SDDirect consultants take a lead on developing projects and programmes with a strong social development focus, such as reducing risk and vulnerability, tackling social exclusion, designing social protection measures, promoting gender equality and working with civil society.
We also provide social development advice and analysis to multidisciplinary teams designing sectoral programmes, such as health, education or infrastructure, where we focus on concerns such as promoting inclusion and ensuring equitable access to services. We also provide social development inputs into project and programme design in other areas such as conflict prevention and mitigation, governance and accountability, migration and displacement, trade and investment promotion, and private sector development.
For SDDirect, effective programme design must take into account the broader policy context such as poverty reduction strategies, security safeguards and equality goals. Our approach is also based on building a thorough understanding of the local social, political and institutional context and the capabilities of those who will be involved in the management and delivery of the programmes.
SDDirect offers considerable experience in various types of research and information gathering, from preparing situation analyses and carrying out mapping of existing service provision, to participatory consultation with stakeholders and clients. The voices and views of those most affected by a proposed project or programme should play a central role in shaping design and SDDirect’s approach and methods contribute to ensuring this. All our consultants bring skills in participatory consultation and participatory planning techniques, and have considerable experience of ensuring that the voices of marginalised, poor or excluded groups are taken into account in programme design.
We also believe that programmes should be designed with an eye to the long term, rather than being a piecemeal activity carried out when short-term funds and resources become available. Building monitoring and evaluation processes that ensure lesson learning and enable programmes and approaches to be adapted over the longer-term is key to building more sustainable programmes.
It is estimated that there are between 7 to 9 million children in Nigeria who are out of school. Social Development Direct, as a core partner in the Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN), is helping to change this through technical assistance provided directly to state and federal governments. ESSPIN is one of the UK government's largest international development programmes and will support quality basic education reform over a six-year period.