Enhance Participation of the Vulnerable (NG0028)
Action Plan: Nigeria Action Plan 2019-2022
Action Plan Cycle: 2019
Lead Institution: Federal Ministry of Women Affairs / Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development
Support Institution(s): Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Federal Ministry of Justice, Federal Ministry of Youth Development, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Women Development Center, National Population Council (NPC), NIMC, and Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, all MDAs. Accountability Lab, Centre for Social Justice, FIDA, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, WRAPA, Women trust fund, National Council of Women Society (NCWS), Association of Small Scale Agro Producers in Nigeria (ASSAPIN), Women Centre for Self-Empowerment and Development (WOCSED), NACCIMA Women Group (NAWORG),Women in Extractives, Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWED), Centre for Disabilities, National Association of Women Journalist (NAWOJ), Hold the Age, Rule of Law and Empowerment Initiative, Partners West Africa Nigeria (PWAN), African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD), She First Initiative, Inclusiveness, Rights and Advocacy Foundation, etc.
Policy AreasCapacity Building, E-Government, Gender, Inclusion, Infrastructure & Transport, Local Commitments, People with Disabilities, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery, Sustainable Development Goals, Youth
Definition, identification and NEEDs assessment of marginalized groups, implementing gender and inclusive programmes in Nigeria.
Women, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities and marginalized groups actively participate in governance and decision-making processes.
Effective participation and representation of women, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities, and marginalized groups in governance and decision-making processes, ensure implementation of existing laws and policies that affect women, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities, and marginalized groups, e.g. Affirmative action.
There is inadequate engagement, representation, and participation of women, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities, and marginalized groups throughout the entire governance and decision-making processes in Nigeria. The lack of inclusive engagement is reflected in the development of policies/programmes, budget preparation, and implementation. This results in women, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities, and marginalized groups not having a voice, thus not being able to benefit from the projects captured in the budget. Additionally, there are laws & policies in place to protect women, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities, and marginalized groups, for example, Disability Act, Child Rights Act, National Youth Policy, and the National Gender Policy. However, the objectives in these acts and policy are not implemented as the structures and processes are not in place.
Specific OGP issue:
These commitments will ensure Institutionalized transparency and accountability mechanisms for more inclusive engagement including women, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities, and marginalized groups across the entire governance and decision-making processes.
The commitments will ensure increased voice of women, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities, and marginalized groups, addressing systemic barriers, and improving inclusive services for all citizens. The commitment should, therefore, mainstream gender in all OGP thematic working groups.
The commitment will ensure the design and implementation of a policy audit. The audit will identify relevant policies to achieve inclusiveness, identify gaps in those policies, level of implementation and compliance, and make recommendations.
Ensure proper implementation of existing laws, policies and affirmative actions that affect women, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities, and marginalized groups in Nigeria.
Rationale for the commitment:
1. To ensure that all OGP commitments are inclusive and beneficial to women, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities, and marginalized groups.
2. To ensure that policy-making processes are inclusive, knowledge-based, and locally driven that will benefit all citizens in Nigeria.
3. The Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development / Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development will lead the implementation of the milestones in collaboration with other relevant MDAs.
4. Given the relevant Ministry has the primary responsibility for the coordination of the implementation of the National Gender Policy, the Disability Act, National Youth Policy based on its mandate as the key national machinery for the Federal Government of Nigeria. Hence the Federal Government of Nigeria will demonstrate political will to implement the Disability Act, NotTooYoungToRun Act and sign the Gender Equality Bill.
1. Ensure inclusion, participation and representation of women, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities, and marginalized groups in the entire governance processes.
2. Effective implementation of legal and policy frameworks to benefit women, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities, and marginalized groups.
3. Ensure proper implementation of affirmative action and laws for women, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities, and other marginalized groups.
4. Increase access & control over social, economic and political assets and resources for women, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities, and marginalized groups.
5. Provide an enabling environment in all MDAs to encourage full women participation in the governance and decision-making process for example crèche, nurseries, etc.
1. Existing laws and policies for women, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities, and marginalized groups are significantly implemented.
2. Affirmative action of 35% representation of women in governance implemented (political positions/offices and appointment) at the national, the OGP compliant states and integrated within the Federal Character Principle.
3. Women, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities, and other marginalized groups’ participation in the governance and decision-making processes significantly increased to improve the entire governance value chain from conception, planning, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
4. National shelter/for older persons and /temporary home for women, girls/children survivors of sexual and gender violence established in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country.
Recommendations: Improved Economic GDP, Social Justice, Respect for Human Rights, Increased participation in Governance
See action plan for milestone activities
IRM Midterm Status Summary
14. Empower women, young people, persons with disabilities, and marginalized groups
“1. Ensure inclusion, participation and representation of women, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities, and marginalized groups in the entire governance processes.
- Effective implementation of legal and policy frameworks to benefit women, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities, and marginalized groups.
- Ensure proper implementation of affirmative action and laws for women, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities, and other marginalized groups.
- Increase access & control over social, economic and political assets and resources for women, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities, and marginalized groups.
- Provide an enabling environment in all MDAs to encourage full women participation in the governance and decision-making process for example crèche, nurseries, etc.”
Drive gender-mainstreaming through deepening policy and legislative instruments
1.The Ministry of Women Affairs/ / Humanitarian & Disaster Management/Social Development and Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to ensure a new Public building designed and constructed with the necessary accessibility aids such as ramps, elevators (where necessary) and any other facility easily accessible to persons with disabilities.
- Identify existing public buildings that are not accessible for Persons with disabilities.
- Modify existing public buildings that are not accessible for persons with disabilities with the necessary accessibility aids such as ramps, elevators (where necessary)
- The Ministry of Women Affairs/ Humanitarian & Disaster Management/Social Development and other relevant MDAs to ensure affirmative action of 35% representation and active participation of Women in governance is implemented at the Federal and at least a third of the states and integrated within the Federal Character Principle.
- Ensure budget allocation and release for at least one national shelter/temporary home for women, girls/children survivors of gender-based violence established in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country.
All MDAs should design and implement a gender-friendly budget process that encourages inclusiveness
- Train and Support vulnerable women and young people across the country and develop effective programmes around governance.
- CSOs to monitor effective inclusion of interest of women, young persons with disabilities and other marginalized groups in all government programs.
- CSOs to advocate passage of the Gender Equality Bill
Editorial Note: For the complete text of this commitment, please see Nigeria’s action plan at https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/nigeria-action-plan-2019-2021/
This commitment seeks to enhance inclusion of vulnerable communities and empowerment of women in governance processes, which are both policy areas in Nigeria Vision 20: 2020. 
This commitment includes eight milestones. For public buildings, activities seek to modify and build infrastructure to ensure accessibility for people with disabilities. The commitment seeks to encourage female and youth participation in decision-making processes by facilitating training to develop governance programs and CSO monitoring of government programs’ inclusion of vulnerable communities. In terms of legislation, activities aim to ensure passage of the Gender Equality Bill and to improve implementation of the Girl Child Rights Act and Persons with Disability Act. The commitment intends to modify the Federal Character Principle to ensure affirmative action of 35% of representation of women in government positions,  targeting the Ministry of Women Affairs, the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, relevant National Assembly Committees, the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). 
This commitment is relevant to the OGP value of civic participation, as it seeks to ensure implementation and review of legislation to encourage engagement and inclusion of vulnerable populations in governance processes. If implemented fully, this commitment could lead to a potentially moderate impact on ensuring inclusion of women, youth, and people with disabilities in these processes.
Under this commitment, activities to improve the accessibility of government offices could have an important impact for the 25 million people in Nigeria who are disabled (15% of the population). This population suffers from discrimination and lack of access to essential services like housing, health, and education.  The Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act signed in 2018, after18 years of being tabled at the National Assembly, stipulates sanctions against discrimination due to disability and gives government agencies five years to ensure that public facilities are accessible.  However, many government offices continue to lack relevant assistive technology, accessible routes, curb ramps, parking and passenger loading zones, elevators, and restroom accommodations. 
The commitment’s activities to further gender equality could help increase women’s representation in governance. With an average of 33% female MDA employees in 2016,  underrepresentation of women has produced policy making that does not account for women’s priorities.  The 2006 National Gender Policy and 2010 Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill (GEOB) called for affirmative action to increase women’s participation in politics.  However, the bill was not passed. If passed, the Gender Equality Bill would require all agencies to eliminate discrimination in public and political life, and MDAs would be mandated to allocate a minimum of 35% of positions to women,  also supported by the commitment’s activity to modify the Federal Character Principle. The Federal Character Principle seeks to guarantee balanced representation of citizens from all states, regions, and ethnic groups in government agencies but does not currently incorporate gender. The milestone on gender budgeting could also have a positive impact given that government agencies have not previously adopted effective gender budgeting at the national, regional, and local level.  However, this activity lacks indicators in the action plan.
Although CSOs have worked to improve women’s access to governance for the past 20 years, their impact is largely perceived to have had limited influence on gender policy.  Overall, the commitment does not address some critical barriers for women’s participation, such as a culture shift among citizens, policy makers, and the public in general. Additionally, the commitment does not include measures that could change the nomination process for women in political parties or provide access to campaign financing. 
These issues also apply to the commitment’s impact on youth. Although the commitment seeks to provide training on political participation, it does not tackle the lack of financing or reforms to parties’ internal practices. Young people ages 18 to 29 constitute 67% of registered voters, and the 2018 Not Too Young To Run Act provides the opportunity to run for political office, adopted by 25 out of 36 states.  Nonetheless, youth make up only 1% of elected officials.  Youth are prevented from running for office by the high cost of nomination  and anti-democratic practices within political parties  along with a lack of prior training, knowledge, experience, and leadership in politics. 
To accomplish meaningful improvements in the participation of youth, women, and people with disabilities, the government could consider the following:
- Legislation to remove financing obstacles for women and youth running for political positions and to improve parties’ internal mechanisms for selecting nominees. Efforts to strengthen youth coalitions could improve their capacity to network.
- To address the needs of people with disabilities, it would be beneficial to ensure local-level awareness of anti-discrimination legislation and to take measures to improve access to job opportunities and essential services, such as health and education.
Overall, measures need to be taken to ensure proper and effective implementation of the three laws this commitment addresses.
IRM End of Term Status Summary
Commitment 14. Empower women, young people, persons with disabilities, and
● Verifiable: Yes
● Does it have an open government lens? Yes
● Potential Impact: Modest
● Completion: Limited
● Did it open government? No early results to report yet
This commitment saw limited completion of activities that aimed to advance inclusion of women and people with disabilities, largely due to a lack of engagement and coordination among implementing agencies. One of the commitment’s key aims, to advance gender equality legislation under Milestone 1, was not successful during the implementation period. In March 2022, the National Assembly dismissed five bills that would have advanced gender equality, including a proposed amendment to the constitution to ensure a 35% participation rate of women in governance (Milestone 5).  However, the Ministry of Women Affairs reported that the National Council on Women Affairs increased the number of MDAs in states that meet 35% representation of women in governance: Kwara State was cited at 55%, Lagos State at 50%, and Edo State at 40%.  The Ministry also reported that the creation of Gender Desk Officers increased representation of women in MDAs at the federal level and that the officers received a three-day workshop on gender budgeting. 
While not foreseen under this commitment, in March 2022, the Federal Executive Council approved a revised National Gender Policy for 2021–2026, which sets minimum standards for gender equality and good governance.  The Ministry of Women Affairs exceeded its aim under Milestone 6 to ensure at least one shelter for survivors of gender-based violence in each geopolitical zone. State Ministries of Women Affairs have established shelters in every state, noting that the number of survivors in temporary homes was 83 as of December 2022. 
IRM did not find evidence that the government reviewed or increased the number of accessible public buildings in compliance with the Discrimination Against Persons with Disability Prohibition Act (Milestones 2, 3, and 4). Accountability Lab Nigeria reported that coordinated tracking of the number of accessible public buildings between the National Bureau of Statistics and the National Commission of Persons with Disability (NCPWD) remains a challenge.  Centre for Citizens with Disabilities produced a 2022 report that included the perspectives of people with disabilities on their ability to access public and private buildings and transportation.  At the end of 2022, the NCPWD and partners submitted minimum accessibility standards to the Federal Executive Council for approval, which included provisions for design and construction of accessible buildings. 
Finally, this commitment sought to train women and young people how to participate in governance (Milestone 7) and enable CSOs to monitor the inclusivity of government programs (Milestone 8). The Nigeria OGP Secretariat’s consolidated report states that the OGP Youth Network was launched with 34 champions, who mobilized over 400 youths, women, and people living with disabilities in 34 states to push for the inclusion of their concerns in the third action plan.  The report also states that 90 women were trained on increasing their participation in the decision-making process in Plateau State and Abuja, both of which are members of OGP Local. This has led to 10 women vying for political offices in Plateau State.  Centre for Citizens with Disabilities also conducted pre-election assessments for several states on voting accessibility for people with disabilities.