The Birth of CPED
The Centre for Population and Environmental Development (CPED) is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit and non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting sustainable development and reducing poverty and inequality through policy oriented research and active engagement on development issues. CPED started as an action research group based in the University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria in 1985. The action research group was concerned with applied research on sustainable development and poverty reduction challenges facing Nigeria. The research group also believed that communication, outreach and intervention programs, which can demonstrate the relevance and effectiveness of research findings and recommendations for policy and poverty reduction, especially at the grassroots level, must be key components of its action research. The emphasis was also on the participation of key stakeholders in the research and sustainable development programs in their locality. In order to translate its activities more widely, the Benin Social Science Research Group was transformed into an independent research and action Centre in 1998. It was formally registered in Nigeria as such by the National Corporate Affairs Commission in 1999.
The establishment of CPED is influenced by three major developments. In the first place, the economic crisis of the 1980s that affected African countries including Nigeria led to poor funding of higher education, the emigration of academics to advanced countries which affected, negatively, the quality of research on national development issues emanating from the universities which are the main institutions with the structures and capacity to carry out research and promote discourse on socio-economic development. Secondly, the critical linkage between an independent research or think tank organisation and an outreach program that translates the findings into policy and at the same time test the applicability and effectiveness of the recommendations emanating from research findings has been lacking.
Finally, an independent institution that is focusing on a holistic approach to sustainable development and poverty reduction in terms of research, communications and outreach activities is needed in Nigeria. CPED recognises that the core functions of new knowledge creation (research) and the application of knowledge for development (communication and outreach) are key challenges facing sustainable development and poverty reduction in Nigeria where little attention has been paid to the use of knowledge generated in academic institutions. Thus, CPED was created as a way of widening national and regional policy and development debate, provide learning and research opportunities and give visibility to action programs relating to sustainable development and poverty reduction in different parts of Nigeria and beyond.
The vision of Centre for Population and Environmental Development (CPED) is to be a key non-state actor in the promotion of grassroots development among the inhabitants of various communities in Nigeria.
The overall mission of Centre for Population and Environmental Development (CPED) is to promote action-based research programmes and undertake intervention programmes on sustainable population and environmental issues in Nigeria in general and the Niger Delta in particular.
The guiding philosophy of the Centre for Population and Environmental Development (CPED) is the propagation of research and knowledge for development which is based on hard work, diligence, innovativeness, honesty equity, gender-balance and participation of all stakeholders and beneficiaries of development programmes in Nigeria.
Brief About the Executive Director
The idea of an independent think-tank which is committed to action-based research, advocacy, training and practical action on grassroots development originated from Professor Emeritus Andrew G. Onokerhoraye in consultation with members of Benin Social Science Research Group, which he headed for fifteen years. Prof. Emeritus Onokerhoraye was educated at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria where he obtained his first degree in geography in 1970 and at the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1974. He has since been involved in grassroots research in Nigeria, focusing on issues of equity in development as it affects the poor and the disadvantaged. He has published over 25 books and more than 100 academic papers. In 1995 the Delta State Government of Nigeria awarded him the highest intellectual honour, Delta State Merit Award, for his application of research results to grassroots development in Nigeria. Prof Emeritus Onokerhoraye has held key management positions in the University system in Nigeria. He was Head, Department of Geography and Regional Planning, University of Benin, 1981-1985. Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Benin 1986-1990, Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics, University of Benin 1990-1992, and Vice Chancellor, University of Benin 1992-1998. He was a visiting scholar, Departments of Population and International Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 1998/99. He returned to Nigeria in august 1999, where he is now the Executive Chairman of CPED. He was honoured as Emeritus Professor upon his retirement from the University of Benin in 2015. His Wide experience in managing academic institutions has been an asset in the capacity building of CPED. Under his leadership, more than 50 major projects have been successfully managed with grant/funding from both local and international partners. Professor Emeritus Andrew G. Onokerhoraye and those of his collaborator’s dream is that the Centre remains sustainable for many generations to come.
Our Corporate Objectives
As an organization committed to grassroots development through action research and intervention programmes, our objectives are as follows: