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Inspired Youth Network in Partnership with ActionAid Train Youths on Open Governance Engagement

A non-governmental organisation, Inspired Youth Network (IYN) in partnership with Actionaid Nigeria has trained thirty-five (35) community youths in Lagos State on open Governance engagement, social audit and freedom of Information Act (FOI), capacity building on policy influencing, tax, public finance, gender-responsive public service (GRPS) and political education.

The majority of the participants were drawn from communities in different Local Governments in Lagos state for them to be equipped with the basic knowledge and drive to hold the government accountable at the grassroots.

The Chief Executive Officer of Inspired Youth Network, Ayomikun Olugbode noted that the selected participants were trained on how to build their skills and knowledge so as to understand governance issues so that they will be able to engage Government.

“The whole idea of the training is to build the capacity of people who can engage Government because CSOs cannot do it alone. 

“We need to ensure people at the grassroots and in their various communities can carry out those initiatives on their own and for them to carry those initiatives on their own they need to have their capacity built so that they can carry out this initiative by engaging government agencies,” he said.

The 3-day capacity building training was part of ActionAid to impact and share knowledge on practical ways youths can sustain good governance and ensure that elected leaders at the ward or community levels work for the good and betterment of rural communities.

Held from October 18-20, participants ranging from age 18 – 35 attended the physical event at The Chesterfield Hotel conference hall, 54 Adeniyi jones avenue Ikeja, Lagos.

Day 1 of the intensive capacity-building training introduced participants to SPA II Project, gender-responsive public service (GRPS) delivery, tax justice and expanding fiscal space for public social spending, public finance and budget process, budget Advocacy and citizen’s action for accountability, tools/platforms for budget analysis and expenditure tracking.

The second day covered topics on strategic communication, policy influencing, civic engagement, informed engagement of the political process in Nigeria for young people, and dynamics of community mobilization and building the people’s power.

The final day introduced participants to an overview of the freedom of information act (FOIA), how to build skills and knowledge for youth-led advocacy, using the social audit to promote youth-led accountability in the management of public resources in Lagos, promoting citizens’ participation and good governance through freedom of information and developing a community action plan.

Some of the participants shared their life-changing experiences at the training with a journalist from The Nation.

One of the participants, Vivian Ifunanya Chukwu from Alimosho local government described the training as a stepping stone for her to improve her advocacy for good governance.

“This is a stepping stone for me to improve my advocacy for good governance in the environment. 

“So, personally I think I would just lend my voice more both on social media and then to my fellow young people in my immediate environment and then educate them too and help them to understand what happens in policy-making and decision-making process of the government”. 

The project lead on the Actionaid Strategic Partnership agreement project, Blessing Ifemenam stated that beyond the training, the participants will be putting what they have learnt into practice in their various communities with a set timeline to monitor their progress.

“At the end of the training, they are coming up with a community action plan. We did not just do the training because we want to do the training. 

“At the end of the day, there should be concrete youth-led actions, advocacy, they are identifying issues relating to young people they are also looking at the strategies because we also built their capacity on policy influencing so how are you able to influence some of these policy issues it could be policies and it could be law and they are also developing strategies on how to go about it, who is involved and who will be interested in some of these things.

“These are the skills that we have already impacted in them and at the end of the day these implementing strategies also have a timeline that they will be looking at and as time goes on their partner will be tracking through the timeline to ensure that they implement some of these activities on their action plan,” she said.

Image Souce: Inspired Youth Network

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