Suddenly, it seemed I have run into a kind of hitch on my journey!
The project team received the information that the research partner had revealed it was unable to conduct the Situation analysis which was initially slated for October and was proposing a new date in quarter 1 of 2019. The implication was that the design workshop which was to hold in November to design the program and mark the end of the inception phase, after the situation analysis must have been conducted, was at risk as well.
Personally, it was a huge disappointment for me. This is because as the Co-design Advisor, the program design was supposed to be the climax of my PULSE assignment as my assignment was expected to conclude with the end of the Inception phase.
The team met and took a decision – to commence a landscaping exercise, similar to a situation analysis, in the two states. With the report from the exercise we could go ahead to have the earlier scheduled November workshop.
I developed a tool for data gathering and analysis, and after input from the team, we shared our plan with the team in London. They were excited, and we proceeded.
First stop was Jigawa state, where we met key stakeholders from the different government units representing the different thematic areas of the program. It was an intense exercise where we deliberated and received tons of data and information from different stakeholders.
Next stop was Lagos state where we repeated the same exercise.
Armed with the report from the landscaping exercises, we commenced a 3-day workshop on the 28th of November in Abuja. In attendance were stakeholders from SCUK, GSK London, SCI Country office, GSK Nigeria, the research partner, CSOs, representatives from Lagos, Jigawa and FMOH, CHAI, Oxygen for life initiative and other partners.
It was 3 days of intense deliberations that set a clear direction for the program design. Other discussions centered on indicators to be adopted, a review of research questionnaires, modality for selecting LGAs for implementation and several other important discussions.
And so, from a situation of uncertainty we were able to quickly think outside the box and put together an actionable plan that ensured I was able to participate and contribute immensely to the pre-design workshop, thus laying a critical foundation for the actual program design.