Viewing Posts by O. Chima Okereke
Upcoming Presentation: Session 309: Solving Vital Community Infrastructural Problems in a Developing Country
Virtual Experience Series
Categories: Virtual Experience Series
By: Okoro Okereke, PMP
During my session in the PMI Virtual Experience Series: 9 June, I will outline the problems that militate against the development and sustainability of necessary infrastructure in many developing countries and are not limited to various aspects of the scarcity of funds. They transcend whether the limited available resources are being judiciously utilized. A third factor is the sustainability of the inadequate infrastructures. It could be stating the obvious to suggest that if it had been possible to sustain and use all infrastructures developed in the past years, the problem of underdevelopment would not be the international challenge that it is now and would not include inadequate development.
The reality is that the paltry infrastructures built over the years are not sustained. The communities in many developing countries seem to be facing deindustrialization as the years go by. The infrastructure being used today will fail over the next few years and will not be repaired or replaced. Thankfully, some of these communities do not surrender, rather they try to improve as best as they can.
In this session, I will discuss the efforts of a management team set up by a community in a developing country to solve vital infrastructural problems in the community. They were saddled with failing and failed infrastructures.
Despite the determination and enthusiasm of the members to do their level best for their community, the management team had other problems with which to contend. One problem is that they are all volunteers working in a system with no generally accepted organizational structure. They work as equals and giving instructions and directives to any person is not a part of their agreement or “what any of them signed up for,” as several of them shared at the beginning of the program.
Moreover, despite the determination, skills, and expertise of the team, without funds not much can be achieved. This scenario is one in which the team started and continues to work without any settled source of funds. It has worked for about two years with several achievements to show for the efforts of the professionals. Any professional who works in a developing country or is likely to do so will certainly have some helpful lessons to learn from the experience of this management team.
The session will examine the lessons learned by the management team, which has adopted program management to resolve their community’s problems. These include widespread unemployment, inadequate food supply, inexistent training for unemployed youths, poor infrastructure, etc. For example, the water supply network was in a poor and dangerous condition. The supply scheme installed by a government organization more than 11 years earlier had failed. No comprehensive maintenance was carried out on the three artesian wells and the water network since the scheme was commissioned. A serious backflow in the overflow piping caused flooding in the wellhead area, adjoining roads and houses. In addition, grid electricity supply was drastically inadequate, only available for about four hours a week.
Interested in learning more and continuing the conversation? Join me on Thursday, 9 June 2022, at 9:30 a.m. EDT at the PMI Virtual Experience Series: 9 June program and participate in the question-and-answer session with me and the rest of the PM community.