African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 382


Promoting credible elections in developing countries: International development partners and civil society organizations in Nigeria

Abubakar Abdullahi
  • Abubakar Abdullahi
  • Department of Political Science, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto State-Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 28 October 2014
  •  Accepted: 27 April 2015
  •  Published: 31 May 2015


International development agencies are important actors for democracy promotion, especially in developing countries. In this regard, there has been an upsurge of these agencies in Nigeria’s democratization process. This paper examines Democratic Governance for Development (DGD) as one of the initiatives of international development agencies toward promoting democracy in Nigeria. Specifically, the initiative has been providing assistance to state and non-state actors such as electoral commission, political parties and civil society groups towards promoting credible election in Nigeria. With the aid of qualitative data, the paper revealed that DGD project has provided technical and financial support to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to monitor and observe elections, create public awareness and strengthen other forms of civic engagement in order to influence the conduct of credible election in the country. However, the paper shows that lack of proper coordination of support, inadequate data base of the CSOs; absence of reliable instruments for assessment of support, lack of internal democracy in the conduct of the CSOs as well as mismanagement of resources all combined and affect democracy support towards credible elections in Nigeria. Thus, the paper concludes that international assistance for credible election could only be meaningful and effective by eliminating the culture of impunity, providing instrument of evaluation of support as well as continuing capacity building of the CSOs in Nigeria.

Key words: Nigeria, international development agencies, democracy promotion, election, CSOs.