On sustainability strategies of the programme, Dr. Abah suggested that members could explore the smartphone technology which everyone has for sharing of knowledge and joint activities and discussions on topical issues, noting that by so doing, it will be easy for members to focus on helping one another to solve common problems. He appreciated the creation of the BPSR portal for interactive online session on CoP but argued that one may not always have time to go online.
According to him, CoP which is learning as a community or professionals is not exactly new but has been underplayed in the Public Service, adding that one was more likely to ask a co-worker for information rather than resorting to books or other sources.
Dr. Abah further noted that for the CoP to succeed, it must have an identity and shared ownership among its members.
While commending DFID-SPARC for the opportunity, he enjoined the participating states of Cross River, Enugu, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Kebbi, Yobe and Zamfara to be fully engaged in the programme and showcase what they have done well and areas of challenges with a view to resolve them.
In her goodwill message, the National Deputy Programme Manager, SPARC, Mrs. Hadiza Elayo noted that SPARC is proud to support BPSR to empower and equip the Civil Service to continue to deepen governance reforms for improved service delivery, by leading and coordinating reforms around Nigeria. She futher explained that CoP is not only a new tool for government managers but an effective mechanism for building and disseminating capabilities as it addresses what she called “the local nature of knowledge”. While preparing the participants for the challenges of resistance to change, slow results that come with implementing the CoP, she hoped that the opportunity will provide increased access to information, expertise, human resources and new approaches to doing things.
In his presentation, SPARC Knowledge Consultant, Mr. Bamidele Thomas observed that hitherto reforms activities have been happening in silos but CoP now presents the perfect platform for sharing ideas and continuous learning on how to do things better.
The Executive Vice Chancellor, Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy, Dr. Tunji Olaopa, retired Federal Permanent Secretary and an expert on reforms, in his presentation noted that leadership is a critical factor in any reform programme as it determines the borderline between success or failure of any reform.
He further said that for BPSR to succeed, it must be restructured, become adequately empowered and capacitated to follow the policy direction initiated for it by the leadership.
The Director, Reform Coordination Depatment of BPSR, Mr. Yamusa Bin said that the reform efforts at the Federal been has been hinged on how to provide tangible improvement in the lives of the citizens of the country. Thereafter, he gave a presentation of BPSR recent publications and enjoined participants to carefully study their copies as guides in implementing reforms.
The States also, gave presentation on how their reform efforts have been impacting positively on the lives of their people.