ABOUT THE CENTRE
The National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru has set up the Political Parties Leadership and Policy Development Centre (PPLPDC). The principal aim of the centre is to help develop capacity of political parties and institutions in order to improve the democratic quality of political engagement. Political parties are crucial for the stability and dynamics of a democratic political system. They provide the platform for citizens to associate with like-minded people, to debate among themselves and across party political divide, and to develop a vision for their societies. In their march to take their rightful place in society political parties in developing countries such as Nigeria have tended to face daunting challenges. In many countries, the dominance of one or two political parties has stifled competition, reducing the freedom of choice. Moreover, allegiance towards a party could sometimes be determined by ethnic or regional interest, reflecting the virtual absence of party ideology. What is more, arising from this, the extent to which parties take clear and consistent policy positions has been weak. In addition some vulnerable groups – women, youths and the physically challenged – have tended to suffer from a period of relative neglect in their appearances as leaders and actors in many political parties in the country.
As part of efforts to support the capacity for political party leadership to overcome these challenges, the Political Parties Leadership and Policy Development Centre at NIPSS, Kuru plans to organise series of trainings for political party leadership and other stakeholders with a view to: Improve understanding of party development, renewal and revitalization proc3esses, mechanisms and experiences, while enhancing advocacy, networking and coalition building skills that advance core democratic values of consensus building, non-violence, inclusion and tolerance amongst others; and Build capacities of participants in strategic policy development and intensify their understanding of governance processes and respect for democratic principles, values and culture.
QUALITY OF TRAINERS
NIPSS has engaged Resource Persons to deliver training to Chairmen of all the 25 parties in the country as well as other layers of party leadership such as Secretaries, Financial Secretaries, Auditors, Treasurers, Women Leaders, Youth leaders etc. For effective delivery of the training objectives, the resource person should have either a track record of teaching and research in Political Science or related subject, or indeed be persons with practical experience in politics. Bringing together trainers from both academic and practical experience has the advantage of promoting better understanding of the material covered in both the trainers’ handbook as well as the training modules already developed by the Centre.
The training will be provided at a well-furnished training hall of the PPLPDC. Each trainer will be sent by e-mail in advance of their arrival the relevant training module. Hard copies will be issued on arrival in Kuru.
MODE OF DELIVERY
The training modules were carefully crafted to allow for interaction amongst the trainees and the trainers. This means that it is envisaged to be a departure from the top-down approach in which the trainer is assumed to have a virtual monopoly of knowledge. The training approach at Kuru adopts the more realistic position that both the trainers and the trainees stand to gain a lot from the experiences and knowledge of one another, so inter-active approach to the delivery of training will be adopted. What is more, the fact that the trainer is expected to listen to opinions of the trainees could have far reaching lessons to them especially on their return to their various political parties where they would adopt the interactive approach in their dealings with their party members and staff. To facilitate the training, modern audio-visual facilities (predominantly the Power Point presentation methods) will be adopted.
Kuru is situated in a serene environment in the outskirts of Jos, the Plateau State Capital. Kuru (and the entire landscape of Jos) enjoys good weather conditions, with temperatures hovering well below 300C for the most part of the year. For participants coming from Lagos or distant areas, access to Kuru can be gained on arrival at the Jos International Airport. In addition, good road network renders the place within easy reach for those coming from Abuja, Bauchi, Kano, Kaduna, Zaria or other neigbouring town and cities.