I had written this piece five years ago but became too reluctant to share, maybe I felt I was too critical of my workspace or I felt it wasn't the right time to get the entire team to think about the next 5years while basking in the euphoria of the moment-celebrating while we celebrated CODE @5.
While one can easily be excited and bask in the euphoria of a seeming achievement gotten over years of consistent hard work, pain, sweat and blood in building a process that will have a global scale of effect and impact, that kind that will shake the very core of Nation-States crisscrossing continents and blazing a trail for more social innovations from youth lead organizations, that kind which is expected to only be found in well structured and advance societies that will naturally not sound like Nigeria, an organization located at the Centre of Nigeria’s capital city has achieved that feat.
Connected Development can be said to have evolved into a household name particularly in the Civil Society space and across the Social Innovation ecosystem, playing the second feeder to none, it has cracked through the rocks in growth particularly in the not-so-popular social intervention space where others occupy, the organization built on a dogged commitment to ensuring transparency and accountability in line with global best practices and the Open Data cum Government campaign has carved a niche for itself with the #FollowTheMoney campaign that has become a household name used by everyone in the social space when referring to social accountability. The Follow the Money chant has almost the name ‘Connected Development’ making it sometimes difficult to make a personal introduction on a platform of CSOs without the screams and hailings of Follow the Money overshadowing one's voice.
The catchy phrase is a reflection of the challenges of the everyday Nigerian who goes about wondering why his government and country have remained the way it is without any considerable ‘change’, the rationalization of this challenge by the political ruling class and the seeming lip service paid in the discussion for good governance, justice and equity. In a bid to come out of this thought process, one is left with no option but to seek succour in the fact that; a process must start immediately to address this seemingly humongous challenge of the attributes of ‘Bad Governance’ that has become a reality we live and sleep in daily. Little wonder why “Follow the Money" has become almost like the last resort on every table when Nigeria is discussed, thus dragging National attention to the organization that has developed the roadmap and is actively involved in the ‘following’.
One must be guided not to think about the transparency and accountability gap as a local phenomenon but as an international reality facing even developed nations of the world, such that it needs a concerted effort in tackling, little wonder the buzz around the ‘Follow the Money’ process, its rise to stardom and its fame.
With all these feats and fame, we must not lose sight of the next years ahead. A projection onto the next 5years of the organization is key and very critical in the scale of National and International relevance. While a motor engine may be seen as more important than the body of the car, there is always more premium placed on a beautifully designed sleek car world over, one may want to argue this ‘golden truth’ but motor manufacturers will always appreciate this reality.
Hence it is not enough just to have a powerful self-energizing turbo engine, but to have also the right house for that engine to function optimally and compete favourably when on display the world over.
The next 5years ahead will be more interesting, engaging, moments defining and risky in navigating this vehicle through the dangerous bumps and sharp bends, potholes, curvy roads, terrible weather conditions and even hurricanes and volcanoes, it will also test the durability of the vehicle and its ability to weather the storms that will most definitely come, but I am VERY confident in the skill, capacity, versatility and the soft touch of its MANUFACTURERS and MECHANICS that would not rest on their oars, loose guard or bail out of the process of ensuring newness, stability and constant maintenance of this well crafted and designed engine and the cover that houses the same.
Busayo Oluwadamilare Morakinyo is a Development Enthusiast and a radical Thought Engineer, he is also a Program Manager at Connected Development and Lead Investigator on the Education thematic structure of the organization.