Jite is a communication for development specialist with over a dozen years of experience developing communication-based solutions with marginalised people across Nigeria, to ensure they have equal access to information, opportunities, and essential resources. She currently works as a Senior Programme Manager on the Innovation Team at Results for Development (R4D), where she manages the thematic workstreams of equity and innovation and systems innovation for the International Development Innovation Alliance (for which R4D is the secretariat), challenging dominant norms of global philanthropy in innovation, and analysing equitable and inclusive funding practices that emphasise local voice, power, and agency for leading systems transformation.
Her work has spanned themes of health, gender, democracy and good governance, conflict and violent extremism, equal access to education, sustainable livelihoods, climate change, and equitable access to resources, amongst others, with her media-based projects reaching more than 30 million Nigerians in six languages. Her work uses participatory design methodologies and storytelling, to platform underserved communities and shift power to them by amplifying their narratives, experiences and ideas and showcasing inherent community agency for systems transformation.
Prior to joining the AFSEE Fellowship, Jite served as the Program Director at ARDA Development Communication Inc, a leading development communication non-profit in Nigeria, where she developed radio programs, distance learning toolkits, videos, participatory theatre productions, comic books, and mobile applications that addressed Nigeria’s endemic inequities through advocacy, by targeting barriers to behaviour and social change, and by increasing access to information, services, networks, and social inclusion.
Her final project at ARDA centered around conflict mitigation, peace promotion and combatting violent extremism, undertaking interventions that ensured communities had a seat at the table in discussing long-term solutions to peace and stability after years of insurgency from armed opposition groups, terrorist organizations and ongoing banditry across Nigeria. She counts her biggest achievement in that role to be the 400 formerly-marginalised women she worked with, who formed women’s groups and coalitions, organizing their own community peace events, and appearing in media to advocate for the inclusion of more women in community decision-making.
In 2020, as a Bridge Fellow with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, the foremost Nigerian economic think tank, Jite served as the Technical Assistant to the Women Affairs Thematic Working Group, which was mandated by Nigeria’s Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to develop solutions for gender equality and social inclusion in Nigeria’s Medium-Term National Development Plan (2021-2025), which was adopted in late 2021.
Jite has an undergraduate degree in Biology from the Clark University and a master’s in Public Health from Tulane University. She also holds a MSc in Inequalities and Social Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Building on her lifelong interest in gender equity and media, her MSc research focused on gender equity and media discourse, particularly the construction of gender (in)equity within mainstream media representations of Nigerian women’s movements.
My hope comes from my faith in humanity and our immense capacity to change and transform narratives around inequality. A decade ago, feminism was almost a dirty word in my country. Today, there are frequent discussions about gender equality, and movements being built around social inclusion in leadership.