Promoting Humanitarian Response Localization in Northeast Nigeria with iMMAP Inc.'s Internships

iMMAP Inc.'s Humanitarian Information Management (IM) Internship Program in Northeast Nigeria, is making a profound impact amidst challenges of conflict and displacement. The program empowers local graduates and response localization.

The Information Management (IM) Capacity Building and Internship Programs have become integral components of iMMAP Inc.'s contributions to humanitarian operations in the northeast region of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe (BAY) states. These programs, part of the project titled "Coordination and IM Services in Support for Humanitarian Action in Northeast Nigeria," are funded by the USAID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA). The project's goal is to enhance the response capabilities of local humanitarian actors through quality IM services, including training and technical skills development for aid providers and young graduates. 

iMMAP Inc.'s internship program in BAY states is a highly sought-after opportunity for local university graduates. The program has expanded to meet demand, with over 70 beneficiaries since its initiation. In March 2023, there was a staggering 1,700% oversubscription for Batch 13, which led to the program doubling its intake. 

Arie Claassens, iMMAP Inc. Nigeria Country Representative

“We highly appreciate the continued and valuable financial support of the USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), which allows iMMAP Inc. Nigeria to promote localization and thus locally-led humanitarian interventions through its Capacity Building and Internship Programs. The internship program further enables iMMAP Inc. to positively impact the livelihoods and financial future of more than 70 families and their communities in a very cost-effective manner, contributing to the stabilization of the region”.

The BAY states in northeast Nigeria have faced significant socioeconomic challenges since 2009 due to conflict, displacement, and economic disruption. iMMAP Inc.'s IM Capacity Building and Internship Programs have been integral to humanitarian operations in the region, including targeted development efforts that aim to build a more sustainable future for the people of the region. 

Sulaiman Badamasi, iMMAP Inc.'s Capacity Building Lead and a local figure in the northeast region, speaks on the success and positive impacts of the internship program in BAY states where technical roles are occupied by talents from outside of these three states.  To him, iMMAP Inc.'s capacity building initiatives, which cultivate locally rooted expertise, essential for understanding unique community dynamics and ensuring sustainability of humanitarian interventions, is important.  

“I remember working as an M&E officer in one of the International Non-government Organizations (INGOs) in Borno state, where 64% of the M&E staff were not from here (the northeast region). With these programs, more locals now occupy technical positions across the three states. Even in iMMAP Inc., about 75% of its current IM officers are from the northeast region.”

Sulaiman Badamasi, iMMAP Inc.'s Capacity Building Lead

Furthermore, Badamasi views the internship program as a critical pathway to employment. He pointed out iMMAP Inc.'s April 2023 internship survey, which showed that more than half of iMMAP Inc. Nigeria former interns were able to secure employment immediately following the program.   

Testimonials from Former Interns

The program has indisputably proven its efficacy, as it successfully paved the way for two-thirds of the graduates to enter roles within national and international humanitarian organizations. 

Embarking on Batch 7 between May and July 2021, Saratu Iirmdu Ambi, a computer engineering graduate hailing from Borno state in Northeast Nigeria, embarked on a profound journey within iMMAP Inc.'s internship program, experiencing transformative growth and development. The internship was a defining moment in her life, offering clarity on her career path and equipping her with the necessary technical skills and expertise in IM technologies. 

Saratu Iirmdu Ambi, iMMAP Inc. Batch 7 Intern

“After the program, I got employment with Premiere Urgence Internationale as the mission IM officer, supporting Maiduguri, Pulka, and Monguno areas of Borno state and Abuja, Nigeria's capital, for a year. I then joined another NGO as a full-time IM officer for the UNICEF Rapid Response Mechanism and R Shiny Web Mapping Support and Capacity Development project in January 2023. Furthermore, the program has improved my livelihood and enabled me to cater to and support my family and those around me.”

Another accomplished intern alumna, Jamiu Mohammed Bakare, a computer science graduate from Adamawa state, adds his voice to the resounding success stories, underscoring the profound impact of iMMAP Inc.'s internship program. 

“I participated in Batch 12 of the iMMAP Inc. internship program and graduated from the program in February 2023. I currently work with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as the associate information and communication technology (ICT) officer in the Maiduguri sub-office. Having iMMAP Inc. in my resume gave me an advantage during the interview process for my employment with UNDP. With the IM skills acquired, I provide technical assistance to some of the IMOs at UNDP. “

Jamiu Mohammed Bakare, iMMAP Inc. Batch 12 Intern

The program's impact extends beyond its interns to beneficiary organizations such as Yobe State University, the National Association of Adamawa State NGOs, the American University of Nigeria, and the Nutrition Sector. Interns acquire skills in data management, GIS, KoboToolbox, Excel, Power BI, the Humanitarian Program Cycle (HPC), and the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP). This illustrates the program's significant role in driving local skill acquisition and regional capacity building. 

In May 2023, iMMAP Inc. began the expansion initiative and accepted eight interns under the Batch 13 program in both Adamawa and Yobe states. Doubling the historical size of the program, and expanding to all three BAY states, the program is expected to graduate at least 24 interns, at the end of the 2022/2023 project cycle.