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CEPPS in Nigeria

Since 1999, CEPPS has been working in Nigeria to strengthen the country’s democracy by increasing political parties’ responsiveness to citizens, strengthening inclusion and representation in political party structures and processes and promoting oversight of government functions to enhance accountability.
CEPPS Overarching Goals:

Working with political party members, government officials, civil society organizations (CSOs), and constituents in four states of Nigeria, CEPPS strengthens the ability of political parties to develop policies that are responsive to citizen priorities and concerns, improve communication and coordination between party leadership and elected officials, and increase the representation of marginalized groups including women, youth and people with disabilities in political processes.

CEPPS also works to strengthen the capacity of State Houses of Assembly (SHOA) in Adamawa, Bauchi, Sokoto and Ebonyi to respond to citizen priorities by introducing responsive bills and motions, conducting constituent outreach events and overseeing state government programs and functions.

CEPPS Approach:

To work toward these objectives, CEPPS is improving opportunities for citizen interaction with political parties and elected SHOA members by facilitating platforms for interaction with citizens such as town hall meetings and radio talk shows. CEPPS promotes increased communication between state- and national-level party leaders to enhance internal party democracy and between state-level party leaders and their elected members to foster a consultative process on party positions, policy formulation and implementation.

CEPPS is also increasing political parties’ access to information and data on citizen priorities through regular state-level public opinion polls and focus group discussions. With intra-party policy proposal workshops, communications trainings and other technical assistance, CEPPS supports political parties to use this data to develop citizen-oriented policy solutions and issue-based election campaigns and to disseminate policy proposals to citizens.

CEPPS Key Achievements in Nigeria:

Elected officials and the constituents they represent benefit from improved communication, in many constituencies constituting the first formal opportunity for engagement:

  • Conduct constituency outreach training programs to prepare elected officials to organize town halls and other engagement methods for direct interaction with citizens.
  • Supported SHOA members to carry out 47 town hall meetings to date, allowing citizens to speak directly with their elected representatives about service delivery gaps.

State-level political parties have increased capacity to develop issue-based policies informed directly by citizens’ service delivery priorities and needs:

  • Organized constituency outreach events for political party members to connect with their constituents and develop policy proposals in response to citizen needs ahead of the 2019 general elections.
  • Three citizen-responsive bills have been signed into law in Adamawa state and three bills and 10 motions have been introduced by SHOAs in Adamawa, Bauchi, Ebonyi, and Sokoto that respond to constituent concerns.

More youth, women and PWDs are actively involved in political processes due to increased inclusion and representation for marginalized groups in state-level government and political party leadership:

  • Young Political Parties Leaders Academy (YPLA) prepares youth party volunteers to participate in political party decision-making processes.
  • Women, Youth, and PWD Leader positions have been created at the local, state and national levels.
  • In 2019 alone, 106 members of marginalized groups took up leadership positions as a result of CEPPS programming.
  • Nine CEPPS-supported members of marginalized groups won SHOA seats for their parties in their respective states in 2019.
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