(University of Nigeria)
Charles Gay (Christian Aid)
Paper Short Abstract:
Promoting vertically integrated accountability processes through Voice to the People, in Nigeria didn't only help citizens to influence budgets but also planning and monitoring of budget implementation; triggering community level social accountability initiatives and horizontal linkages.
Paper long abstract:
Donors have long supported civil society programmes to enhance accountable governance in aid recipient countries but limited impacts have prompted questions concerning the efficacy of their approaches. This paper is a study of the Voice to the People programme, funded by the Department of International Development (DFID) and implemented in Nigeria by Christian Aid in partnership with local Civil Society Organisations, that has performed somewhat better. Given that this paper aimed to identify lessons rather than evaluation, it took a purposive, iterative and collaborative approach to data collection, analysis and report writing considering V2P through the lens of Vertical Integration. Although V2P did not set out to address specific accountability failures through its focus on service delivery targets in particular sectors, however, it did take a power informed approach to coordinating citizens' voices at different levels for more responsive and accountable governance. This led to increasing prospects for vertically integrated governance and government's acceptance cum institutionalisation of V2P's Community Charter of Demand (CCD). Such acceptance influenced budget information access, participation and eventually increase in budget allocations for community healthcare, education and infrastructure projects and social development. It equally resulted to shifting power imbalances between state and citizens, creating more space and a process for citizen voices especially women to influence state budgeting processes in the future. Reasons for success include a carefully orchestrated, non-confrontational evidence-based campaign that helped access to high level budget forums and leveraging the CCD tools developed by communities and V2P partners whilst building horizontal alliances.
Connecting states and citizens: the impact of political brokerage on African governance