Nigeria—Accountable, Responsive, and Capable Government

Client: U.K. Department for International Development

Duration: 2016-2020

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Nigeria

Solutions: Governance Fragile States

The U.K. Department for International Development (DFID) Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) is a five-year programme that 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 in delivering public goods and services to promote growth and reduce poverty. It supports citizens to engage with these processes.

Paying taxes in Nigeria

PERL is being delivered through coordinated “pillars” that together support sustainable service delivery reforms: Pillar 1 is Accountable, Responsive, and Capable Government (ARC), delivered 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 Kano, Kaduna, and Jigawa; 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 (PDIA). DFID’s largest adaptive management in governance programme, it received an A+ in its most recent evaluation.

Sample Activities

  • Embedding, deepening, and broadening reform through connected work in three partner states, three 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.

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.

Fragile States:

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.

Economic Growth:

Improving the business enabling environment by removing obstacles for businesses, supporting tax and internal revenue reforms, and mobilising 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.

Resources, Publications, and Toolkits

ARC’s fully searchable Public Financial Management Database 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.



Worldwide—Health Finance and Governance

Our principal responsibility under this subcontract is for strengthening the governance capacity and accountability mechanisms of partner country health systems.

Read More