Strengthening a Youth-Focused Public Service Delivery

Actionaid, through the Youth Organizing and Leadership, in partnership with Connected Development to amplify voices of young people in Nigeria to ensure that fund allocations in State Budgets, for young people to thrive, are properly utilized for the purpose.

Youth at the Workshop on Budget-Analysis in Abuja to review the FCT Budget

Governance sets the structure by which governments and public officials exercise power and make decisions to guarantee effective service delivery and foster relationships between citizens, civil society and the state. Effective governance is where state-citizen relationships are transparent, accountable, inclusive and responsive to the needs of all citizens, particularly the youths who constitute the majority – as is  the case in Nigeria. In 2019, estimates by the National Population Commission puts Nigeria’s population at about 201 million people. Of this figure, the share of the youth demography stands at about 60% of the total population. To harness demographic advantages of young people, policies must reflect youth friendliness and sensitivity in a strategic and comprehensive manner.

On the other hand, the budget of any government is a public proclamation by the government of its projected and actual expenditures, it provides vital evidence of where a government places its priorities – whether it  addresses issues that concern young people or not. The statistics on young people’s access to public services in Nigeria is very poor and this can be linked to the disconnect in the budgetary process and the non-inclusiveness of young people in the formulation, implementation and oversight stages of the budget. 

Past budgetary trends in Nigeria reveal a wide disparity between actual budgetary allocations and the amount of resources released for implementation of projects. This resource gap becomes even wider, taking  into cognizance the fact that most items on the budget are lump sums, without any kind of disaggregation of what exactly these funds are meant to achieve in terms of actual service delivery.

The CODE/ActionAid YOL Project  is a multi-country intervention under a Strategic Partnership Agreement with ActionAid Denmark and Funded by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). The Intervention has three (3) key strategic Objectives Quality Gender Responsive Public Services through progressive taxation, Participatory Democracy and Youth Representation, Economic opportunities and decent work for youth.

For the first phase of the project which spans from June – November 2019, Nigeria will be responding to Strategic Objective 1

To this end, The Youth Organizing and Leadership (Light Touch), a three-year project funded by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) seeks to mobilize young people and their organizations for progressive social change. It aims at enhancing young people’s power to influence public expenditure towards gender responsive public service delivery through progressive taxation. The project intends to;

  • Strengthen capacity and knowledge of young people on issues of public finance, tax and GRPS 
  • Generate information and education materials (research and analysis) to engage young people on issues of PF, Tax and GPRS
  • Facilitate Initiatives and platforms for young people to participate in public finance engagement 
  • Facilitate reflection on development trends, organizing initiatives and policy reform agenda for youth development 
  • Facilitate youth engagement with progressive taxation, EPA and other related International Trade Issues

The main activities for this assignment will include:

  1. Budget Analysis and Factsheet Production
    • To Mobilize  30 young people selected across different youth groups; artisans, drivers, traders and ‘street people’ as well as university students and young professionals.
    • Facilitate a participatory budget analysis workshop aimed at  producing a budget factsheet as an evidential tool for advocacy in areas   that affects young people, especially in education and health sector.
  1. Budget Town hall Meetings 
    • Study and identify topical areas from the budget factsheet for a stakeholders mapping towards hosting a needs specific town hall meeting.
    • Engage relevant youth groups to understand how these issues resonates in their spaces
    • Plan a monitoring and evaluation framework to include responses to the following questions; 
      1. What is defined as success or achieving the set objectives? (example: getting tangible commitments from critical stakeholders towards mainstreaming the issues affecting young people with respect to service delivery)
      2. What specific areas or sectors will government engage in? (example: visible political will to focus on demand-driven, tax for service delivery based on identified needs from the above step)
  2. Advocacy and Interactions with Sectoral MDAs on Budget and Service Delivery
  • Based on the outcomes from the Town hall meetings, relevant government stakeholders  would be engaged through a courtesy and advocacy visit to key MDAs across the DANIDA States.

We call on all relevant stakeholders, government agencies, Civil societies and the general public to join in on this project to ensure better gender sensitive public service delivery.

Connected Development is an initiative that is passionate about empowering marginalised communities.

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