He is an experienced economic, environmental, and social development expert, with involvement covering different parts of Africa and internationally.
He also has International grantmaking across different regions and specific fundraising expertise across different social, economic and political issues.
Dr Abdulai also has a special interest in human rights, gender, the eradication of poverty, climate change, biodiversity, and environmental issues.
The new Board Chairman of the Northern Development Authority (NDA) has a range of experience from academic, through fundraising, and grant making which has led to a strong skillset including in negotiation, strategic planning, monitoring, evaluation and learning, community mobilisation, facilitation, alliance building and agenda-setting.
Dr Sulemana Abudulai has worked with a vast array of people from grassroots communities to civil society and private sector actors, through to senior government and political leaders in different regions of the world.
PhD, Land Economy and Applied Anthropology, University of Cambridge, UK (September June 1982- 1986)
MSc, Rural and Regional Resources Planning, University of Aberdeen, UK. (June 1979-May 1982)
BSc (Hons), Land Economy, University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. (June 1972- June 1976)
CAREER AND WORK EXPERIENCE HISTORY
He has been Visiting Professor, University of Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana.
November 2016 To: June 2020 He supported academic work in the Faculty of Agribusiness and Communication Sciences’, Climate Change and Food Security Programme.
Subjects covered include food security and poverty analysis, global food security, industrial and traditional agricultural systems, gender and development, sustainable development goals, land tenure and agricultural systems.
He has been an International Consultant, United Nations
From: September 2014 To: May 2015 This position involved mobilization of Extra Budget Funding from diverse bilateral and multilateral sources to support community level work in the Africa Union and UN Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
He developed a fundraising strategy for UNAMID as well as a working paper on focus issues which would help with identification of donors to support confidence building and governance work in this conflict affected part of Sudan. Hr also submitted funding proposals to the European Union and the Canadian Government.
The new Board chairman was Africa Field Representative, The Stephen Lewis Foundation of Canada.
From: March 2011 To: January 2016. He was also one of a number of consultant field representatives supporting HQ staff in grant making, monitoring and evaluation on issues around HIV-AIDS, Gender Based Violence, Orphaned and Vulnerable Children, and Child Protection. This position involves field visits across East and Southern Africa to undertake organizational and institutional capacity assessments of funded partners across Eastern and Southern Africa. Also to review the work of potential partners of the Foundation. He was Head of Strategic Partnerships, The Gaia Foundation
From: September 2009 To: February 2011 This new position involved the development of the Foundation’s strategic plan and fundraising strategy, relationship building, and the management of an existing pool of funders. He also developed funding proposals aimed at institutional donors, individuals, and governmental agencies covering diverse topics including climate change, global food security, protection of areas of ecological, cultural and spiritual significance, international environment and biodiversity agreements, and the Sustainable Development Goals.
This position also involved an element of providing capacity building support to international partner organizations in 12 African countries.
Dr Sulemana was aldo Programme Manager, Comic Relief International, London
From: January 2000 To: July 2009 Duties included:
Policy and Strategy Development
- Producing programme strategies for all Comic Relief Grants Programmes, ensuring gender, disability and HIV-AIDS are dealt with as cross-cutting issues.
- Developing guidelines for aspects of the International Grant Making Programme; Project management and periodic review of grants supporting pastoralists, disability, people living in urban slums, fair trade children and young people, women and girls, and HIV/AIDS initiatives in Africa
- Capacity building for funded institutions around strengthening governance, financial management, organisational and programme development.
Management of the Grant-making process
- Grant making and the administration of a grant-making facility with an annual spend of £22 million.
- Publicising the International Grants Programme and its priorities
- Producing grants assessment manuals which identified areas to be covered when reviewing applications; assessing a number of applications, business plans and financial accounts
- Quality control of assessment reports
- Presenting Assessment Reports to the International Grants Committee and Trustees
- Developing criteria and priorities for funding streams.
- Oversee the management of a portfolio of grants covering all Comic Relief grants programmes, worth nearly £45 million in over 30 countries
Monitoring and Evaluation
- Development and management of the Grants programme policies, procedures, and systems on monitoring, evaluation and learning, and ensuring performance measures are executed, regularly reviewed, and linked to project theories of change.
- Review and feedback on evaluation report, and undertaking monitoring visits, including those with corporate supporters to projects across Africa.
- Promoting learning between funded organisations, and commissioning impact studies and baseline surveys
- Effectively representing the organisation within the international development and grant making sectors through outreach and promoting Comic Relief’s grant-making strategy, grants programme and application process to the UK voluntary sector and with International NGOs in Africa.
- Develop and sustain excellent relationships with a wide range of development agencies and key networks including government, civil society, and bilateral agencies
Communications and Media
- Selecting projects suitable for use in all aspects of Comic Relief’s communications and public fundraising work
- Liaising with and accompanying the BBC (television and radio) as well as other media on trips to projects
- Collecting key statistics, quotes and personal stories.
He was also the Country Director, Action on Disability and Development (ADD), Ghana
From: 1995 To: 1999 Policy and Strategy Development
As first Country Director, he managed this multi-agency funded Ghana Programme on disability and development which sought to improve the capacity of disabled people and their organizations to influence and participate in decision-making processes that affect their lives at household, community, national and international levels.
Working with others, nationally and Internationally
His team established excellent working relationships with other NGOs, government agencies, and international organisations concerned with the empowerment of disabled people.
The disability movement were supported to participate in the Africa Decade activities addressing inclusion issues across the continent.
Financial Management and Resource Mobilization
Managed a team of staff both in the national office as well as in provincial locations across northern Ghana.
Oversaw the establishment of robust financial and administrative systems
Led in the development and successful submission of funding proposals
Effectively representing the organisation within the local, regional, national and international development sectors through regular consultation meetings, outreach and promotion of ADD’s country strategy, policy actions, and other processes relevant to ADD and its partner DPOs.
These relationships resulted in mutually beneficial outcomes around policy development, and targeting of development assistance.
Dr Sulemana also worked at the Open University
From: 1992 To: 1994
Part-time Tutor, Third World Studies Course (U208) – lecturing, design and assignment of course work and academic supervision of students. Coursework embraced a range of issues including development theory and practice, environment and development, international trade, rural poverty, and agricultural development.
The new Board chairman worked with Action Aid-Ghana as a
Programme Manager, First Ghana Programme, Ghana
From: 1990 To: 1992 Programme Development and Management
Led a team in strategic planning, initial start-up activities, and overall management of this first Action Aid Country Programme.
This included recruitment, establishing offices, co-ordinating and developing good working relationships with village communities, central government and other NGO agencies, training of staff in participatory rapid appraisal, community-based monitoring and evaluation, fundraising and financial management, logistics and stock control, planning and budgeting, administration and community mobilisation.
He oversaw the establishment of robust financial and administrative systems, including a system for review of management accounts and strategic plans.
Integrated Rural Development
The integrated rural development programme I initiated, enabled communities in 3 Districts (population approximately 400,000) to improve food and nutrition security, establish early warning systems to mitigate the impact of recurring droughts and famine, and to tackle chronic problems of poverty. Initiatives were also adopted to improve access to water in this semi-arid area, through water harvesting technologies, desilting of dams, and recuperation of wells abandoned from a previous CIDA scheme. In doing this, we worked closely with New Energy and Water Aid.
Coping with Drought and Food Insecurity
In response to recurring droughts and food insecurity, I led a team to introduce a seed credit scheme embracing the production of food crops, dry season vegetables, cotton, etc. Working with health authorities, we managed occasional outbreaks of disease epidemics (e.g. Cholera, measles, and malaria). He led in the successful establishment of community-based systems to engage with government and other development agencies, to influence resource allocation and decision-making processes that affected their lives. A robust system was also established to improve participatory monitoring, evaluation and sharing of best practice with others.
He did Post-Doctoral Research Associate, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, UK. From: 1988 To: 1989 Working with the Refugee Studies Programme (Oxford) the research covered “Survival Strategies in the Guinea-Voltaic parts of West Africa”. He also explored issues underpinning the status and challenges facing refugees in Africa.
SOCIAL ENTERPRISE INITIATIVES
Initiator and Advisor, Borimanga Rural Bank, Savelugu, Ghana.
Initiated and played pivotal role in the establishment of the Borimanga Rural Bank to enhance access to financial services for people in isolated rural communities of the Savelugu-Nanton and other Districts.
Initiator, Tamale Girls Senior High School (PAGNAA/TAGISS), Tamale. Ghana
Initiated and played pivotal role in the establishment of the Tamale Girls Senior High School (Pagnaa),in 1996, the first all-girls SHS in the Northern Region, before its subsequent absorption into the Ghana Education Service System.
This was to improve access to education for disadvantaged girls previously denied by virtue of distance and financial constraints.
Initiator, RAINS, Tamale Ghana
Initiated and played a pivotal role in the establishment, in 1993, of RAINS (www.rainsgha.org), a local NGO that currently works with communities across Northern Ghana focusing on children and young people, educational access for girls, child rights, women in community development, and micro-finance for rural development.
Initiator, Bawku East Women’s Development Association (BEWDA)
Initiated and played a pivotal role in the establishment, in 1991, of the Bawku East Women’s Development Association (BEWDA) a local, women-led NGO that works with community-based women’s organisations in the Bawku East Districts and other parts of northern Ghana. The organisation has also played a critical role in peace building and conflict prevention processes in the Bawku area over the last two decades.
CONSULTANCY AND ADVISORY WORK
· Action Aid International, Consultant, Insights and Experiences of Women Smallholder Farmers in Ghana and Rwanda, Baseline Study on Women’s Rights to Sustainable Livelihoods, 2014.
· Comic Relief, Grant assessor, DFID-funded Maanda Initiative, July 2014
· Comic Relief, Consultant, Various Communication Trips to Uganda, Ghana, 2010 – Present.
· Star Ghana, Review of Grantmaking process, August 2013.
· Star Ghana, Quality Assurance support to civil society groups funded for work on quality and access in education across Ghana, November 2012.
· Star Ghana, Outcome Analysis on Country Programme, April 2013.
· Consultant, Sight Savers International and Hilton Perkins School for the Blind (USA), to evaluate the Institutional Development Programme on various associations of visually impaired in Uganda, Ghana and the Gambia. Jan 1997
· Evaluation of the IFAD/LACOSREP/MOA Agricultural Credit scheme in the Upper East region. Also conducted baseline study on the establishment of an IFAD/SADEP Agricultural Credit scheme in the West Gonja and Bole. This included analysis of HIV/AIDS as a cross-cutting issue. Oct 1993 – Mar 1994.
· Consultant, Water Aid (London). Evaluation of projects in Ghana with respect to programme strategy, health education, training, local community participation and programme management. Nov 1992.
· Consultant and Adviser, Womankind (Worldwide), .London. Carried out a organisational needs assessment of women’s groups with the view to strengthening their capacity. Feb – Jul 1989
English (Fluent), French (beginners level), and 3 Ghanaian languages.
PUBLISHED AND UNPUBLISHED PAPERS OF THE NEW NDA BOARD CHAIRMAN
· Insights and Experiences of Women Smallholder Farmers in Ghana and Rwanda, Baseline Study on Women’s Rights to Sustainable Livelihoods, 2014, Action Aid International.
· Land rights, land use dynamics and policy in peri-urban Tamale, in Lavigne Delville, Toulmin and Traoré (Eds) (2004) The dynamics of resource tenure in West Africa. James Currey, Oxford.
· Using participative techniques with people with Disabilities, PLA Notes (1998), Issue 32, pp.126–130, IIED London. http://www.iied.org/sarl/pla_notes/pla_backissues/documents/plan_03229.PDF.
· Bawku East Women’s Development Association, Yearbook of Co-operatives, Plunkett Foundation, 1993.
· Land Tenure Among the Dagomba of Northern Ghana, Cambridge Anthropologist, Vol. 3 No 8, 1988.
· Involuntary Migration in West Africa, West Africa, 6/7/87.
· Land Tenure and Agricultural Development in the Dagomba Area of Northern Ghana, Unpublished dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment for PhD, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, 1986.
· The Development and Use of Local Material in the Construction Industry of Ghana, Unpublished dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment for MSc, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, 1981.