On the 18th May 2021, the Coalition of Association for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment & Development (CALPED) in celebration of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Week 2021 collaborated with local government Community Development Charter (CDC) Champions drawn from the three Senatorial Districts to facilitate a virtual stakeholder’s engagement on Strengthening the CDC Process and Advocacy for Inclusion in the State Budget. The participants were drawn from CDC Champions across the 23 Local Government Areas (LGAs), Ministry for Local Government Affairs, Civil Society partners working on governance and PERL.
The objectives of the engagement were to: encourage experience sharing among CDC Champions; generate adaptable lessons; brainstorm on strategies to improve CDC influence and performance in local government budget; generate advocacy entry points for the acceleration of the Inclusion of the CDC into the State Budget process; and to set agenda for sustaining the CDC during the forthcoming local government elections.
In the course of the engagement a number of observations were made and resolutions reached.
✓The Kaduna State Government has initiated key reforms such as the OGP, CDC, Local Fiscal Transparency, Accountability & Sustainability (LFTAS) program and Local Government Community Engagement Framework & Accountability Mechanism that seeks to increase and support effective citizen’s participation in the budget process.
✓The role of development partners’ intervention programs such as the Partnership to Engage, Reforms & Learn (PERL) and Voice to the People (V2P) was acknowledged in supporting and advancing the CDC process in Kaduna state.
✓Over the past three years, the CDC has been informing and influencing the local government budget. However, the budget performance as regards CDC specific projects remains low.
✓Despite being part of the Commitment one of the OGP State Action Plan (2018-2020), there is no public evidence that the CDC has begun to inform and influence the State budget.
✓In some of the local government areas there is said to be evidence that a few of the CDC projects were either already executed or ongoing as captured in the local government budget.
✓Some of the LGAs Chairmen have been cooperating and supporting the CDC Champions in ensuring that the process is devoid of challenges; while others are yet to buy into the reforms and are even frustrating the process.
✓In some of the LGAs, the CDC prioritized projects were not captured; rather projects that were not the priorities of the communities were inserted and executed.
✓There is mutual mistrust and suspicion between some of the Ward Councilors and CDC Champions with the former assuming the latter is usurping their powers to nominate projects into the local government budget.
✓It was discovered that some of the CDC Champions do not engage and involve the Ward Councilors when commencing and during the process. Therefore, some of the Ward Councilors do not take ownership and sometimes attempt to sabotage the process.
✓Equally, in many of the LGAs there is weak synergy between the CDC Champions and the local government budget office. This usually affects the smooth running of the process.
✓The CDC Champions are not engaging enough stakeholders during the process to ensure the inclusion of all segments of the communities.
✓There is a need for wide-spread awareness creation on the CDC process to ensure the buy-in and ownership of all stakeholders within the communities.
✓Short notices are usually given to CDC Champions to commence the process; which does not allow them to effectively prepare or mobilize the needed resources.
✓There is a need to prioritize and advocate for increased funding for Human Capital Development and Social Protection interventions in the local government budgets.
✓There is low capacity among the majority of the CDC Champions in advocating for timely releases, tracking, monitoring and reporting of their prioritized projects during execution.
✓The members of the Kaduna State House of Assembly were identified as allies and stakeholders to be engaged towards ensuring the CDC informs and influences the State budget.
✓Similarly, the stakeholders were informed that the CDC is now domiciled with the Community and Social Development Agency at the State level; therefore, the need to take the advocacy to them.
✓The fear was expressed that as a result of the forthcoming local government elections in the case of the emergence of new Chairmen they might not buy into the ongoing governance reforms especially the CDC.
✓The Ministry for Local Government Affairs made commitments to continue to support and strengthen the CDC process regardless of the Chairmen that emerge from the elections.
✓There is a need for stakeholders to meet to strategically articulate the issues raised and agree on advocacy engagements to strengthen the CDC process and ensure its inclusion into the State budget.
✓Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Development Partners agreed to continuously strengthen the capacity of CDC Local Government and Ward Champions to effectively engage and influence the process.
✓CDC Champions with support of CSOs to facilitate advocacy engagements with the Kaduna state government particularly the Planning & Budget Commission, Kaduna State Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Kaduna State House of Assembly, Community & Social Development Agency and other relevant State Actors.
✓The CDC Champions to strengthen synergy with their Councilors and Local Government Budget office.
✓The CDC Champions will engage the Local Government Councils and Budget Office to ensure early commencement of the CDC process immediately the Budget Call Circular is released.
✓CDC Champions to strengthen partnership with media especially radio stations to improve sensitization and awareness to the public on the CDC process.
✓CDC Champions will advocate for the prioritization and execution of Human Capital Development and Social Protection interventions in the local government budgets.
✓Civil Society to support the CDC champions to set agenda for sustaining the CDC process during the forthcoming local government elections.
CDC Champion, Jema’a LGA (Zone 3)
CDC Champion, Lere LGA (Zone 1)
CDC Champion, Igabi LGA (Zone 2)
Yusuf Ishaku Goje
Head – Leadership, Governance & Advocacy