Democratic governance is a process of creating and sustaining inclusive and responsive democratic, electoral and political processes that empower citizens to actively participate in the governance and sustainable development processes that affect their lives directly and indirectly.
At Yiaga Africa, the Governance and Development Program is informed by our strong desire to harness the potential of citizen engagement, gender equality and social inclusion, support to institutions, democratic development and social change.
Yiaga Africa firmly believes citizens (especially young people) possess the skill, intellect, resilience and energy needed to solve Africa’s governance and development challenges. To this end, we are driven by the desire to mobilize and empower citizens with the requisite skills and knowledge that makes them agents of change in their community.
The Governance and Development Program also assesses the quality of democracy through the level of vertical and horizontal accountability in the civic space. Public officials and institutions are under an obligation to account for all actions and decisions. In the same vein, citizens are duty bound to hold their leaders to account. This relationship enhances openness and public integrity in all ramifications. This program is predicated on the firm belief that accountability and justice are also key principles in deepening democratic governance and development.
Yiaga Africa promotes active and sustained citizens' participation in the governance process through campaigns, workshops, Town Hall meetings, media engagements, festivals, capacity building of community organizers to influence governance and development processes and training of young citizens to pursue their leadership aspirations. This approach seeks to strengthen the demand side of governance by empowering citizens at all levels with the requisite information and tools to effectively engage their elected representatives and public officials/institutions.
Renewing The Relationship Between State And Society
Interactions between state institutions and societal/citizen groups influence the exercise of public authority and legitimize the relationship between citizens and the state. Yiaga Africa focuses on issues such as defining the mutual rights and obligations of state and society, negotiating how public resources should be allocated and establishing different modes of representation and accountability. This approach employs various and diverse political mobilization strategies that mobilize citizens to assert their power and deepens the partnership between state actors and non-state actors in democratic reform.
Gender Equality And Social Inclusion
This approach supports changing the norms and expectations about female and male roles and changing power relations within private and public institutions as well as increasing the inclusion of women, youth, persons living with disabilities and marginalized populations in policy and decision making processes.
Yiaga Africa provides technical assistance on the development of policy and strategies to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Ministries of Youth and Sports Development; supports legislative committees in the National and State Houses of Assembly to provide oversight of public institutions with citizen mandates; as well as the design and implementation of capacity development programs for civil society organizations, public institutions and student organizations such as the Nigerian Youth Parliament, the National Youth Council, the National Association of Nigerian Students, and Student Union Governments.