In Nigeria, we fostered powerful coalitions to support a nationwide movement of women farmers and community health advocates to demand accountable delivery of services. Together we have helped women farmers gain access to seeds, tools and other agricultural investments and bolstered investments in rural primary health care facilities respectively.

Open Budget Survey Results

Public Participation


Budget Oversight



Initiatives in Nigeria


women farmers gained access to farming supplies


healthcare clinics in three states had infrastructure improvements

A women sells fresh produce at a market in Jos, Nigeria
SPARK initiative

Nigeria’s smallholder women farmers


We forged a powerful coalition of budget reform allies to support the Smallholder Women Farmers Organization in Nigeria in securing budget changes to bolster their livelihoods and food security in the country. The coalition found that although women farmers make up 70% of the agricultural workforce and produce 60% of the food Nigerians consume, they are overlooked in agricultural policies. Chronic underinvestment was hurting women farmers’ ability to produce more to bolster Nigeria’s food security.

Impacts to date:

  • Honed the budget advocacy skills of an organization representing 2 million women farmers nationwide.
  • Successfully advocated to protect the federal agricultural budget from proposed cuts of 40% in 2020.
  • Secured budget lines worth $2 million USD in the federal budget, targeting women farmers in five focus states.
  • Ensured approximately 111,0000 smallholder women farmers gained access to new or improved seeds and fertilizer to grow crops, and lighter and more modern equipment to increase production.
  • Facilitated the inclusion of smallholder women farmers in high-level spaces like the National Steering Committee on the Agriculture Sector and the committee overseeing the implementation of the National Gender Policy on Agriculture.
Read More Read Less

Strengthening Public Accountability

Our Strengthening Public Accountability for Results and Knowledge (SPARK) program flips traditional public finance management work on its head by putting underserved communities at the center of budget advocacy.

We now understand that to have a voice, we need to be part of the process that puts together the budget. We need to know and engage about how much is being allocated to the agricultural sector—and how much of that goes to women farmers.

An outdoor produce market in Nigeria
The percentage of agricultural budget allocations that should target women farmers as stipulated in Nigeria’s Gender Policy in Agriculture.
SPARK initiative

Nigeria’s primary healthcare centers


We forged a powerful coalition of budget reform allies to support the Community Empowerment Network, Community Development Association, and Ogun Women for Maternal Health Coalition in bolstering investment in primary healthcare centers in rural areas. The coalition found that these facilities suffer from outdated procurement processes, delays in budget flows, and lack of personnel and equipment. Although many Nigerians rely on their local clinic for care, only 20% of the 30,000 facilities across the country are in working order. Preventable maternal mortality remains high, and only 36% of women give birth in a clinic.

Impacts to date:

  • Secured an increase of 6.4% in health allocations in Anambra’s 2020 state budget. Anambra’s 2021 budget also centralized and increased allocations to the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency from 26.4 million to 757.6 million naira.
  • Persuaded Anambra officials to disburse their 20% share of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (the federal government matches with the other 80%) to 175 PHC facilities for the first time. Anambra is now the leading state in accessing these federal matching funds.
  • Leveraged the government’s Midwives Service Scheme to get 80 midwives hired in Ogun state where half of all primary healthcare centers lack sufficient midwives.
  • Increased the number of excluded communities that access primary healthcare centers by persuading state officials to improve the infrastructure in 683 clinics in three states.
Read More Read Less

I am proud of leading members to advocate for Primary Health Care Centers…our partnership[s] helped us …provide the evidence needed for the #FixmyPHC campaign, which directly led to governments increasing money spent on Primary Health Care Centers.

A dilapidated hospital room in a primary health center in Nigeria
A dilapidated hospital room in a primary health center in Nigeria
Over the past seven years, Ogun State government raised about 64% of its targeted revenue, but only spent 46% of what it budgeted for health

Tax Equity Initiative


In Nigeria, we strengthen connections between civil society, government and other stakeholders to make Nigeria’s tax system more equitable, including by advocating against tax breaks that hurt the government’s revenue base and ability to fund quality public services.

Impacts to date:

  • Built the capacity of the Nigeria Tax Justice and Governance Platform to engage the government around harmful tax incentives (in partnership with the Economic Community of West African States’ Fiscal Transition Programme, and the Africa Center for Tax and Governance).
  • Convened a National Tax Conference that brought together critical stakeholders including tax policy and tax administration officials, the private sector, civil society coalition partners, and the media to discuss harmful tax expenditures and implications for Nigeria’s economic progress.
  • Partnered with the Society of Women in Taxation, and the Association of Nigeria Women Business Network, on gender mainstreaming in tax policy and administration.
  • Developed a position paper on the Finance Act 2022 that recommended the government abolish harmful tax incentives; improve management of tax expenditures; and reform tax incentives to bolster funding for public services.
  • Engaged key regional actors, like the Africa Tax Administrations Forum, the West Africa Tax Administrations Forum, and the Public Services International.
Read More Read Less

Budget Credibility Initiative


Budget credibility refers to the extent to which a government’s actual spending deviates from its approved budget. In Nigeria, we found high levels of underspending on agriculture, health and other sectors at both the national and subnational level.

Impacts to date:

  • Conducted research assessing spending patterns in the federal budget for sectors relevant to the Sustainable Development Goals. We found that the government underspent its budget by 32 percent on average. Sectors, such as agriculture, water and sanitation, and the environment, saw much greater underspending.
  • Conducted assessments that found high levels of underspending in state agricultural budgets. For example in 2018, Jigawa underspent its agriculture budget by 57% (despite significantly meeting her revenue collection targets). They particularly underspent on infrastructure, agricultural supplies, and other goods and services for agricultural programs.
  • Conducted assessments that found high levels of underspending in state health budgets, including by 77 percent in Anambra (between 2014-2019) and 54 percent in Ogun (between 2013 and 2020). This underspending is often due to delays in releasing funds to implementing agencies for health, and has an impact on primary healthcare service delivery.
Read More Read Less
Featured Network Members

Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON)


Centre for Social Justice Limited by Guarantee (CSJ)

Partnership Initiative
+234 81 2723 5995

Social & Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC)

+234 1 764 6299 | +234 70 9811 8536
Related Stories
Featured resources
Screen Shot 2023-02-06 at 12.27.05

Strengthening Budget Credibility for Service Delivery

Feb 06, 2023

Learning Briefs: Building the capabilities of grassroots groups to collectively engage with fiscal governance systems

Feb 05, 2023

Accelerating SPARK during COVID-19

Feb 05, 2023
spark indonesia

Stories of Change: How grassroots communities are securing vital services

Feb 05, 2023
Related Resources

Improving Budget Credibility for Access to Agricultural Inputs and Services in Nigeria

Nigeria’s federal government has budgeted 87 trillion naira for improving infrastructure and service delivery for its growing population between 2013 and 2022. Have these budgeted sums translated to commensurate improved food security? Has access to agricultural equipment and farming inputs improved, given their budgeted sums in the past ten years? In the next ten years, […]

Investigating Budget Credibility in Nigeria: Niger State’s Health and Agriculture Sectors

This research on budget credibility in Nigeria’s Niger state provides an overview of the state’s budget performance and assesses in detail the budget credibility in the state’s health and agriculture sectors.

Investigating Budget Credibility in Nigeria: Jigawa State’s Health and Agriculture Sectors

This brief explores budget credibility challenges in Nigeria’s Jigawa state, looking specifically at budget credibility in aggregate expenditures and revenues of the state budget, as well as expenditures on programs in the agriculture and health sectors.

Improving Budget Credibility in Primary Health Services in Nigeria

This study focuses on budget credibility in primary health services in the Nigerian states of Oyo and Anambra, and the federal government.

Exploring the Connections between Budget Credibility and SDG Implementation

This synthesis outlines the findings of 13 research briefs exploring budget credibility challenges within specific SDG-related sectors.
Case Study

Examining Budget Credibility in Nigeria’s Health Sector

This brief sheds light on the causes of underspending in Nigeria’s health sector budget between 2018 and 2021 and how these spending deviations have impacted the country’s quest to achieve the SDGs.

Strengthening Budget Credibility for Service Delivery

The International Budget Partnership (IBP) collaborates with civil society around the world to use budget analysis and advocacy as a tool to improve effective governance and reduce poverty. One of IBP’s emerging focus areas is budget credibility, or whether governments collect and spend funds according to their approved budget. At its core, budget credibility is […]

Learning Briefs: Building the capabilities of grassroots groups to collectively engage with fiscal governance systems

In 2018, we piloted a new approach in seven countries to equip grassroots communities with the skills to gain influence over budgets. This effort focused on Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa. In five years, we have proven that a bottom-up model works. We can tangibly improve the lives of underserved communities […]
Latest Insights
Latest Event

Headwinds and Tailwinds: Navigating Budgets in Turbulent Times

May 29, 2024
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm GMT