Local Climate Change Response Strategies in Lagos: Civic Participation through Social Media

Community Conservation and Development Initiatives (CCDI), a partner organisation of Heinrich Böll Foundation, has been working with local government officials and community members in three local governments (Yaba, Eti-Osa and Lekki) to raise awareness on causes and consequences of climate change within their local communities and build capacity for identifying/formulating action plans to respond to the most urgent needs.

The recent weather disasters in Lagos have indicated that the new rainy season might cause more havoc to life and property than ever before. To prevent the worst scenarios or to alleviate the suffering of affected people, quick and decisive action from the part of the responsible government officials would be necessary. Meanwhile, the experiences of the project have shown that local governments have difficulties in taking swift actions because of bureaucratic and financial bottlenecks..

In order to hold the local governments more accountable and to ensure the implementation of the proposed projects, young volunteers from the communities are required to support the project by reporting and monitoring project activities and other incidents relating to the topic through blogs, tweets and facebook posts. The aim is to increase dialogue around climate change issues at local level and to monitor and probe the performance of their local government representatives in this regard. This social media-enabled project activity will also increase the political involvement of interested young people and create awareness about climate change and local response initiatives.

Call for Volunteers
The project seeks to recruit and train volunteers (4 for Yaba, 3 each for Eti-Osa and Lekki) who will work in close cooperation with CCDI and the project consultant. Selected volunteers will receive training that will introduce them to CCDI’s project on climate change and local response initiatives, the importance of Social Media for transparency and accountability, the role of volunteers as watchdogs, and detailed expectations of their contributions.

The project consultant will monitor the performance of social media volunteers and hold regular meetings with the volunteers. Volunteers are expected to post frequent blogs and use other social media channels to promote the blogs and encourage feedback/interactivity. The volunteers are also expected to attend CCDI meetings and carry out their own independent research on local climate change and environmental issues depending on individual interests.

This is a volunteer role but it can serve as an opportunity for anyone looking for unpaid internships or an opportunity to work on a project with an international foundation and a Nigerian non-profit working on local response initiatives to climate change. To cover the cost of transportation, a nominal monthly stipend will be provided. Residents of Yaba, Eti-Osa and Lekki who are interested in using social media tools to support local response initiatives to climate change and can devote some time towards blogging, tweets, facebook updates and physical meetings between April and October 2012 should send their CV and a Statement of Interest to gbenga.sesan[at]pinigeria.org before 5pm on March 15, 2012.

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