributed to greater awareness and increasing condom use. Malaria diagnosis has declined from 1.745 percent in 2005 to 1.52 percent in 2009  and prevalence of TB has steadily declined. On seventh goal of MDGs, Forest cover has increased to 21.02 percent and protected areas cover to about 4.83 percent of the country’s total land area. The overall proportion of households having access to improved water sources increased from 68.2 percent in 1992-93 to 84.4 percent in 2007-08. On eight goal of MDGs, The Indian ICT industry, in particular, the IT software and services and ITES sectors have managed to catch up with the global leaders.

The Citizens in India can contribute in their own way in the achievement of MDGs :

(a)    By continuous  awareness- By spreading the continuous awareness regarding the merits and benefits of MDGs,to make it a matter of discussion. This can ease the process and then at last every citizen think its moral duty to contribute in the achievement of MDGs.

(b)    By Forming Self Help Group- The SHGs can be formed in related areas to MDGs and this will first of all create group awareness regarding MDGs and then societal perception regarding it.

(c)    Audio-Visual Medium- The citizens can also create significant impact upon the society regarding the benefits of achievement of MDGs through Audio-Visual medium.

(d)    Educating- The citizen have to educate the individuals alone and in group regarding the benefits out of the MDGs.

(e)    Volunteering-The volunteering will be an effective citizen tool in advocating the benefits from the proper implementation of MDGs.

(f)     Advocacy- Citizen advocacy group in favour of MDGs can be also vital in contributing the achievement of MDGs.

(g)    Favourable Public Opinion- There is need of creating favourable  public opinion in the favour of MDGs and this is possible only through citizen groups and veteran citizens.” – Vivek Kumar Singh – Bihar, India

Learner’s Submission: How Can Citizens Contribute to the Achievement of the “Millennium Development Goals” (MDGs) in India


“Citizen participation in nation-building process can be traced as far back as Plato’s Republic. It’s nothing new to Indian society also. History tells us how the citizen participation has brought freedom to India under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. The tradition continues and people of India still participating for the betterment of the nation. Below I’ve list some of my ideas how the Indian citizens can contribute to the achievement of the goals of the MDGs:

Right to Information Act,2005

I’ll say, RTI is the best gift to the people of India in the 21st century. Using this powerful tool every citizen can access the public information (except some which may be threat to our national security). Thus people can get information, analyse them, what’re the lacunas in the policy and act accordingly. Whistle-blowers also use this tool to expose the corruption!!!

Representative Democracy

India is the largest democracy in the world. In a democratic country, people hold the authority via their representative who is elected through universal adult franchise. Thus citizens can write to their representatives about the social problems.

Right to Public Service

Though this act is not implemented in every state in India, but some states enjoy the benefits. It provides time-bound delivery of services (public services) to the people. If anyone is deprived of this, she/he must approach the appellate authority. This enables the people preserve their basic rights.

Non-Governmental Organisations

Several NGOs are working towards poverty alleviation, better health care, education, women empowerment. Some of the NGOs working in India for this purpose are Sammaan Foundation, Akshaya Trust, Pratham, Deepalaya etc.

Public Awareness Events

Awareness is the enemy of sanity, for once you hear the screaming, and it never stops. Various awareness programs should be organised especially in rural areas about HIV/AIDS, women empowerment, social inequality etc. so that the educationally backward people will have some knowledge of the MDG.


The purpose is same, but the domain is large. It exceeds to the urban area also. One of the most famous campaigns now-a-days in India is the “I Lead India” organised by the Times of India group. It also helps in achieving the goals by some ways.” – Ansuman Mansingh – Odisha, India

Learner’s Submission: Introduction to Aboriginals


“520,000 Aboriginal Indigenous Australians, 2.5% of the population, are living mostly in New South Wales and Queensland [1]. AlthoughAustralia is a developed country and MDGs do not target this country, Aboriginals score lower in all of the MDGs targets than their non-aboriginal citizens. For example:

MDG1: In 2006, approximately 45% of all Indigenous people were in the lowest income group [2].

DDG2:39% of indigenous students stayed on to year 12 at high school, compared with 75% for the Australian population as a whole [3].

MDG3: Less than 10 % of Indigenous women have a post-school qualification.Indigenous women sought refuge from family violence at a rate of 45 per 1000 population, compared with 3 per 1000 population of non-Indigenous women.

MDG5:In 2007 18% of Indigenous births were to teenage mothers compared to 3% of non-Indigenous births to teenage mothers.


One of the problems in engaging aboriginal communities is gaining their trust. Over the past decades, many NGOs and government initiatives had started in aboriginal communities. Many of them had been either terminated before time or showed to be ineffective. Aboriginal communities have been continually asked to have their say of different matters, without any results being delivered [4& 5]. The result is a great suspicion among aboriginal communities about new initiatives. The community is left disappointed, exhausted, and frustrated. There is a vibe among Indigenous communities that these initiatives are not worth to get involve in. Building trust is an essential in closing gap in any area including healthcare [6].


Usually NGOs and Government initiatives start an Aboriginal engaging project by specific agenda and timetable and targets. In many case, they conduct a survey or establish a reference group of local representatives and inform them about their agenda and targets. I believe some steps are missing.

Never approach the communities with your own agenda and beliefs. Changeyour mind set. You are there to work with them, not for them. Aboriginal community must feel that is in control of the program. The feeling of self-determination will build trust between community and NGOs and will spark a greater and stronger involvement.

Provide the communities with your facilities and support their efforts. The community should see that the NGO has the capacity and capability. This method may take longer than common form of engagement, but it will have a better chance success.

Establish a community focus group to revise the program performance and change where they suggest. The focus group should include representatives from the community, NGO, and NGO staff who work in the community.” – Javad Jazaeri -Victoria, Australia


  1. http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Products/DDAB99776D7ABDC7CA25762A001CC066?opendocument
  2. http://www.ncca.org.au/departments/natsiec/advocacy/indigenous-pover
  3. http://www.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/abs@.nsf/0/A03CAD8F1C3F813BCA256E7D00002641
  4. http://www.yapa.org.au/youthwork/facts/aboriginalyoungpeople.php
  5. http://www.community.nsw.gov.au/docswr/assets/main/documents/working_with_aboriginal.pdf
  6. http://www.racp.edu.au, Indigenous health and trust – hard to win, easy to lose

New Course in the UNPAN Online Training Centre


The UNPAN Online Training Centre launched a new interactive course on “Introduction to Citizen Engagement in Public Governance for the Realization of the Millennium Development Goals”.

The course provides an overview of the ideas, issues, tools and examples of practices and methodologies of participatory public governance that can be effective in fostering the achievement of the MDGs. The objective of the training course is to enhance knowledge and capacities, and to motivate for action. It is addressed to practitioners, including community leaders, responsible for the formulation and implementation of development policies and programmes, as well as scholars and students of public administration.

All the courses available in the UNPAN Online Training Centre are free of charge and can be accessed at www.unpan.org/elearning.

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