Nigeria—Accountable, Responsive, and Capable Government (ARC)

Client: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Duration: 2016-2024

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Nigeria

Solutions: Governance

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) program supports governments, citizens, and evidence-based advocacy. PERL helps governments develop and implement policy by assisting them in tracking and accounting for how policies, plans, and budgets are used to deliver public goods and services to promote growth and reduce poverty. It also supports citizens’ engagement with these processes.

PERL is implemented through coordinated “pillars” that together support sustainable service delivery reforms: Pillar 1 is Accountable, Responsive, and Capable Government (ARC), led by DAI; Pillar 2, Engaged Citizens, is delivered by Palladium. Through PERL, DAI and Palladium work collaboratively at the federal level; in the partner states of Borno, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, and Yobe; and through regional learning and reform hubs in the southwest, southeast, and northeast areas of Nigeria. PERL builds on the experiences of SPARC and applies a problem-driven, iterative adaptation approach. FCDO’s largest adaptive management in governance program received an A+ in its most recent evaluation.

More information is available on the PERL ARC website.

Paying taxes in Nigeria

Sample Activities

  • Embedding, deepening, and broadening reform through connected work in partner states, regional hubs, and the Federal Republic to influence change throughout all 36 states.
  • Establishing communities of practice for Commissioners of Planning and Budget from all 36 states and for senior women who serve as civil or public servants in strategic sectors.
  • Connecting governance reform with improved service delivery covering agriculture and primary health in Kaduna, education in Jigawa and Kano, and Ease of Doing Business across the southwest and southeast regions of Nigeria.
  • Focus on girls’ education, health, and open society initiatives in Kaduna, Kano, and Jigawa.

Select Results

  • More transparent government, improved budget processes, and better service delivery at the federal level, with evidence of significant changes including the Open Government Partnership, a public budget portal, and the first public budget hearings in Nigeria’s history.
  • In partner states, significant changes including primary health service improvement in Kaduna, public budget hearings, and state-level adoption of the Open Government Partnership. The regional hubs are connected to knowledge hubs that generate evidence-based peer-learning, replicate good practices, and improve service delivery.
  • Created a fully searchable Public Financial Management Database that contains the budgets and accounts of state governments and the Federal Republic over the past 10 years, complemented by toolkits on Ease of Doing Business, Local Government Planning, Gender Conflict, and Social Inclusion.
  • Delivered learning for locally led development across Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe States. Yobe was able to qualify for the World Bank Multi-Sector Crisis Recovery Plan and saved £200,000 by adopting better procurement methods.
  • Improved the business enabling environment by removing obstacles for businesses, supporting tax and internal revenue reforms, and mobilised reform through the Nigeria Governors Forum, the Presidential Committee on Ease of Doing Business, the South East Governors Forum, and the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria.


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DAI assisted the NSG in fulfilling its mandate. Our intervention strengthened the NSG as a training institution, rolled out three training programmes (Breaking Barriers to Entry, Compulsory Induction, and Reorientation), and strengthened the network and collaborations of the NSG to create new opportunities for the school and its beneficiaries.

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