Communique Issued at the end of the Capacity Enhancement Workshop on Advocacy Skills for CSOs and the Media



The Capacity Enhancement Workshop on Advocacy Skills for CSOs and Media on FOI Act Implementation in the South West was organized by the South West FOIA Network and supported by the Democratic Governance for Development (DGD-II) Project and its international partners – the EU, DFID, CIDA and UNDP. A total of 43 organizations from all the states of the region participated in the workshop.


The objectives of the workshop were to:

  • Strengthen the advocacy skills of the CSOs to engage the leadership of the three arms of government in the Southwest States in pressing them to concretely implement the provisions of the FOIA in their respective states, in line with the age-long progressive leaning of the region.

  • Provide a platform for generating discussions and relevant actions around FOIA implementation.
  • Devise strategies that the Network could deploy to engage the law-makers in the respective states in the region in drafting and passing acceptable state FOI laws consistent with the FOIA at the national level.
  • Identify with a view to partnering with relevant MDAs, the institutional bodies affected by the FOIA and development partners in ensuring unfettered FOIA implementation.
  • Increase the capacity and skills of CSOs and the Media to embark on relevant activities to increase the level of awareness on the FOIA among members of the public including those at the grassroots.

The workshop was attended by representatives of CSOs and Media in the South West geo-political zone. The keynote address was delivered by Mrs. Abimbola Ibironke Akeredolu, the Hon. Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice for Ogun State ably represented by the Director, Legal Drafting, Barrister Lanre Iyanda.

There were also lead presentations on: ‘Understanding the Role of  Public Officials  and CSOs in the Successful Implementation of the FOIA in Nigeria’; ‘Community Mobilisation for Development: Strategies for CSOs Use of FOI Act in Making Requests’; ‘Traditional and Social Media as Watchdogs of FOIA implementation’; ‘Understanding Essential Elements of Advocacy in Engaging the Authorities on FOI Act: Some Critical Tools for CSOs’; ‘Methods and Strategies for Monitoring the Implementation of Freedom of Information Act’ and ‘The Imperative of the Rule of Law as a Fulcrum for Promoting, Accessing, and Upholding the FOI Act within the Nigeria Context’

In addition, there were plenary and group discussions on: ‘Practical Application of Freedom of Information Act for CSOs/Media: The Right to Ask;’ ‘Tackling the Challenges of Freedom of Information Act in Nigeria’; ‘Producing a position paper or a briefing note;’ ‘Carrying out a media interview’ and ‘Organizing a press conference.’


After comprehensive discussions of the keynote address and the lead presentations, the participants observed that:

  1. If information is the oxygen of democracy, we find it objectionable that 27 months after the enactment of the FOIA, save for Ekiti State which enacted its FOI Law on 4th July 2011 and is currently in the final stage of passing a more robust amended version, other states in the southwest region i.e. Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Oyo and Lagos are yet to either enact State Level FOI Laws or concretely implement the FOIA.

  2. Many public institutions in the region and across the Federation are yet to deliver on their obligations under the Act, including the all important duty to proactively disclose certain categories of information stipulated under Section 2 (3) of the Act.
  3. There is also persisting low level awareness on the detailed provisions of the legislation amongst public officials and members of the public, which is militating against robust usage of the law by various stakeholders.
  4. We are concerned that despite the plethora of binding judicial decisions from several superior courts of record, including the apex court in the country, which establish amongst others, the legal doctrine of covering the field, while state like Oyo in the region still insist that the FOIA does not apply to them.
  5. Despite the fact that the 7th Assembly of the Lagos State Parliament, recently revived the process of enacting a State level FOI Law, in a process that dates back to the 6th Assembly, we are concerned about reports of what appears to be an official policy that gags public officials in the state from responding to FOI requests received from members of the public.
  6. While the Act requires private institutions, including CSOs providing public services, performing public functions or utilizing public funds to be proactive in their duty of disclosure in accordance with the provisions of FOIA, we are concerned that this is not being done currently, due largely to a lack of proper understanding of the provisions of the Act.
  7. There is growing concern that journalists in some states in the region, especially those in government owned media houses exhibit tendencies depicting bias, partisanship and lack of professionalism in their work, which negatively affects the FOI compliance process, especially since they are major stakeholders in the FOI project in these States.
  8. In consonance with the letters and spirit of the FOIA, it is believed that proactively disclosing publicly details of the agreement reached in 2009 between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government would have gone a long way to compel the Federal Government to comply with the said agreement and avert the current strike action that has resulted in the over two months closure of Federal and State Universities nationwide.
  9. Unless there is a subsisting appeal by the defendants in the case, the continuing disobedience of the order of mandamus made by the Federal High Court on the 10th of July 2013 directing the Clerks of the Senate and House of Representatives to furnish the plaintiff, with the salaries, allowances and Constituency funds of Senator Ehigie Uzamere representing Edo South Senatorial District and the member representing Ovia Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives Nosakhare Osahon, is symptomatic of the culture of gross impunity and flagrant disregard for the rule of law and court orders by public officials which should attract immediate punitive consequences for all such offenders.
  10. Strong concern was expressed by participants on the call by some serving public officials that the FOIA be amended even though empirical evidence shows that the Law has hardly been significantly implemented by all tiers of government in the country.


The workshop also resolved/recommended as follows:

  1. Members of this Network, CSOs and other stakeholders in the region should be mobilised to sustain focused advocacy with the three arms of government in their respective States to ensure compliance with the FOIA and where desired, enactment of the state level FoI Laws that meet the minimum benchmarks established  in the FOIA.
  2. Public institutions in the region and the nation at large should, as a matter of urgency put in place the requisite framework and machinery for delivering on their obligations under the Act, including the all important duty to proactively disclose certain categories of information stipulated under Section 2 (3) of the Act.
  3. In line with the provisions of Section 13 of the FOIA, governments in the region should immediately embark on robust capacity building programmes aimed at deepening the understanding of public officials on the provisions of the FOIA. Furthermore, such capacity building and sensitization programs should also be extended to members of the public resident in the region.
  4. Following existing judicial decisions from several superior courts of record, including the apex court in the country, establishing the legal doctrine of ‘covering the field,’ members of the Network call on state governments in the region to as a matter of urgency, uphold these existing judicial precedents by implementing the provisions of the FOIA forthwith in their respective states.
  5. The Network commends the 7th Assembly of the Lagos State Parliament for reviving the process of enacting a State level FOI Law in Lagos State and hopes that the process would be completed speedily. In furtherance to this positive development the Network also calls on the executive arm of government in the state to, as a matter of urgency clarify the allegation making the rounds of the existence of an official policy that prevents public officials in the state from responding to FOI requests received from members of the public. The Network also urges all arms of government in the state to commence the process of putting the requisite machinery in place for promoting the public’s right to know as enshrined in the FOIA.
  6. The Network will partner with other stakeholders in the region to carry out capacity building and sensitization programmes for private institutions, including CSOs who provide public services, perform public functions or utilize public funds to be proactive in their duty of disclosure in accordance with the provisions of FOIA.
  7. Members of the Network will carry out advocacy with journalists in some states in the region, especially those in government owned media houses to be unbiased, non-partisan and professional in their work, which also aids the process of FOI compliance in their respective states.
  8. The Network calls on the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government to proactively and urgently disclose publicly details of the agreement reached in 2009 as part of the process of resolving once and for all the issues implicated in the current crises.
  9. There should be immediate punitive consequences for all public officials who disregard court orders enforcing compliance with FOIA.
  10. Participants distance themselves from the call by some serving public officials that the FOIA be amended despite the fact that it has not been substantially implemented in any shape or form. We reiterate that at this point in time, emphasis should be on implementing the FOIA, so that its benefits can be enjoyed by all and sundry, including government itself rather than a premature amendment that does no good to the legislation.
  11. In view of the growing recourse to the courts as the most viable forum for resolving FOIA disputes the Network calls on the National Judicial Institute as a matter of urgency and necessity to organise capacity building training programmes on FOIA for the judiciary at all levels. Furthermore, the Network also urges the judiciary as a key arm of government to immediately kick-start the process of complying with the FOIA in all ramifications.
  12. The Network will seek partnership with the Human Rights Committees of the branches of the Nigeria Bar Associations (NBA) in their respective states to provide pro bono services for resolving FOIA disputes.


The participants appreciate the support provided by the UNDP’s Democratic Governance for Development (DGD-II) and its international partners, the EC, DFID, CIDA to the Southwest FOIA Network for the success of the workshop and calls on them to kindly provide additional support to the Network as it embarks on the process of taking the FOIA implementation campaign in the Southwest zone further.

Signed on behalf of the participating Southwest CSOs:

  • Ayo Adebusoye                                 ………………………………………………………………………….
  • Rita Ilevbare                                      ………………………………………………………………………….
  • Ebofin Michael                                   ………………………………………………………………………….
  • Gbenga Ganzallo                               ………………………………………………………………………….
  • Jide Bamgbose                                   …………………………………………………………………………..
  • Moji Akinsanya                                  ………………………………………………………………………….
  • Tola Winjobi                                        ……………………………………………………………………………….(Zonal Coordinator)
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List of Participants at the Abeokuta Capacity Enablement on SoIA Advocacy Strategy for CSOs and the Media









Pastor (Mrs.) E. Yinka Odedele


Gender Equality and the Girl Child Development Foundation 33 Irese Road, Shagari Village, Akure




Prof. A. A. Ilemobade


Upline  Resources Foundation SGB Adesida Road, Akure




Kemi Oyewole


Global Network for Community Development 1 Oyewole Street, Ajalogun, Off Ijare Road, Ikere-Ekiti



Adebisi Ademola


Save Our Land 44 Olofa Estate, Ofatedo



Bamgbose Jide


Justice Development and Peace Commission, Ibadan St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Compound, Basorun



Nike Obatayo


Adenike Obatayo Hope Foundation (ADOHF), Formality Gender Equity Network (FGEN) Suite 3 and 4 Fajuyi Hall, Ado-Ekiti




Franklin Oloniju


Life and Peace Development Organisation Akure



Gbenga Ganzallo


Women Arise for Change Initiative 26 Adebowale Street, Ojodu-Berger, Lagos



Olaniji Olutowo M Media Advocacy Partnership Ikeja, Lagos



Omolara Olusaiye


CSO Media Network 15A Harvey Road, Off Alagomeji, Yaba



Elegbede Tayo


ARL Foundation Lagos



Ayo Adebusoye


NNGO, Lagos 151 Akowonjo Road, Egbeda, Lagos



Adebesin Abiodun


JDPC 1 Bishop Emeritus Compound, Ijebu-Ode



Imam Shaikh Busairi


World Islamic Peace Foundation (WIPF) Imam Ajimofowoku House, Yemetu-Aladorin, Box 7647, Secretariat, Ibadan



Revd. Mrs. E. O. Ajayi


Bemel Community Development Initiative Plot 5, Caren Estate, Eruomu Layout, Old Ife Road, Ibadan



Agnes Tola Winjobi


CAFSO Women’s Rights Action Group Plot 5 Akingbade Street, Off New Gbagi Market, Ibadan



Rita Ilevbare


FIDA High Court Premises, Ekiti Judiciary, Ado-Ekiti



Adeniji Jesupemiwale


Added Value Initiation (AVI) 8 Omotayo Street, Off Ilare Road, Ado+Ekiti



Kemi Adesina Sajebi


Youth Network on HIV/AIDS Population and Development Ota, Ogun State



Olu Ogunrotimi


Environmental Development and Family Health Organisation Olorunsogo Street, Opposite School of Nursing, Ado-Ekiti



Kosoko Adesola


Lagos State Television Lateef Jakande Road, Agindigbi



Chika Izuora


Leadership Lagos



Wale Akintade


JONAPWD, Ondo 3 Dare Ajayi Street, Akure, Ondo



Mojisola Akinsanya


Commonwealth Women’s Organisation Nigeria 28, Ibadan Road Camp, Abeokuta



Adebayo Samuel


Royal Concept International Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State



Azeez Tajudeen


JONGO Osogbo, Osun State



Ebofin Michael


Justice Development and Peace Makers’ Centre,  Osogbo Osogbo



Dr. Daniel Tola Winjobi


Campaign 2015 plus International 5 Akingbade Street, Box 1500, Agodi-Ibadan




Aladejare Abimbola


The New Generation Girls & Women Development Initiative (NIGAW) Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State



Michael Olatubosun


Diamond Radio University of Ibadan



Dayo Bamgbose


CISCOM D Ibadan, Oyo State



Enike Vincent


Vinmot Foundation Osogbo, Osun State



Ilesanmi Adetoun F.


Garnet Youth Synergy, Osogbo Osogbo, Osun State



Hon. Adeshola Afariogun


African Foundation for Environment and Development (AFED) 29, Bolanle Awosika Street, Off Ilogbo Road, Ota, Ogun State



Segun  Olatunji


Punch Newspapers Abeokuta, Ogun State



Oguntoyinbo Tolulope


CELSUM, Osogbo Osogbo, Osun State



Tunde Hassan


HEDA Resource Centre 20 Mojidi Street, Ikeja, Lagos




Eyitayo Fabunmi


Centre for Social Reconditioning and Development (CEPSOR) Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State


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Group Two Work on Planning Process of Press Conference Strategy


As part of a capacity enablement workshop on FOI Act coming off in seven day’s time, explain the planning process of a press conference component of the workshop while you give a practical demonstration of how you are going to deliver the address and field questions from the press. You may organize a mock press conference and inform the plenary what happens after the conference.


  • At the planning process, CSOs will meet to decide the goal and objectives of the press conference
  • Decide action steps (what to do)

Assign responsibility to members:

  • Who does the script writing
  • Who read the script
  • Who takes the narrative
  • Who drafts and send letters
  • Who moderates the conference
  • Who does the introduction
  • Identification of allies in the media outfits
  • Selection of media houses to used
  • Come up with budgets
  • Decide stakeholders to be part of the conference
  • Follow-up the letters sent media houses
  • Come up with Action points (maximum of one page)
  • Decide the Venue for the conference, Date and Time
  • The Conference

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Group Three Work on Press Release



Come up with a press release either as a rebuttal to statement credited to a public official on non-applicability of FOIA in a hypothetical state of the federation or as the position of your organization on the applicability of FOIA in a hypothetical State. You may need to consider: content, style, presentation and photograph (if necessary).




Our attention has been drawn to the fact that “A” STATE is yet to implement the FOIA two years after its passage by the National Assembly and the assent to it by the president.

Our position for the applicability of the FOIA in this state has become imperative in view of the recent workshop on “Capacity Enhancement Training on FOIA for CSOs in the Southwest”. The revelation at this workshop shows the compelling need for our dear states to apply the FOIA. For us, it can no longer be business as usual.

For the purpose of education, the FOIA is the first law that empowers Nigerians with the right to access the records of public institutions (Ministries, Departments and Agencies) as well as the private sector, where they perform responsibilities of public nature. The Act which is a codification of the right to know and also a fundamental human right of every Nigerian citizen, grants all persons the legally enforceable right to access public held records. Moreover, the signing of the FOI Bill into law is an opportunity for the clearest demonstration ever of the power of civil society working together to influence public policy and initiate reform.

The whole Act borders on the issue of the right of access of anyone to public record and information. Section 2(1) of the Act categorically declares and establishes the right of any person to access or request information “which is in the custody or possession of any public official, agency or institution howsoever described”, whether such information is in a written form or otherwise.

However, after the two day workshop, which incidentally was held in this state, we strongly hold through this medium to appeal to the government of this State to, as a matter of urgency to implement this act in order to save our nascent democracy.

More so, the rationale behind our position steps from the fact emerging from the workshop that a sister state has already passed the law and another has held a stakeholders’ meeting on it. Therefore, for a state that prides itself as a pacesetter of the nation, there is the need and the time is now to have the application of the FOIA.

Among other benefits, is the need for free flow of information between the government and the governed, the public and the private institutions and the general public.

Our organization is ready to provide in areas of advocacy, to facilitate the implementation in order to contribute to the promotion of freedom of speech, human right and strengthen the rule of law in the state.

In conclusion, we want to appeal to all relevant authorities to take the bull by the horn to create an enabling environment for the applicability of the FOI Act.

Signed Organization 3.

  • Omotayo Elegbede               
  • Olamiji Olutowo                    
  • Imam Busairi                         
  • Kosoko Adesola  
  • Ilesanmi Adetoun F.              
  • Comrade Tunde Hassan        
  • Rotimi Niyi                                      
  • Kehinde Akinyemi       
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Group Work on Lobbying or Face-to-Face Meeting


As Abeolumo Human Rights Coalition, one of the NGO groups at the workshop, role play how you are going to approach the chairman House Committee on info so as to correct erroneous impression of the Attorney General and suggest the need to adapt/enact the FOAI in Eletikun state of Kogberegbe.

The group identified the problem statement first which is the fact that the FOI bill has been passed and by virtue of law should be binding on all federative units but some states are trying to exempt themselves.

The following steps have been outlined:

  1.  Write a letter to book an appointment with the Chairman House committee on information.
  2. Prepare for the advocacy meeting.

Note: while preparing for the advocacy meeting, it’s necessary to first identify why previous attempts has been abortive.

  • Identify members that would form the advocacy team. The team should include major stakeholders such as the media, vulnerable groups, NCWS and so on.
  • Identify lead speakers and delegate roles to each of them.

Introduction by 1st speaker (member of the CSO coalition and also a media correspondent of the House of Assembly, this person is also the one who used the practice of lobby to get the Chairman to fix an appointment with the group)
Paper presentation by 2nd Speaker (coordinator of the coalition group)
Conclusion by 3rd speaker (representative of the NCWS group)

  • Develop a position paper which should include quotations from the FOI Act.

Note: while presenting the paper, it should be emphasized that the federal law supersedes the state law.

Also references should be made to past achievement by the group, in other South-West state.

  • Go as a team to see the chairman, do a paper presentation and then make the Chairman House committee on Information make a commitment that would enable the group to do a follow-up and come up with fruitful outcome.
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Role Playing in a Mock Advocacy Visit





The group’s assignment was a mock advocacy visit, so the project was broken into steps. The group worked under the assumption that a series of letters had been exchanged between the Coalition and the Chairman, House Committee on Information. A date had been set. The Advocacy Visit was the next.


  1. The problem was identified: the refusal of the AG and Commissioner of Justice to adopt the FOIA in Eletikun State, stating that it does not apply to his state.

  2.  The Objective of the project: To convince the State and the AG and Commissioner for Justice through the House of assembly (Chairman, house Committee on Information) on the desirability and benefits of adopting the FOI Act in the state. The major task was to convince the Chairman, and by extension the AG and the State.


Preparation for the Advocacy Visit is to be preceded by the design of the Advocacy Message with the following outline:

  1. Introduction- Preamble on the procedure the FOI Bill took before it was finally accented by the President and Commander-in-Chief;
  2. Development- Explanation of the main thrust of the Act backed by relevant quotation from the Act and a detailed explanation that neighbouring states had either passed it into law or in the process of doing so.
  3. Thesis statement- Attempt to correct the error of the AG by stating that any law passed by the Federation is binding on all states.


Clear cut analysis of the Advocacy Message:

  1. Choosing sections of the Act that emphasize “covering the field”
  2. A statement on the supremacy of the Federal Law over the State.
  3. Highlighting the benefits of adopting the Act in the state, especially to the House. A.) Protection of personal privacy, protection of serving public officers from adverse consequences for disclosing information without authorization and established procedures for the achievement of those purposes; B.) Proper record keeping and smooth operation of governance; C.) Proper public information of process of governance.
  4. Explanation of the efforts of the Group in the South-West with pictorial evidence, newspaper reports, features and other advocacy efforts.


Identification of Lead Speakers at the visit:

Speaker 1 to thank the Chairman and introduce members of the Group (A media person who is a member of the CSO groups was assigned this role particularly because media persons are usually familiar with both parties).

Speaker 2 was assigned to present the position of the Coalition.


Role-playing at the advocacy visit to the Chairman, House Committee on Information. Members of the Group were assigned roles as follows:

House Committee on Information:

  1. Chairman
  2. Secretary
  3. One or two Members.

Abeolumo Human Rights Coalition:

  1. Chairman (Coordinator)
  2. Other members
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Welcome Address at the Capacity Enhancement Workshop on Advocacy Skills for CSOs and the Media


I heartily welcome all of you to this twoday Capacity Enhancement Training on Advocacy Skills for CSOs and the Media on FOI Act Implementation in the South-West States of Nigeria.

As we are all aware, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was signed into law on the 28th of May, 2011 by President Goodluck E. Jonathan. It is the first law that empowers Nigerians with the right to access the records of public institutions (Ministries, Departments and Agencies) as well as the private sector, where they perform responsibilities of public nature. The Act which is a codification of the right to know and also a fundamental human right of every Nigerian citizen, grants all persons the legally enforceable right to access public held records. Moreover, the signing of the FOI Bill into law is an opportunity for the clearest demonstration ever of the power of civil society working together to influence public policy and initiate reform.

The preamble to the longish title of the Freedom of Information Act 2011 clearly sets out in a self-interpretative language the following as the objectives and thrust of the law as follows:

  • Making Public Records and Information freely available;
  • Provision for Public Access to Public Records and Information;
  • Protection of Serving Officers from adverse consequences of disclosing certain official information and;
  • Establishment of Procedures for the achievement of the above and related purposes.

The whole Act borders on the issue of the right of access of anyone to public record and information. Section 2(1) of the Act categorically declares and establishes the right of any person to access or request information “which is in the custody or possession of any public official, agency or institution howsoever described”, whether such information is in a written form or otherwise.

What is more to the above unprecedented right is the express provision in the Act at Section2(2) that an applicant, that is, any person seeking access to public record and information, need not demonstrate any specific interest in the information being applied for. This singular ancillary provision is most laudable having regard to the fact that before the Act, public institutions, offices and government agencies had effectively used the ground of lack of or insufficient interest as a Carte Blanche to refuse any application for information in the custody of government offices or officials.

Current Situation of the Act in Nigeria:

Since the act was signed into law, there is relatively low level of awareness of the FOIA among members of the public in Nigeria and especially in the southwest geo-political zone. The situation is worse in the northeast geopolitical zone for obvious reasons as many public servants are not aware of the Act while those that are aware do not know the import of the Act. Apart from Ekiti State, no other State in the Southwest has enacted a State level FOI Law. Many public institutions and officials are yet to fulfill their obligation under Section 13 of the FOI Act, requiring them to build the capacity of their workforce to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Act. The free flow of essential public information as stipulated by the FoI Act is being hampered by the lack of official websites by some public institutions and lack of regular update of information by those who have.

Most private organizations including CSOs utilizing public funds, performing public functions or providing public services, erroneously believe that they are exempted from the ambit of the application of the FOIA.  Furthermore and worse still, some state governments also incorrectly opine that they are not bound by the provisions of the FOI Act. A bad example is that of the Attorney General for Oyo State who in April said that his State (Oyo) was not bound by the Act. Efforts were made to seek audience with him so as to educate him that the law of the federal republic takes precedence over those enacted by any state while each state is bound by the federal law.

Rationale and Objectives for the Workshop:

Apart from apathy from the CSOs, there is also skepticism among some of them about the safety and security of whistleblowers including the media. Though many CSOs are aware of the Act, many lack the skill needed as whistle-blowers to engage the public officials and the legislators on the need to implement the Act in their respective states.

The need to create public awareness of what Freedom of Information is and its connection to the daily lives of stakeholders is paramount. Media and the use of ICT bear much relevance in this regard. People need to see it being done and not to see what ought to be done. The demands to know and the knowledge of how to apply the information obtained in solving social, economic and political problems facing different people at different stages of life need to be addressed.

The overall objective of the Southwest FOIA Network is to contribute to the  promotion of freedom of speech and human rights, deepen democratic accountability and strengthen the rule of law in Nigeria. The specific objectives of the workshop, however, are to:

  • Strengthen the advocacy skills of the CSOs to lobby the law-makers in their respective states in drafting and passing acceptable state FOI laws consistent with the FOIA at the national level.
  • Provide a platform for generating discussions and relevant actions around FOIA implementation.
  • Identify with a view to partnering with relevant MDAs, the institutional bodies affected by the freedom of information law and development partners in ensuring unfettered FOIA implementation.
  • Increase the capacity and skills of CSOs and the Media to embark on relevant activities to increase the level of awareness on the FOI Act among members of the public including those at the grassroots.

I would like to use this medium to appeal to the federal government of Nigeria to, as a matter of urgency, declare a sincere state of emergency on our educational system. In view of the current impasse between ASUU and the federal government, the latter should accede to the request of the former so that our children could go back to school immediately. The federal government should desist from violating the provisions of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) Act 2011 as it is evident that NUC has neglected its regulatory function by serving as an emergency contractor, constituting itself into a tenders board for the universities and colleges of education, and administering hostel development grant.

I also implore the media and CSOs to FOI the Federal Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission to make available the details of the salaries and emoluments (including constituency allocations) of our federal lawmakers whose controversial jumbo pay package has been the highest in the whole world. While our legislators are living in opulence, over 70 per cent of Nigerians are suffering from poverty, about 5 million youths pass out from higher institutions without jobs while over 10 million children are out of school. Paradoxically, Nigeria is rich yet its people are poor. Poverty, hunger, starvation and preventable diseases are staring the critical masses of this country in the face as our leaders lack fiscal discipline while money that would have been used for development is being leaked into private pockets.

As CSOs and the media, we need to use FOIA to demand accountability from our public officials. We need to know how our resources are being allocated or spent; it is our right to ask and it is their responsibility to answer. We need to FOI MDAs, procurement and award of contracts; revenue allocation; environment on ecological fund; constituency allowances; infrastructural  development;  housing; agriculture; the Public Complaints Commission; MDGs Projects; Good Governance Team etc.

I wish us all successful deliberations.

Thank you for listening.

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Capacity Enhancement Workshop on Advocacy Skills for CSOs and the Media on FOI Act Implementation in the South West


Acronyms and Abbreviations


Acknowledging those who contributed to the success of the Capacity Enhancement Workshop for the CSOs and the Media on FoIA implementation in the South-West, Nigeria, the contributions of the organization members of the network are irreplaceable. The performance of the Zonal Executive of FOIA Network has been excellent from the conception, planning and till the implementation of the workshop.

The efforts of the grand adviser, Prof Albert Ilemobade, and the Zonal Coordinator, Dr Tola Winjobi coupled with the enormous support of his deputy, Ms Mojisola Akinsanya, the Secretary, Mr Michael Ebofin and the State Coordinators made the educative workshop a reality. Without their cooperation nothing would have achieved.

The role of UNDP Democratic Governance for Development (DGD-II) Project and its international partners – the EU, DFID, CIDA and UNDP in sponsoring the workshop is highly appreciated. Their support cannot be underestimated because we were planning for a low keyed workshop, due to non availability of funds to drive our intention before they came to our aid.


After much agitation by Nigerians, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was signed into law on the 28th of May, 2011 by President Goodluck E. Jonathan. It is the first law that empowers Nigerians with the right to access the records of public institutions (Ministries, Departments and Agencies) as well as the private sector, where they perform responsibilities of public nature. Most of the states in Nigeria are yet to adopt the FoI Act in their various states due to ignorance, claiming that it is a federal law, and not binding on them. In order to unmask the veil on the Act, the CSOs had been working on modalities to be put in place on awareness creation for the populace.

A sensitization workshop was held in Akure which was attended by representatives of CSOs and Journalists in March, 2013. There have been series of meetings to strategize for a vibrant network that would be responsible for sensitizing the community and engaging the governments on FOIA. Against this backdrop in May, 2013, a network was formed at Osogbo at where the name “Southwest Freedom of Information Act Network” emerged to further step down the awareness campaign on (FOIA), and to be engaging governments and non-state actors on FOIA.

The network observed that the awareness of the FOIA has been relatively low among members of the public since it was signed into law. The CSOs in the south-west geo-political zone have been agitating for its effectiveness. Hence, the membership of the network mandated the Executive Members to take the training of its members as the first priority as many of them still needed to be informed about the import of the FOIA before they begin to engage the government.

Therefore, a Capacity Enhancement Workshop on Advocacy Skills was organized for Civil Society Organizations and Media on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) implementation in the South-West of Nigeria. The training was organized by the South-West FOIA Network, with the support of the Democratic Governance for Development (DGD-II) Project and its international partners – the EU, DFID, CIDA and UNDP. The participants were drawn from the six (6) states of the south-west, Nigeria. The motive of the workshop was to increase the awareness and participation of the CSOs and the media in the use of Freedom of Information Act and its efficacy in connection to the daily lives of stakeholders

The objectives of the workshop were to:

  • Strengthen the advocacy skills of the CSOs to engage the leadership of the three arms of government in the Southwest States in pressing them to concretely implement the provisions of the FOIA in their respective states, in line with the age- long progressive leaning of the region.
  • Provide a platform for generating discussions and relevant actions around FOIA implementation.
  • Devise strategies that the Network could deploy to engage the law-makers in the respective states in the region in drafting and passing acceptable state FOI laws consistent with the FOIA at the national level.
  • Identify with a view to partnering with relevant MDAs, the institutional bodies affected by the FOIA and development partners in ensuring unfettered FOIA implementation.
  • Increase the capacity and skills of CSOs and the Media to embark on relevant activities to increase the level of awareness on the FOIA among members of the public including those at the grassroots.

2.01: Workshop Implementation

The Process:

The executive having brainstormed on the steps to be taken in the actualization of the workshop, embarked on resource mobilization by forming synergy with stakeholders that would be of assistance. Fortunately, UNDP/DGDII agreed to support the workshop financially. The executive members with the cooperation of its members were able to pick the location for the training due to the aim and objectives of the network. The state coordinators succeeded in mobilizing their member organisations. A proposal, including the workshop agenda was forwarded to the donor agency for ratification. The topics and the names of the resource persons were adjusted to meet the purpose of the training. Invitation letters were sent to the resource persons, including the invited guests and the participants.

The Deputy Zonal Coordinator, with the assistance of a network member distributed the invitation letters for the guests and the resource persons within Abeokuta township. The workshop covered a period of four days including the days of arrival to departure. The participants arrived on the 10th September, 2013. The same evening, the executive and some selected members serving in the committee had a pre-workshop planning in the training venue to set the stage.


The training commenced on Wednesday 11th September 2013 with the technical session due to the lateness of the invited guests, facilitated by Gbenga Ganzallo and Sola Afariogun at the Conference Hall of Richton Hotel, Ibara Housing Estate, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The opening prayer was led by Evangelist (Mrs) Nike Obatayo after which the participants introduced themselves accordingly. The zonal coordinator, Dr Tola Winjobi, announced the names of the participants who were to serve in various committees. They were in charge of Logistics/food, Housekeeping, Rapporteur, Communiqué, ICT and Media. Immediately after Mrs Sally Musa, the UNDP representative gave necessary house keeping rule and information as regards the success of the training.

Ground Rules/Expectations

Mr Ebofin Michael anchored the setting of ground rules, expectations and fears of the participants at the training, whilethe time table was adjusted in compliance with the participants.


The first paper was delivered by Mr Remi Omowon, the Director National Orientation Agency. In order to safe time, the zonal adviser, Prof Albert Ilemobade, the zonal coordinator, Dr Tola Winjobi, the UNDP representative, Mrs Sally Musa, Ekiti state coordinator, Evang (Mrs) Obatayo were called to the high table to accompany the guest speaker, Mr. Omowon, The title of the paper Understanding the Role of Public Officials and CSOs in the Successful Implementation of the FOIA in Nigeria, and was moderated by Dr Tola Winjobi. Mr Omowon began by identifying the following benefits of FOIA to include:

  • Provide Citizens access to record and information.

  • Protection of Privacy.
  • Reduce corruption in public places.
  • Freedom from hunger and consequently bequeathed to people healthy society.
  • Promote respect for Human rights.
  • It will entrenched an inform citizen capable of participate actively in government
  • Entrench accountable and responsive governance at the Grassroots.
  • Crucial for effective democracy.

The presenter declared that the Ministries, Parastatals and Agencies are expected to pro-actively declare information concerning their MDAs to the people concerning their functions, mode of operation, structure together with their budget and expenditure.

Furthermore, before he identified the roles of CSOs and Media. He stated that all actors should be ready to make the Act work. He said according to the Act, the Attorney Generals are expected to encourage government and institutions to comply with FOIA while, the head of institutions requested to constitute Committee on FOIA and appoint a Desk officer who is expected to handle request from requesters.

The followings were listed as the roles of Public Officials;

  • They are expected to treat all requests with politeness.

  • Treat all request equally.
  • They should help put their request into proper shape and if the information sought for is not available in their office, they are expected to inform the requesters where the information could be found.
  • If the request is not granted, they should give written response as to why the request is denied.
  • They give the requesters, the receipt and reference number for the request.
  • They should inform the requesters, the procedure the request will follow.
  • Progress report is expected to be given to the requesters.

On the roles of CSOs, Mr Omowon identified the following:

  • To carry out advocacy to relevant stakeholders to promote implementation of FOIA.

  • Generate awareness through posters, stickers, publications, campaign, drama, and others.
  • Building the Capacity on FOIA.
  • Using the provisions in the Act to promote public service delivery.

He however, submitted that to do these CSOs had to carry out social auditing.

Finally the speaker submitted that CSOs should see government as partner in progress. Immediately after, this presentation, the moderator, Dr Tola Winjobi appreciated the presenter for delving into vital issues relating to Freedom of Information Act in Nigeria, after which the high table was dissolved for the opening ceremony.


The official opening ceremony commenced with the introduction of the invited guests to the high table by Mr Sola Adenekan. Those invited to the high table were:

  • Ogun State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Mrs Abimbola Akeredolu, represented by Barr Olusegun Iyanda,
  • Engr (Rev) Tunde Awolana, General Manager OGBC
  • Mr Sola Babalola, Ogun State Director of NOA,
  • Mr Wale Idowu, Deputy Director, NOA, Ogun State,
  • Mr Wole Sokunbi, Ogun State NUJ Chairman, represented by Mr Soji Amosun, Secretary, NUJ Ogun State
  • Mrs Folake Adeniyi, Chairperson NAWOJ, Ogun State
  • Mrs Sally Musa, UNDP representative
  • The South-West FOIA Zonal Coordinator, Dr Tola Winjobi
  • Grand adviser, Prof. Albert Ilemobade,
  • Evang (Mrs) Nike Obatayo, Ekiti State FOIA Coordinator


Welcoming the invited guests and the participants, Dr Tola Winjobi, South West zonal Coordinator, said the objectives of the capacity building were: to sharpen the advocacy skills of the CSOs and media practitioners, to build the capacity of the participants on how to engage government constructively, to provide a platform for CSOs and Media and also to contribute positively towards promotion of freedom of speech and access to information. Dr Winjobi challenged the National Assembly members to declare their salary and allowance publicly in the spirit of FOIA. He further appealed to federal government to honour their agreement with Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) who are currently on strike in the interest of the students.

Finally, the Zonal Coordinator declared the workshop open.


In his speech, Prof Albert Ilemobade welcomed the invited guests and the participants to the capacity enhancement programme. He identified the training as one of the roadmaps of the sensitization workshop on FOIA held in March 2013 at Akure. He commended the participants .


The Ogun State Attorney General, Mrs Abimbola Akeredolu was ably represented by Barr Olusegun Lanre Iyanda, Director Legislative drafting. His statement is recorded as part of the goodwill messages below:


For his good will message, the representative of Attorney General, MrsAbimbola Akeredolu, Barr Olusegun Lanre Iyanda, Director Legislative drafting went memory lane as regard the enactment of the law and identified advantages of the law. This includes; Guaranteed right to Information, it creates jobs opportunity for people, information for research become accessible and creates informed citizens that can participate actively in governance.

The law, according to representative of AG, is applicable to public and private institutions that make use of public funds. The law promotes pro-active disclosure of information, protect the whistle blowers, and it is expected the Federal and State Attorney Generals should oversee the effective implementation of the law and report to the House of Assembly annually.

Finally, he submitted, that though the FOIA has not been adopted or enacted in Ogun state, it is already in operation in the State since it a federal law.

In his goodwill message, the General Manager OGTV, Engr. (Rev) Tunde Awolana said that ideas that would move this country forward always emanated from Southwest and implored the people to sustain the legacy. To the participants and Media, he appealed to them, to obtain right information and disseminate it rightly.

The National Orientation Agency (NOA), Ogun State, in their Goodwill message by the Mr Sola Babalola represented by his deputy said that the mandate of the CSOs and the Agency are similar. Therefore, they are partner in progress. He stated that FOIA was enacted to tackle corruption and implored CSOs to go out and tackle the cankerworm (corruption) in the interest of all.

For the representative of the Chairman Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Mr Wole Sokunbi represented by the Union Secretary, Mr Soji Amosun rhetorically declared that the workability of

FOIA depends on the sincerity of the leaders in the country saying “they are not prepared to make the law effective”. Therefore, he called for capacity building and sensitisation talks for the leaders. The representative of NAWOJ, Mrs Fola Adeniji promised the commitment of women journalists to the promotion of FOIA. Barr Olusegun Lanre Iyanda in responding to a question stated that FoI as an Act is a law and part of the constitution, so it can be cited in the law court. During his response to a question, Mr Soji Amosun stated the negative attitude of our political office holders towards the constitution, as he cited the statement of a former speaker who asked if anything has changed in the system after the enactment of FOI in Nigeria?



During his participatory slide presentation titled: STRATEGIES FOR MOBILIZING COMMUNITIES BY CSOS IN MAKING FOI REQUESTS, Prof. Albert Ilemobade asked participants to define the term “Community”. A few participants came up with different definitions of community, while Prof defined “Community” as the group of people living together and bound together by common interest.Community Mobilisation was defined as an attempt to bring both human and non human resources together. On reasons for community mobilisation, Prof Ilemobade identified the followings:

  • For creating demand for interventions.
  • Increasing access to services.
  • To scale up interventions.
  • Increasing effectiveness and efficiency of the interventions.
  • Contributing additional resources to the response.
  • Reaching out to the most vulnerable.
  • Addressing the underlying causes of problems.
  • Increase community ownership and sustainability.

Benefits of Community mobilisation, according to Prof Ilemobade are:

  • Increase community, individual and group capacity to identify and satisfy their needs.

  • Improve programme design.
  • Improve programme quality.
  • Improve programme result.
  • Improve programme evaluation.
  • Cost effective way to achieve sustainable result.
  • Increase community ownership of the programme.

The various steps involved in community mobilisation are:

  • Step One: Define the problem.
  • Step Two: Establish a community mobilisation groups.
  • Step three: Design strategies, set objectives and select target groups.
  • Step four: Develop an action plan and timeline.
  • Step Five: Build Capacity.
  • Step Six: Identify Partner.
  • Step Seven: Implement the plan activities.
  • Step Eight: Monitor, Evaluate and improve.

The Professor Ilemobade also identified the relevant stakeholders in communities to include:

  • Economically deprived groups (poor).
  • Women.
  • Tribal/Ethnic people.
  • Disabled people.
  • Minority groups and others.

To round up his session, the resource person gave the reasons why there is a need for community mobilisation for FOIA in the country.


The session was facilitated by Mr Ebofin Michael who divided the participants into four groups. Groups one and three were asked to brainstorm on the first question: “Practical Application of Freedom of Information Act for CSOs/Media: The Right to Ask”. Groups two and four were asked to handle the second question: “Tackling the Challenges of Freedom of Information Act in Nigeria”


The third slide presentation titled “Traditional and Social Media as Watchdogs for FoIA Implementation” was delivered by Mr. Jide Bamgbose from Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), Ibadan. He stated that the objective of the presentation was to equip CSOs and the media with various strategies available for effective use in the social and traditional media to promote implementation of Freedom of Information Act in South West, Nigeria. He identified the following outcomes of the presentation:

  • Knowledge: Participants are able to analyse the prevailing political environment and use appropriate media strategies to mobilise and sensitize grassroots to advocate for the adoption of FOIA or enactment of their FOI in their various States.

  • Attitude: Participants acknowledge and appreciate their vanguard role in championing the establishment of open, transparent and accountable government through the FOIA.
  • Skill: Participants are empowered with necessary skills to facilitate constructive engagement with power structure on FOIA in South West Nigeria

In course of his presentation, Mr Bamgbose defined the concepts of the participatory session as follows:

  • Media refer to communication channels through which news, entertainment, education, data or proportional messages are disseminated.
  • Mass media can be described as a medium by which information and news are given to a large number of people.
  • Traditional Media is often referred to as “old media”. This sort of media includes magazines, books, newspapers, radio and television.
  • Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein defined social media as “a group of internet based applications that build on ideological and technological foundation of web 2.0, which allows the creation and exchange of user generated content”.
  • Social Media, according to renowned researcher Boyd defined social media as a web- based services that allow individuals to…

He outlined the types of traditional media as – Radio, Television, Newspaper, Magazine and Electronic/Bill boards. He also listed the types, examples and the description in a tabular form viz:




Social Networking Facebook, MySpace, Allow users to add friends send messages
LinkedIn, Google plus, and share content. People on social
Ning, Bebo networking sites group in communities of
like mind.
Social bookmarking Digg, Delicious, Yahoo! Allow users to share their favourite online
Buzz, Stumble upon, content with one another while also
Reddit creating online bookmark.
Blog WordPress, Typepad, Online journals where the author can write
Blogger, LiveJournal, (blog) about any interest he wants. The
Tumblr blogger can also use the blog to share
content picked up from other social media
site (YouTube, Isuu) by taking advantage of
the simple embedded codes offered by
those content hosts


Questions and Yahoo questions, Allow users to ask random questions, and
Answers Facebook Q &A, anyone can answer and start conversation.
Meet ups/Events Evite, Facebook events Allows users to promote and display
foursquare where people are at that moment
Intellectual Property Creative Commons Licensing rights and permissions for other
sharing to use the photo by simply embedding the
codes in their blog.
Micro blogging Twitter Allows users to send short 140 character
message in real time to large audience.
Photo sharing Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa Allow users to upload or watch video
content or listen to music to a site for
sharing either privately or public.


There is an avalanche of opportunities that can be successfully harnessed for the realisation of the ideal of Freedom of Information Act in the South West geo- political zone.

Traditional Media:

Electronic Media (Radio and Television)

  1. News bulletin
  2. Documentary
  3. News Commentary(Radio)
  4. Interview
  5. News Tip (after or in the mid of bulletin)
  6. Special Report.
  7. VOX pop.
  8. Scroll Messages (News bar).
  9. Live or phone-in programme.
  10. Recorded Programme

Print Media (Newspaper, Magazine, Newsletters)

  1. News Report
  2. News feature
  3. Feature
  4. Opinion
  5. Editorial
  6. Letter to the Editor
  7. Advertorial

Social Media

  1. WhatsApp (creating a group for information sharing)
  2. Skype
  3. Twitter.
  4. Yahoo Messenger
  5. Facebook
  6. Blogs
  7. Blackberry Messenger
  8. On-line Newspapers


  • It enriches the quality of News items and reduce the incident of misrepresentation, misinformation and falsehood.
  • It stimulates Investigative Journalism and reduces jaundiced journalism.
  • It enhances the credibility of practitioners and creates conducive work environment.
  • It sanitizes and promotes stability in the polity by curtailing the spread of dangerous rumour that could cause instability in the system.
  • It promotes public dialogue and increase public awareness about government „s actions.
  • It enhances good governance, promotes accountability and development.
  • It facilitates public oversight of government operation particularly during preparation and implementation.


  • Media practitioners should come out from their complacency and vanguard the crusade for the adoption or enactment of FOI in Southwest geo political zone.
  • Access to Information Committee (regional) could formed to critically assess the level of compliance in the zone and possible interventions beyond this training.
  • Possible dialogue with leaders of the major political party in the zone to stimulate the adoption or enactment of FOI in the South west Nigeria.
  • Dialogue with media owners and management to secure their supports in the on-going campaign for FOIA.
  • Explore the potential of media in the sensitization of the people at the grassroots.


The fourth slide presentation titled “Understanding Essential Elements of Advocacy in Engaging the Authorities on FoI Act: Some useful Tools for CSOs” was presented by Dr Tola Winjobi who made it participatory by asking participant to define advocacy. The zonal coordinator began by stating what advocacy is not as follows:

  • Advocacy is not a noise making exercise as some people are wont to believe.

  • Advocacy is not blind agitation, though it involves the use of pressure to effect a change.
  • Advocacy is not an information-education-entertainment initiative though it can inform, educate and communicate.

He quoted Tear Fund‟s definition of advocacy as “seeking with, and on behalf of, the poor, to address the underlying causes of poverty by influencing the decisions of governments, companies, groups, and individuals whose policies or actions affect the poor” (Tear Fund 1999). Doctor traced the origin of “advocacy” to the Latin word “ad vocare” meaning to speak for someone. Advocacy is proposing or recommending something or someone for better options. He highlighted common kinds of advocacy as;

  • Feminist advocacy

  • Gender advocacy
  • Policy advocacy
  • Legislative advocacy
  • Confrontational advocacy
  • Legitimate advocacy
  • Egocentric advocacy
  • Demonstrative advocacy
  • Sectoral advocacy
  • Economic advocacy
  • Social Service advocacy
  • Media advocacy

On the purpose and objectives of Advocacy, he identified the following:

  • Engagement of authorities or governments in dialogue so as to effect a change in their existing policies, practices, beliefs and ideas that are anti-people and not poor-responsive.

  • Aim at causing the authorities to enact new policies on emerging issues that are adversely affecting the lives of the people.
  • Necessary to influence the policy makers as a means of addressing roots and causes of the particular problem.

The objectives of advocacy are:

  • Change laws/policies,
  • Enact new legislation (e.g. pre-2011 FOIA),
  • Change position of policy makers and or authorities,
  • Change action of policy makers and or authorities.

Secondary Objectives

In the process of carrying out each or all of the above objectives, we could be carrying out and achieving other objectives that we might or we might not have planned for. Secondary objectives could be

  • Increasing social organization and participation,
  • Strengthening CSOs (NGOs, CBOs, FBOs)etc alliance,
  • Increasing public awareness,
  • Increasing media awareness on an issue that is not necessarily germane to the issue on focus, increasing access to policy-makers by the poor masses.

He highlighted some qualities of an advocate as follows:

  • Being passionate;
  • Being diplomatic;
  • Being persuasive;
  • Being sensitive
  • Being tactful;
  • Indirect Lobbying: aims at achieving the same result as in direct lobbying but with the help of an intermediary but one is more efficient than the other.
  • Lobbying of community leaders: (Gate keepers)
  • Lobbying aimed at public opinion

Dr Tola Winjobi identified the importance of media work as a method of advocacy. The media work has the chance to influence the image of the government because most governments care about their image. Because the media is the maker and shaper of images, their role is then very important in making advocacy successful. There are three types of media:

  • Print media ( news paper, journals, magazine etc)
  • Electronic media ( television and radio)
  • Social media (twitters, Facebook, netlog/Twoo, etc)
  • The media can play a key role in:
  • Building awareness and changing public opinion on issues
  • Generate action from its audience
  • Put direct pressure on government by placing it in the spotlight
  • Protect and enhance reputation
  • Investigate and expose issues
  • Influence government policy, both directly and through its power to influence and mobilize opinions.


  • Campaigning is choosing a specific course of action on the basis of available information and resources which will be most effective in achieving identified objectives. It is an organized course of action to achieve change by convincing the target audience. When campaigning, the following principles must be put into consideration: focus, clarity, credibility, relevance, timing and commitment.


  • Mobilization is a very important method of advocacy that subsumes synergizing the critical masses of the people, financial, material and technical resources for a common purpose. In simple terms, the types of resources concerned are individuals, groups, money, contribution in kind, labour, expertise and administrative support, including premises for meetings, supplies and equipment10.

  • It is important to mobilize the community that will benefit from the change. Among the benefit of community mobilization is that it improves program design, quality result and evaluation. Also, it increases community ownership and community, individual and group capacity to identify and satisfy their needs.

Resource Mobilisation

  • Resource mobilization is also playing a vital role in advocacy because without resources, advocacy could not survive. In order to maintain this effort in long term, time and energy must be invested to secure the necessary funds and resources. Types of resources and sources that could be used:

  • Personal contributions which comprises subscriptions, contributions in kind, income generating activities, from all the members of the advocacy group.
  • External contributions which comprise donation, legacies, sponsoring, collections, contributions from institutions, companies and various organizations that have been approached.

Letter writing: A written message packaged and sent to someone for a purpose including the conventional messages sent by post and email messages sent through the internet.


  • It is a written document signed by a large number of people that asks somebody in a position of authority to do or change something.

  • Petition is also used as an advocacy method. It has a tradition in public protest that goes back many centuries. Some of the benefits of petition are:
  • It can provide a good focus for group and public activities.
  • It is a simple way of allowing people to express their support.
  • It can illustrate the level of public/community on an issue.
  • It is easy and cheap to organize12.

The zonal coordinator advised on the choice of appropriate advocacy methods as they depend on factors below:

  • The target person/group/institution;
  • The advocacy issue;
  • Your advocacy objective;
  • The evidence to support your objective;
  • The skills and resources of your coalition; and
  • Timing – for example, external political events, when a law is still in draft form, immediately before a budgeting process, time of year, stage of advocacy process.

He concluded his presentation by considering the factors in community mobilization on advocacy concern by categorizing the following;

  • Factors to consider
  • Conditions that facilitate advocacy
  • Conditions that inhibit advocacy



The activities of the second day commenced with the recast the previous day work which was facilitated by Mr Jide Bamgbose and Michael Ebofin. This was immediately followed by the reports of the four groups mentioned earlier above. (Group submission attached)


The fourth presentation titled: Methods and Strategies for Monitoring the Implementation of Freedom Information; was delivered by Barr. Maxwell Kadiri. He started by asking a rhetorical question “What can we do to ensure implementation and practical monitoring? He then went further to submit that information is power and because the leaders know the value of information, they did not want the people to have it. That is why they hold on to it. According to him, “No government anywhere is comfortable with disclosure”, that is the reason why it took eighteen years before FOIA could be passed into law in Nigeria. He stressed that having the law is one thing, getting it implemented is another. Therefore it is not yet uhuru for FOIA in Nigeria. Barrister Kadiri emphasised the need for Ministries, Parastatals and Agencies to pro-actively disclose their information to the public.

To ensure implementation at the state level, the resource person advocated for collaboration between NBA and CSOs for possible legal services in case the public officials refusal to response to request. He also stated that requester could also exploit the opportunity provided by Public complaint Commission in case of denial. Furthermore, Barrister Kadiri revealed that National Human right Commission could also giving a bidding order that could be enforced by law court.

Barr Kadiri further emphasised that there is need for CSOs to understanding the kinds of information the people want this will join them to the people as a result win their confidence. Such understanding, according to Barr.Kadiri will enable the CSOs to carry out other things such as social auditing in the community.

He commended the on-going effort of NOA to sensitise the grassroots on the FOIA , but called for linkage between FOIA and other laws such as Public Procurement Act and Fiscal Responsibility Acts that promote transparency and accountability in governance.


The fifth paper presentation titled: The imperative of the Rule of Law as a fulcrum for promoting, Assessing and Upholding the FOI Act within the Nigeria context, by Barr. Yemi Adewole. The legal practitioner started his presentation by defining the rule of law as prescribed in the four cardinal principles postulated by A.B Dicey. The principles according to him were:

  • Supremacy of the law (that is everybody is under the law, nobody is above the law)
  • Independence of the Judiciary.
  • Fair and efficient Legislation(legislation should be prospective not retrospective
  • Justice and clarity of the law.

Barr.Adewole linked the FOIA to the principles of the rule of law and further emphasised that FOIA gives people access to information and at the same time protects the public sector workers and the whistle blowers. The resource person submitted that the law had 33 salutary provisions, some of which could help to fight corruption in the land.

The legal practitioner stressed that for FOIA to function effectively it will require:

  • Public officials and political office holders must be ready to play the roles ascribed to them by the Act.
  • Government at all levels must be sincere and ready to remove the entire impediments that can hinder the effectiveness of the Acts in the country.
  • Judiciary must be ready to play effective role through the execution of their judgments.
  • The Legislators should be sincere and made a timely response whenever there is a demand for amendment.
  • There should be access to Justice; that is, Court must easily accessible and cost of litigation must be taking away from the people.
  • Finally the CSOs as a watchdog must also be ready to be watched

He rounded up his presentation by saying that though the law has not been adopted or enacted in the State but assured that the Gateway state would soon join those states that are now FOIA- compliant.


The session was facilitated by the duo of Dr Tola Winjobi and Mr Dayo Bamgbose. At this stage, the participants were broken into four groups to discuss and present a role play on the following topics:

  • Producing a position paper or a briefing note.
  • Lobbying /holding a face to face meeting.
  • Carry out a media interview
  • Organising a press conference.

(The outcome of the presentations are attached)

After the group session, the participants dissolved into plenary to access the outcomes of the groups presentations

(Group presentations attached)


The committee presented the Communiqué of the training to the participants for perusal and adoption. A few issues were addressed in the communiqué. Mr Franklyn Oloniju, the coordinator for Ondo State moved the motion for the adoption of the Communiqué, while Miss Abimbola Aladejare from Ekiti State seconded the motion.


The zonal secretary, Michael Ebofin enjoined the participants to come with suggestions on how to raise funds for the network to enable us perform better. Mr Jide Bamgbose supported the motion and requested for volunteers that could raise funds for the incurred and future expenses of the network. The house unanimously supported the contribution of a sum of One Thousand Naira (N1, 000.00) by every participant. State coordinator was able to collect the contributions from their members.

Mrs Kemi Oyewole advised the participants to always learn how to give gifts to their beneficiaries during activities in order to get their supports, while we make our messages short when necessary.


The capacity enhancement programme was rounded up with vote of thanks by Moji Akinsanya who lauded the effort of the zonal coordinator, Dr Tola Winjobi for making the training a reality despite his tight schedules. Mr Tola Adenekan was also appreciated for being there to circulate the invitation letters with herself. Dr Winjobi also appreciated the deputy zonal coordinator for her handwork towards the success of the workshop. He did not forget to praise the effort of the secretary, Mr Michael Ebofin who was always there to get the information ready whenever he was called to do so. The zonal coordinator thanked the state coordinators for performing excellently. He enjoined everyone to be ready to serve the network when called upon.

The workshop came to a close with a closing prayer led by Imam Busairi at exactly 7:42p.m on Thursday 12, September 2013.


The intent of the training is the engagement of the CSOs and media in the south-west Nigeria in using the advocacy tools for states to adopt FOIA in various houses of Assemblies. The participants shall henceforth utilize the techniques in lobbying the lawmakers to ensure the adoption and use of FOIA in their various states. Our aim is to have access to public document without hinderance.


Having organized the impactful training; the network shall carry out the activities in the work plan. The training shall be stepped down in various states to involve other CSOs and media practioners in the localities. The executive shall ensure that the tools are utilized in various states of the south-west, Nigeria.


  1. Mr. Remi Omowon, Deputy Director, National Orientation Agency, Abuja

  2. Prof. Albert Ilemobade, Grand Adviser, South-West FOIA Network
  3. Mr. Jide Bamgbose, Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), Ibadan.
  4. Dr. Tola Winjobi, Southwest Zonal Coordinator FOIA Network & Convener, Campaign2015+ International.
  5. Barr. Maxwell Kadiri, OSIWA, Abuja.
  6. Barr. YemiAdewole, Director, Citizen‟s Right Department, Ministry of Justice, Ogun State.


The adult participatory appraisal methodology was simple, while the training materials were adequate. The communication facilities were in place to facilitate better understanding. The topics treated were professionally handled, as the instruments provided for the role play were understood for the practicals. Below are the topics treated:

  • Role of public officials and CSOs in the successful implementation of the theFoI Act in Nigeria,
  • Strategies for mobilising communities in making the FoI Act requests.
  • Essential elements of advocacy in engaging the authorities on the FoI Act
  • Methods and strategies for monitoring the implementation of freedom information.
  • The imperative of the rule of law as a fulcrum for promoting, assessing and upholding the FoI Act

Group Work One

  • Practical Application of Freedom of Information Act for CSOs/Media: The Right to Ask.
  • Tackling the Challenges of Freedom of Information Act in Nigeria.

Group Work Two

Role play on the following topics:

  • Producing a position paper or a briefing note.
  • Lobbying /holding a face to face meeting.
  • Carry out a media interview
  • Organising a press conference.



No Administered 35 81 % administered
No Returned 32 91% returned
Total No Participants 43


Form the presentation above, 43 persons participated in the programme. Out of the 43, 35 copies of the questionnaire were administered. The result showed that 32 participants actually returned their questionnaire which gives a 91 per cent return out of 35 adminstered. This was a good return.


S/No Description Very Satisfactory Just Fair Not Unconcerned
Satisfactory Satisfactory
1. Appropriateness of the 27 (84%) 5 (15%)
title of the workshop
2. Timeliness (relevance 22 (68.7%) 9 (28%) 1 (3%)
to the situation in the
3. Quality of delivery 18 (56%) 12 (37.5%) 2 (6%)
4. Venue/accommodation 14 (44%) 8 (25%) 9 (28%) 1 (3%)
5. Meals served 10 (31%) 16 (50%) 6 (18.7%)
6. Overall impression 19 (59%) 13 (41%)
7. Need for a step-down Yes =28 No= 2 (6%) 1 (3%)
  • Being resilient;
  • Being credible;
  • Being dependable;
  • Being knowledgeable;
  • Being resourceful;
  • Being strategic;
  • Being pleasant;
  • Having communication skills and;
  • Using lobbying skills

The resource person explained the word „Lobbying‟ arising from the word “lobby” as a tool used in advocacy by the pressure group that tries to influence a politician on a particular issue.

  • It involves two or more people.
  • It is building of alliances in order to exert pressure on decision-makers and accomplish expected results;
  • It can sway decision-making in a favorable way for the best interest of the community; and
  • It plays a major role for organizations striving to influence government policies towards their interests.

He also highlighted different kinds of lobbying strategy which includes direct lobbying, while he listed the techniques used in direct lobbying as:

  • Oral presentation;
  • A letter to a VIP;
  • Informational meeting;
  • Approach to support committees and;
  • Contact with Clubs, Associations or Foundations etc.


Analysis and discussions

The respondents were asked to give their impression about the appropriateness of the title of the workshop. According to the results presented in table II above, 27 participants which translates to 84 per cent of all of them in deed said they were very satisfied with the title of the workshop: “Capacity enhancement on advocacy skills for CSOs and the media on FOI Act implementation in the South-west”. It can be categorically concluded that all the participants were satisfied with the title of the program going by 15 % indicating they were satisfied in addition to 84% that were very satisfied.

The participants were also asked to indicate the timeliness of the programme to the socio- political condition of the country. The majority of the respondents said the programme was timely and relevant as 68% and 28% respectively were very satisfied and satisfied. Only one person an insignificant number said the programme was “just fair” to the situation in the country. The impression of all the participants indicated that the programme was not only relevant but also timely considering the current tempo of the discussions and concerns of Nigerians on governments‟ accountability. Corruption is as topical as demanding accountability from government using FOI Act.

The output of this project was also very important thus the respondents were asked to give their impression on the delivery of the programme. This included the quality of papers delivered and the presentation itself. Nobody scored for “unconcerned” as everyone was concerned about the workshop while nobody also indicated they were “not” satisfied. According to the results presented in tabe II above, only two (6%) of the respondents felt the presentations were fair whereas great majority (94% ) of them overwhelmingly were of the view that they were satisfied with the quality of delivery and paper presentation. The result therefore showed that the project was successful going by the faculty presentation as there were break out groups where participants were able to interact and contribute meaningfully to the discussion.

On the venue and accommodation for the workshop, though only one percent of the participants said they were not satisfied, this is nothing compared with 25% and 28% who were satisfied while only 9 out of 32 of them said indicated “just fair”. This goes to show that the hotel is good for a programme like this. However, it should not go without saying that the rooms in the hotel were not enough for the participants to the extent that some participants were moved to a nearby hotel. Secondly, food couldn‟t go round in the first night which might be due to unpreparedness on the side of the hotel management in expectation of the guests/participants. These reasons might have accounted for the 28 percent of the respondents that said the meals {6 (18.7%)}, venue and accommodation {9 (28%)} was “just fair” according to table II above.

Bye and large, it was apt we ask the participants to give their general impression about the programme. All the respondents were satisfied with the programme on the whole as indicated by 19 (59%) and 13 (41%) respondents saying they were “very satisfied” and “satisfactory” respectively. This shows that the programme was worthwhile. This is also reflected in the need to have the programme stepped-down as 28 of the 32 respondents said “Yes” while only one person felt unconcerned about the question.

General Suggestions:

The participants were allowed to comments freely about the project including suggestions. The following comments were made:

  1. It is better accommodation is monetized as some participants could not get accommodation in the hotel serving as the venue and meant for the participants. Some were eventually taken to lodge in a nearby hotel. UNDP wouldn‟t have spent as much if they had monetized the accommodation for the participants.

  2. UNDP/DGDII is encouraged to further support trainings like this so as to bring the FOIA Campaign to the grassroots. Some participants suggested sensitization and training for leaders such as traditional and community leaders, NLC, TUC, Okada Riders Association, NUT, NURTW, RTEAN, FBOs, CDAs, politicians, political parties etc. They suggested that in order to go round, this FOIA training be done in the remaining 5 zones of the country for them to benefit since the outcome of the exercise could contribute to stamping out corruption.
  3. Special request is made to UNDP/DGD II to support the training of public officials especially the staff (at the Ministry of Information and office of the Attorney General/Commissioners for Justice) who have responsibilities as enshrined in the FOI Act 2011 in releasing information. Otherwise, these officials might be an impediment to the implementation of the Act not only in the State but also at the federal level.
  4. On the duration of the workshop, the participants were of the opinion that three days, let alone two days, was not enough for such important training on FOI Act. This was different from sensitization programme which might not need breaking into groups, in- depth analysis of issues, all-inclusive participation etc.


All the copies of the questionnaire used and analysed are available. Also available are CD/DVD, photographs taken, other reports etc.


  • Well equipped CSO advocating timely and efficient passage of State level FOI laws consistent with the FOIA at federal level.

  • Civil society organizations are active and successful in mobilising public for the cultivation of democratic values like “the right to know”.
  • Public knowledge and perception on FoIA increased.
  • Media are having unfettered access to public documents thus enhancing their work.


The two-day Capacity Enhancement Workshop on Advocacy Skills training became roadmaps of the sensitization workshop on FOIA held in March 2013 at Akure. The contents of the papers delivered during the sessions strengthened the participants in addressing advocacy and media challenges. These were evident in the role play on the following topics:

  • Producing a position paper or a briefing note.

  • Lobbying /holding a face to face meeting.
  • Carrying out a media interview
  • Organising a press conference.

The capacity of the participants were increased in public awareness creation use of the advocacy tool for accessing information states to adopt FoIA in various State Houses of Assembly in the zone.

Amongst lessons learnt include:

  • Participants were acquainted with the principles underlying freedom of information laws.

  • Participants were familiar advocacy skills to lobby the law-makers in their respective states in drafting and passing acceptable state FOI laws in the Southwest region.
  • They appreciated the need for synergy among stakeholders by planning for step-down trainings in their states


  • Two days were not enough for the programme.

  • More financial support needed for the successful implementation of the workshop


The participants went into open session to share their experience in their various states on FOIA and to also look critically at the proposed plan of actions of each state in the geo-political zone.


  1. Position paper on FOI Bill

-Implementation of FOIA

  1. Access to the MDAs website proactive disclosure of information
  2. Engaging/Collaboration with the MDAs & LGs
  3. Training/Capacity building for officials of the Lagos state government on FOIA


Imam Busairi, the state coordinator suggested Step-Down Training of Abeokuta experience in all the six (6) states of the region. He added that there should be a time table for the training to be taken round zone.


Mr Akintade in his suggestion said that each state should come out with a road map plan as a follow-up of the workshop, so a that we can know how effective our advocacies will be at our various states. A timeline of activities of actions should also be stated. The state coordinator, Mr Franklyn Oloniju assured the participants that the state shall be organizing a step-down training on the FOIA (including Abeokuta training) with donation from members.


The state coordinator, Mr Abiodun Adebesin suggested that the FOIA should be stepped down in our various communities, as they have to own the programme. CBOs should include FOIA in their training /meetings with their beneficiaries in the state and also collaborate with NOA in their various states.


The state coordinator, Evang (Mrs) Nike Obatayo said they shall organize capacity building/sensitization /awareness in all communities within the state.

APPENDICES (attached separately)

Appendix 1 Papers presented.

Appendix 2 Syndicate Discussion Guides

Appendix 3 Communiqué

Appendix 4 Participants Lists

Appendix 5 Photographs/Video


Southwest FOIA Network

c/o CAFSO-WRAG for Development Secretariat: Plot 5 Akingbade Street, Near IDC Primary School Off Old Ife Road, Box 15060, Agodi P.O. Ibadan

08030618326; 08060012425

D. Tola Winjobi Michael Ebofin
Southwest Coordinator Southwest Secretary


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An equitable and sustainable world where every person is safe, resilient, lives well, and enjoys their human rights; a world where political and economic systems deliver well-being for all people within the limits of our planet’s resources, human rights are realized, poverty has been eradicated and the environment is safe-guarded. There is social justice and peace, safety and security are a reality for all.



  • Accountability
  • Evidence
  • Effectiveness Participation



  • Agree one set of global goals aiming for eradication of extreme poverty by addressing its root causes.

  • Enable contextualized national targets for developed and developing countries (based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibility) to measure and track progress towards sustainable development and ensure accountability.

Human Rights

  • Ensure that the framework is wholly consistent with international human rights law and standards and demonstrates how progress towards its goals will also achieve greater fulfillment of these rights.

Poverty Eradication

  • Aim for the eradication, not simply the reduction, of extreme poverty.

  • Embed poverty eradication in all goals and targets which, in turn, must aim to ‘get to zero’ rather than pursue percentage reductions.

Environmental Sustainability

  • Address inter-generational justice by establishing mechanisms to address the rights and needs of future as well as present generations.

  • Specifically recognize global resource constraints and aim at a more equitable distribution of resources in addition to sustainable development.
  • Incorporate the precautionary principle – the burden of proof that an action or policy is not harmful to the public or the environment should fall on those taking the action.
  • Work towards outcomes which are both low-carbon and climate resilient.


  • Adopt a central framework based upon equality, equity and human rights that deliberately seek to improve the life chances of the poorest and most vulnerable with a focus on resources for the most marginalized.

  • Ensure inequality is an explicit focus of economic policies and strategies.
  • Prioritize gender equality and women and girls’ rights and empowerment.
  • Address other dominant forms of group-based inequality that result in inequitable outcomes, particularly those related to age, disability, ethnicity, caste, sexuality and the special needs of children.
  • Better measure development progress among the poorest and most marginalized.
  • Identify and address institutionalized patterns of inequality.
  • Proactively involve the poor and marginalized in decision-making.

Principles of the New Framework (in a few more words)

UNIVERSALITY: The new framework must recognise shared global challenges and include the obligations, ownership and accountability of every country to respond to the needs of ALL. Contextualised national targets are needed for different countries, reflecting different challenges and strengths, and inspired by the principle of common but differentiated responsibility.

HUMAN RIGHTS: The framework must be wholly consistent with international human rights law and standards, address injustice, and demonstrate how progress towards its goals will also allow progressive realisation of these rights. The framework must embrace a holistic, rights-based approach to development that is based on equality, equity and inclusive participation, ensures that the most marginalized can benefit from development and growth, and must empower all to be active agents of change.

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY: The framework must specifically recognise global resource constraints and should aim at a more equitable distribution of resources in addition to sustainable use of renewable and non- renewable natural resources. The framework must set out how it meets the rights and needs of future as well as present generations. All goals and targets must be consistent with environmental sustainability.

EQUITY: The framework must promote reductions in inequality within and between nations. Progress must be aimed at entire populations, not percentage improvements, ensuring that ALL are included and not only those most “easy to reach”. Consequently, the framework must deliver action which specifically targets those who are most marginalised and vulnerable, ensuring that they are equally included in the implementation and outcomes of the framework.

Beyond 2015 UN Working Group Contacts: Debra Jones, Save the Children, Rosa Lizarde, Global Call to Action,
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Population Dynamics in the Context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda


Population dynamics and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) will have a major impact on the post-2015 development agenda and the achievement of developmental and environmental sustainability. Population dynamics comprises trends and changes in population growth; migration; urbanization; population density; and age structures, and associated with the latter, young and older people. Population dynamics influence consumption and availability of natural resources, and together with consumption levels and efficiencies determine environmental sustainability. Addressing population dynamics in ways that respect and protect human rights must therefore be part of the solution, alongside other important sustainable development strategies, including those addressing unsustainable and inequitable patterns of consumption, while recognizing that a post 2015 framework needs to be putting consumption of resources on a sustainable and equitable trajectory.

Population growth will occur mainly in developing countries. With relatively high birth rates and a high proportion of young people, populations of least developed countries are projected to double from 803 million in 2010 to 1.7 billion by 2050 and to almost triple to 2.5 billion by 2085. This is likely to undermine poverty alleviation and economic growth, and outpace investments in health, education and other basic services.

Fertility decline, combined with increased longevity, means an increase in the number and proportion of people aged 60 and over, with the global total rising from the current 810 million worldwide to more than 2 billion by 2050. There will also be large rises in young people because of population momentum. International migration has increased by almost 40 percent since 1990, reaching 214 million annually in 2010 and is expected to continue to rise, with significant consequences for both origin and host countries. Internal migration is also rising, with increasing numbers moving from rural to urban areas, in addition to seasonal migration. More than half of humanity now lives in urban areas, a third in slums, and numbers are expected to increase.

Under-pinning population dynamics, promotion of SRHR is an essential component of the post-2015 development agenda. Originally missing from the Millennium Development Goals, SRHR was partially addressed as Target 5B in 2007, as part of MDG 5, which is the MDG that is most off-track. This omission should not be repeated in the post-2015 framework. SRHR, within a human-rights framework and addressing the unmet need for family planning, offer opportunities to influence population dynamics positively and contribute to sustainable development while addressing gender inequality and women’s empowerment. Without the inclusion of comprehensive sexuality education and access to youth-friendly services, the needs of young people will not be met.

This paper includes a comprehensive set of recommendations that are essential for the post-2015 development agenda.(See page 14)


The process for framing the post-2015 development agenda has identified eleven areas for consideration.i Of these, population dynamics, including sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), is critically important for the others in working for the achievement of the post-2015 development agenda and for inclusive development. It has a major impact on the development agenda’s fundamental principles of human rights, equality and sustainability, and the core dimensions of inclusive social development, environmental sustainability and peace and security.

Population dynamics includes trends and changes in population growth; migration; urbanization; population density; and age structures, and associated with the latter, young people and the elderly. Under-pinning all of these is SRHR.

Discourse on the post-2015 development agenda has focused on sustainable development, poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability and specific development priorities. Population dynamics has attracted less attention, despite population size, location etc, shaping and determining the scale and scope of development challenges and influencing the achievement of sustainable development and poverty eradication. Development planning and policies should monitor and address population dynamics in ways that respect and protect human rights and advance SRHR as part of sustainable and inclusive development and poverty eradication.



Mortality, fertility and migration drive population changes and influence age structure and population distribution, urbanization and population density. Rapid population growth increases the proportion of young people while, as mortality and fertility rates decline, the proportion of older people increases. This process is the demographic transition: the changes that take place as countries move from high mortality and fertility to low mortality and fertility. During this transition, population growth and movement occur, including internal, rural to urban and international migration.iii

Least developed countries are typically in the second stage of demographic transition, experiencing rapid increases in population size and density and, because of the high proportion of young people, high youth dependency ratios. Other developing countries are in the third stage of transition with declining fertility, yet due to demographic momentum (the phenomenon of continued population growth beyond the time that replacement level fertility has been reached, because of the relatively high proportion of the population in their reproductive years) population growth continues. As the fourth stage is reached and demographic transition achieved, as seen in developed countries, the profile of the population ages.iv Population dynamics and trends, particularly given their interaction with social inequalities, strongly influence the capacity of countries to achieve development goals.v

Population Growth

The world’s population doubledvi between 1965 and 2010, reaching 7 billion in 2011. According to the UN’s medium variant, it will reach 9.3 billion by 2050 and 10 billion by 2085. In contrast, the UN’s high projection variant, (with fertility just half a child above that in the medium variant), projects a world population of 10.6 billion in 2050 and 15.8 billion in 2100.vii The increase in least developed countries is projected to be from 803 million in 2010 to 1.7 billion in 2050, then almost tripling to 2.5 billion by 2085, due to relatively high birth rates and a high proportion of young people. The rate of growth and size at which the world population ultimately stabilizes significantly affects the world’s potential to reach its development goals.

Growth is driven by increasing longevity, an above replacement birth rate and increases in the number of people reaching maturity arising from past population growth. Global average life expectancy at birth has increased from under 50 in the 1950s to around 70 today and is projected to reach 80 before the end of the century. Life expectancy varies widely, while generally rising. The global average fertility rate has fallen, from just under 5 children per woman in the 1950s to around 2.5 today, varying from under 2 for more developed countries to around 4 for the least developed countries.

Longevity is projected to continue to rise, although there are increasing risks of catastrophic ecological failure, given climate change, soil erosion and limits to water and other resources. Future population growth is also related to future fertility levels, which depend on access to family planning, the reproductive choices of present and future generations and economic, social, educational and political factors.

Population growth, with related rises in demand for food, water, land, energy and other resources, increases pressures on the environment and on the commitment of policy makers to address these challenges. As this growth will be mainly in developing countries, it may undermine poverty alleviation and economic growth, outpacing investments in health, education and other basic services. Slowing population growth can alleviate pressures on the environment and on natural resources, energy and water, and services, particularly at the local level. However, limiting population growth would not necessarily mean that humanity would be living within the carrying capacity of the Earth, which is already being significantly exceeded.viii Due to vastly inequitable consumption patterns, particularly in the Global North, it is the rich minority who pose most of the greatest global threats to the environment, with impacts that touch the lives of many of the world’s poorest people. This points to the importance of a post- 2015 development framework that considers and addresses the influence of both population- and consumption-related factors.

In summary, “demography is not destiny”, it is not pre-destined (policies, cultural values and programmes can affect it), nor are its impacts strictly determined. Where there are universal, adequate, affordable and accessible sexual and reproductive health services that respect and protect rights, women’s health has improved, maternal mortality declined and fertility fallen. Investment in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and in health, education and gender equality therefore advances development prospects and achieves the demographic transition in developing countries, while stabilizing the world population, thereby contributing to sustainable development.

Population Ageing

Fertility decline and increased longevity mean increasing numbers and proportion of people aged 60 and over; currently there are 810 million worldwide, with a projection of 2 billion by 2050. Changing family structures mean less family support for older people. Governments should provide services to protect the rights of the elderly, including social security and health care, suitable housing and transportation systems.

Providing for the elderly is a problem in developed countries due to the demographic transition, as well as for low and increasingly middle income countries.ix. Factors such as migration and the HIV pandemic mean that there are increasing numbers of ‘skipped generation’ households in some regions, with older carers bringing up grandchildren.x

Data on older people, disaggregated by sex, is required. Evidence-based policies are also required to ensure that both men and women are able to enjoy their rights to full, productive and remunerative employment that encourages savings, with pensions and social security measures in place to provide for those older persons in need of support. Support is also important in situations for grandparent care and skipped generation households, recognizing the needs and rights of both older persons and the children in their care.xi

Young People

Today’s generation of young people is the largest ever, with 1.2 billion aged 15-24, which will have a major impact on Government policies and development strategies.

With their capacity for creativity and innovation, growing numbers of young people can make an enormous contribution in countries in the developing world, in addition to the challenges they pose. Governments must have in place the necessary laws and policies to foster the innate innovative capacity of their youth. Promoting lower birth rates while increasing employment rates, societies can profit from the so-called demographic bonus.

Policies and strategies should include access to quality education, training and employment opportunities for all young people, particularly for girls and young women, to enable them to earn incomes. Young people must also have access to comprehensive sexuality education and youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health information and services, which address barriers including discrimination, social stigma and lack of confidentiality. Together these will allow young people to delay marriage and family responsibilities for as long as they wish and to plan their pregnancies.xii


Migration occurs for reasons including economic disparities, low-cost transportation, improved communication and migrant networks,xiii with short-term positive outcomes for some migrants, but conflict and persecution may also be major causes. Climate change, falls in food and water supplies and rising sea levels may also increase future migration. Internal migration takes place within countries, including from rural to urban areas. It may be seasonal and not always permanent. Migration includes undocumented migration and the displacement of people as refugees.

Migration has increased by almost 40 percent since 1990, reaching 214 million annually in 2010, and is expected to continue to rise. Large-scale migration can have significant consequences for both origin and host countries, including transfer of labour and skills, transfer of funds via remittances and other payments, and reducing resource pressures in countries of origin, while increasing it in host countries.

For some people seeking better socio-economic conditions migration is the only option. Women migrants may be adversely affected, particularly as refugees or undocumented migrants. The increase in adolescents and children, migrating often alone and without family support, should be noted, as 33 million migrants are under 20, representing 16% of all migrants, with 11 million aged between 15 and 19 years.xiv

Migrant-responsive policies are important, including proper documentation and full information. Migration should take place in safe and legal conditions, respecting human rights. In addition, the root causes of undocumented migration and human trafficking should be addressed. Women migrants may be particularly adversely affected, especially as refugees or undocumented migrants, while children must be protected from abuse and exploitation commonly associated with trafficking and assured fair treatment and equitable access to education and other services in destination countries.xv


Over half of humanity lives in urban areas and this is expected to increase. One third live in slums with numbers expected to rise due to population growth and internal migration.xvi The Future We Want, the Rio+20 outcome document, emphasizes that well-planned cities can promote economically, socially and environmentally sustainable societies. This requires a holistic approach for affordable housing and infrastructure and prioritizing slum upgrading and urban regeneration, including “a safe and healthy living environment for all, particularly children, youth, women, elderly and disabled”.xvii

Cities and urban areas must ensure access to education, health and other social services and employment opportunities. To avoid isolation and being confined to their homes, vulnerable groups including women, youth, children and those with disabilities must have adequate infrastructure and transportation. The specific needs of children should also be considered.

Social Processes and Individual Capabilities and Choices

Population dynamics can contribute to better policies and programmes that advance the welfare of communities, families and individuals. Some population dynamics mechanisms work through aggregate processes: a larger proportion of working age people in the overall population, coupled with investment in health, education and SRHR and with policies conducive to job creation, can increase total savings and investment and spur economic growth and poverty reduction.xviii A parallel mechanism operates at family and individual level: a smaller family with multiple earners can save more and/or invest in a higher quality of life and opportunities for its members.xix

The impacts of population dynamics do not always have such direct analogies. Increases in education, decreases in child mortality and other social changes that support decisions to delay marriage and family formation and reduce desired family sizes, for example, have substantial impact on the pace of demographic change through attitude and behavioral change. Smaller families also mean reduced competition for household resources and facilitate more collaborative relationships. The number of siblings can impact the extent of social networks and the balance between intra-familial and other social relations and provide challenges and options for old-age support for parents. Changing fertility patterns affect the duration of a generation (with implications for population momentum). Migration is often higher among relatively young adults, again changing household composition, and remittances can improve family welfare and alter power relationsxx. In different settings, the gender profile of migrants (especially labour migrants) varies. Intergenerational relations are also affected by the dispersion of formerly more settled extended family structures. Wealth flows in most settings are directed from older to younger family members but might require public programmatic intervention to ensure life quality through the life cycle.

In short, population dynamics are manifested through the options and institutional structures available (in families, communities and beyond) as well as the ability of individuals to enhance their status and dignity. Protection, promotion and free exercise of individuals’ social, political and economic rights are essential to these processes.

Population Dynamics and Consumption

Humanity’s impact on the environment is determined by population size, consumption levels and efficiency levels of resource consumption. Population dynamics, not only population size but also factors such as population density, ageing, urbanization and migration influence consumption and availability of natural resources, including land and water. The linkages between population dynamics, consumption levels and environmental sustainability are highly complex as well as sensitive, in part because of vast demographic and consumption disparities at the local, nation and global levels. The vast majority of projected population growth is due to take place in developing countries and amongst the poorest populations with the lowest per capita consumption rates. In the developed world, however, population growth is not an issue, yet the per capita consumption rates are on average much higher.xxi When considering the relationship between population dynamics and environmental sustainability, it is therefore necessary also to consider consumption inequities.

Humanity is currently using 50 per cent more resources than the Earth can sustainably provide, and unless we change our consumption patterns that number will grow very fast – by 2030, even two planets will not be enough. The consumption of resources is highly unjust and unequal. If all of humanity lived like an average Indonesian, for example, only two-thirds of the planet’s bio-capacity would be used; if everyone lived like an average Argentinean, humanity would demand more than half an additional planet; and if everyone lived like an average resident of the USA, a total of four Earths would be required to regenerate humanity’s annual demand on nature. The excessive use of limited resources by more affluent sectors of the global population, linked to growing levels of inequity between and within nations as well as increasing numbers of people, drives pressure on the Earth’s resources and its capacity to support us.

An urgent global priority that the post 2015 framework needs to address is supporting all sectors of the expanding population to consume resources more efficiently and equitably. In essence, both population and consumption issues are of critical relevance to the post-2015 agenda. Without addressing both simultaneously sustainable development cannot be achieved.


ICPD Programme of Action

Securing universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is a goal in itself and is critical for achieving social, economic and environmental development. The interrelationships between population, sexual and reproductive health, development and the environment were recognized in the Programme of Action (PoA) of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).xxii

The ICPD PoA defined sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights within primary health care systems, including addressing the unmet need for family planning, maternal mortality and morbidity, unsafe abortion, sexuality and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV and AIDS.xxiii Gender equality and women’s empowerment are central guiding principles, as are the specific sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents and vulnerable groups, including older persons, those with disabilities and indigenous people. Most important, the ICPD PoA is rooted in respect for human rights and the need to address gender-based violence and harmful practices.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights and the MDGs: the unfinished agenda for post-2015

SRHR were not included in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), although maternal health was included in MDG5. This was partially rectified in 2007 with the introduction of MDG Target 5B on Universal access to reproductive health by 2015.

MDG 5: Improve maternal health is the most ‘off-track’ MDG with Target 5A Reduce by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio, only being met, or expected to be met, by 2015 in two sub-regions – Eastern Asia and the Caucuses and Central Asia.Target 5B has only been achieved, or is expected to be achieved, in Eastern Asia.xxiv While births to women aged 15 to 19 years fell between 1990 and 2000, the rate of decline has slowed, or reversed, subsequently in most regions. Sub-Saharan Africa continues to have the highest adolescent birth rate (120 births per 1,000 adolescent women).

The significant increases in contraceptive use that occurred in the 1990s have not been sustained. While women and couples “have the basic right to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children…”xxv and more than half of all women aged 15 to 49, married or in a union, were using some form of contraception in 2010, the contraceptive prevalence rate of women in sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania was only 25 percent. The unmet need for family planning, i.e. “the percentage of women aged 15 to 49, married or in a union, who report the desire to delay or avoid pregnancy, but are not using any form of contraception”, has declined only slowly since 1990.xxvi Moreover, it will probably expand sharply as the number of young people grows and as urbanization and globalization affect social structures. Girls who are married early or who are living on the streets are especially vulnerable with limited rights and access to sexual and reproductive health services.

Given the investment to date and the progress in some regions and sub-regions, a strong argument can be made for the inclusion of SRHR in the post-2015 development framework. This will also influence population dynamics, with positive implications for sustainable development priorities, including poverty alleviation, equity, health, education, food and water security, gender equality and environmental sustainability.

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Agenda Post-2015

An estimated 222 million women and girls in developing countries have an unmet need for modern contraception.xxvii 40 percent of pregnancies worldwide are unintended, leading to 21 million unsafe abortions and 47,000 maternal deaths each year.xxviiiThe Family Planning 2020 initiative has led to a commitment to provide voluntary family planning services to an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s poorest countries by 2020.xxix Investment in family planning is cost effective – for every dollar spent, 2-6 (US) dollars can be saved for other development

Funding is also required for health services other than family planning, as part of comprehensive rights-based sexual and reproductive health services. Sustained funding and appropriate policies are necessary at all levels, including for health workers and essential medicines; comprehensive sexuality education; universal access to affordable, adequate, accessible sexual and reproductive health care, and information respecting reproductive and sexual rights, including for marginalized groups, such as young people, undocumented migrants, people with disabilities, people living with HIV and AIDS, drug users and sex workers.

POPULATION DYNAMICS AND SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS – cross- cutting and under-pinning the evolving post-2015 development framework

Economic and Social Development

The size, structure and spatial distribution of the population has implications for economic growth, sustainable development and prosperity, by influencing labor markets, income distribution, pressure on resources and infrastructures, poverty and social protection and pension schemes.

Access to voluntary family planning services and the resulting falling birth ratesxxxi and smaller families can mean more disposable income for households, fewer children to support and more opportunities for paid employment for women. Countries can benefit from the demographic bonus resulting from the voluntary decrease in fertility rates and the corresponding increase in the employed proportion of the population, if employment opportunities, education, investments in women’s and girls’ health and other requirements are in place.

Conversely, the high population growth of many developing countries contributes to preventing the breaking of vicious poverty circles, slowing human development and undermining initiatives for economic prosperity and poverty alleviation.

Environmental sustainability

As outlined in section 2.7, population dynamics has implications for consumption and availability of natural resources, and therefore environmental sustainability. Population growth is highest in the world’s poorest countries, which are also most vulnerable to food and water insecurity. In these countries population growth can undermine climate change adaptation and poverty reduction by exacerbating pressure on resources. Meeting the need for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services, including voluntary family planning, would support climate adaptation and increase resilience in ecologically fragile areas. Without sound policies to manage the environment, population growth contributes to environmental issues such as soil degradation and erosion, fresh water scarcity, migration, deforestation and shortages of farmlandxxxiias well as reductions in natural habitat and biodiversity, particularly at a local level.

At the global level, the links between population growth and environmental sustainability are more complex. The consumption patterns of richer populations have a far greater impact on environmental sustainability at a global level than the

consumption of poorer populations. In fact, high-income countries have a footprint five times greater than that of low-income countries.xxxiii

Food, water and energy

Population growth is likely to undermine progress towards achieving food, water and energy security for the global population, particularly because the vast majority of projected population growth will take place in the world’s poorest countries, where water shortages are severe and hunger is prevalent. By 2030, the world will need an estimated 50 percent more food and energy; and 30 percent more water because of increased demand because of population growth and increasing per capita consumption.xxxivGlobal food prices are already rising, due in part to stock situations and to financial speculations, while water scarcity is increasing. Moreover, food production is being impacted by alarming climate change, as well as by the depletion of natural resources such as fish stocks and water for agriculture, and by limited availability of inputs such as clean energy and fertile land.

A post 2015 framework should deliver food, water and energy for all, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.


Health, including SRHR, is critical for human and sustainable development, with ‘the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health’ as a recognized human right.xxxvReducing unplanned pregnancies would reduce maternal

and infant/child mortality and morbidity and alleviate pressure on limited health resources.Health services should consider the needs of both women and girls and men and boys throughout their lives.

Education and employment

Links between education, sexual and reproductive health rights, and women’s empowerment are multiple and mutually reinforcing. SRHR are linked to achieving universal access to,and completion of,education for girls by combatting early and forced marriage,early pregnancy,HIV and AIDS and other sexual and reproductive health issues thatprevent young people, particularly girls, from attending school and from completing their education.Comprehensive sexuality education, both in and out of school and for both girls and boys,together with youth- friendly sexual and reproductive health services, are critical for empowering girls and young people.

Education is itself a means to promote SRHR and to enable women to control their fertility. Girls who go to school are more likely to delay sexual initiation and to make more informed, empowered choices. Women with seven or more years of schooling have fewer children than those who have not been to school, and their children are healthier and better educated. Similarly, enabling women to determine the timing and spacing of their pregnancies will allow them to take advantage of opportunities for education and employment.

Gender inequality and women’s and girls’ empowerment

SRHR empowers women and transforms their economic and social position, increasing their opportunities for education, employment and full participation in society.

Women and girls should not be subjected to harmful practices such as female genital mutilation/cutting, early and forced marriage, early pregnancy, domestic and gender- based violence, rape and sexual coercion, pre-natal sex selection and infanticide, honour crimes and widow inheritance and sexual harassment, all of which dis-empower them.

Conflict, violence and disaster

High rates of population growth or density can lead to conflict over resources or dissatisfaction with insufficient employment or inheritance opportunities, particularly in resource poor settings. This can contribute to political instability and the creation of fragile states. Population pressures can also increase vulnerability to disasters, by forcing people onto marginal land or areas of greater risk, and by contributing to household poverty. Increasing access to rights-based family planning programmes can reduce population-related pressures and increase resilience.


The following recommendations are made in the context of the post-2015 development agenda:

  • Promote as a framework the outcomes of relevant international processes, particularly ICPD Beyond 2014 and Rio+20, that comprehensively addresses the social, economic and environmental pillars of sustainable development, including population- and consumption-related factors and the nexus between population dynamics, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), gender equality and sustainable development, creatingsynergy and coherence.
  • Include population dynamics and SRHR in the post-2015 development agenda, within a human-rights based and gender-sensitive framework, recognizing the inter-related benefits that universal access to SRHR, employment opportunities for women and promotion by voluntary means of the existing trend to smaller families bring to gender equality, population and environmental sustainability.
  • Ensure development goals, planning and policies, including for health, education, food and water security, environment and wider poverty reduction programmes, consider, address and monitor population dynamics, and advance SRHR as part of sustainable and inclusive development and poverty eradication.
  • Ensure development goals are based on projected changes in population size, location etc., which influence demand for and supply of essential resources and services, and population data is used for planning, monitoring, reporting and accountability mechanisms, including, where relevant, data disaggregated by sex, age and rural/ urban etc.
  • Prioritise universal access to SRHR, including providing voluntary family planning and youth-friendly services, increasing demand for SRHR services, promoting integration of reproductive health and HIV/AIDS programmesand encouragingmale participation within the context of the ICPD Programme of Action and the Beijing Platform of Action.
  • Address both population- and consumption-related factors, shifting consumption patterns onto a sustainable and equitable pathway with goals for sustainable consumption for all countries. Responsibilities will differ between countries and there is an imperative for richer countries and populations to reduce their per capita consumption of resources, while poorer populations will need to increase their per capita consumption.
  • Improve transparency and accountability in the provision of SRHR services through, for example, the involvement of the private sector, introducing results-based financial systems, and greater involvement of civil society, particularly in strengthening maternal mortality surveillance, reducing under-registration, preventing default and improving maternal deaths classification.
  • Reduce migratory pressures while respecting the human rights of migrants, including child migrants, eliminate forced female migration such as bride importation, forced marriages and trafficking and seek to improve living standards for those living in slums, rural and hard to reach areas and refugee/migrant camps.
  • Provide quality education and training at all levels, particularly secondary education for girls, including reducing user fees in a properly phased and responsible manner; ensuring safe school environment and access for girls; enabling adolescent mothers and pregnant girls to continue their education; and ensuring a full curriculum including comprehensive sexuality education.
  • Provide decent employment opportunities for young people and women to enable them to earn a sustained livelihood and be financially independent; establish and enforce rights-based policies to address early and forced marriage and early childbearing.
  • Include in relevant SRHR programmes the specific needs of older people, including those dealing with skipped generations, and of other marginalized groups such as people living with HIV and men who have sex with men.

This paper is issued on behalf of the Beyond 2015 campaign. The original draft was produced by a drafting team comprised of the following Beyond 2015 organizations: Campaign 2015+, Christian Relief & Development Association; Commonwealth Medical Trust;International Planned Parenthood Federation; Population Matters; Population and Sustainability Network; Women Deliver; and with the coordinating efforts of the Christian Relief & Development Association and the Commonwealth Medical Trust. The drafting process consisted of a thorough literature review and team drafting. The draft was circulated to the campaign for review. Comments and feedback were received from 11 organizations. The redrafting was coordinated by the team, and it was possible to incorporate most of the inputs received. In accordance with the Beyond 2015 protocol on forming policy positions…

Thanks go to the drafting team comprised of the members of the following organizations: Meshesha Shewarga (Christian Relief & Development Association; Marianne Haslegrave (Commonwealth Medical Trust); Sarah Shaw (International Planned Parenthood Federation); Sarah Fisher (Population and Sustainability Network); Simon Ross (Population Matters); Tola Winjobi (Campaign 2015+ International) and Joanna Hoffman (Women Deliver)Thanks also go to individuals of contributing organizations:

CAFSO-WRAG for Development, Nigeria; EuroNGOs; Kigen Korir (Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Alliance (SRHR Alliance-Kenya)).


i The areas identified are: Inequalities, Environmental sustainability; Health; Water; Food; Energy; Education; Employment; Conflict, violence and disaster; Governance; and Population Dynamics.

iiUnited Nations System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda. 2012. Realizing the Future We Want for All.

iiiThe Royal Society (2012) People and planet.London. ivIbid.

v UNDESA & UNFPA (2012) Population Dynamics Thematic Think Piece produced for the UN System Task Team on the post-2015 Development Agenda.

viUnited Nations Population Division 2011. World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision. New York viiIbid

viii WWF (2012) Living Planet Report 2012. Gland: WWF.

ixGlobal Footprint Network Ecological Footprint for Nations 2010.

x UNFPA and HelpAge International (2012) Aging in the 21st Century. A Celebration and a Challenge United Nations Population Fund, New York and HelpAge International, London and EveryChild and HelpAge (2012) Family First.Prioritising Support to Kinship Carers, especially older carersEveryChild, London

xiEveryChild and HelpAge (2012) Family First.Prioritising Support to Kinship Carers, especially older carersEveryChild, London

xiiFormore information see See Africa’s Demographic Challenges:

xiii. Population Dynamics. Thematic Think Piece

xivUNICEF (2012) International Migration of Children and Adolescents. Facts and Figures UNICEF, New York

xv Save the Children (2012) Voices of Children on the Move. Submission to the UN CRC Committee Day of General Discussion Save the Children, London

xviUN-Habitat The Challenge of Slums 2003

xviiUnited Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. 2012. The Future We Want. Paras 134-135. New York. xviiiBloom, D.E., Canning, D., and Sevilla, J. 2003.The demographic dividend: A new perspective on the economic consequences of population change. Santa Monica: Rand.

xix The familial (micro-level) impacts of population dynamics were acknowledged even in the macro-level skeptical reports of the 1980s (see National Academy of Science. 1986. Population Growth and Economic Development: Policy Questions. Washington: National Acadeimies Press and Birdsall, N., Kelley, A.C. and Sinding, S. 2001. Population matters: Demographic change, economic growth, and poverty in the developing world. New York: Oxford University Press).

xx UNFPA. 2006. International migration and the Millennium Development Goals. New York: UNFPA. UNFPA. 2006. Moving Young.Youth Supplement to the State of World Population Report. New York: UNFPA.

xxi Stephenson, J., Newman., K and Mayhew, S (2010) “Population dynamics and climate change: what are the links?” Journal of Public Health, 32, 2, pp. 150-156.

xxii United Nations. 1994. Report of the International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, 5-13 September 1995. A/CoNF.171/13, chapter IV xxiiiIbid. paras 7.2, 7.3, 7.6

xxiv United Nations. 2012. The Millennium Development Goals Report 2012. New York xxvUnited Nations. 1994. Report ICPD paras 7.3,

xxvi United Nations. 2012. MDG Report

xxvii Singh, S. and Darroch, J. E (2012) Adding It Up: Costs and Benefits of Contraceptive Services – Estimates for 2012. New York: Guttmacher Institute and United Nations Population Fund.

xxviii Singh, S., Sedgh, G., and Hussain, R. (2010) Unintended Pregnancy: Worldwide Levels, Trends and Outcomes. Studies in Family Planning .41, 4, 241-250. xxix

xxx Moreland, S &Talbird, S. 2006. Achieving the Millennium Goals: The contribution of fulfilling the unmet need for family planning. USAID, Washington DC.

xxxi See Africa’s Demographic Challenges:

xxxii Bryant, L, Carver, C, &Anage, A (2009). “Climate change and family planning: least-developed countries define the agenda.” WHO Bulletin, 87, pp.852-857. xxxiii (WWF Living Planet Report 2012).

xxxiv Beddington (undated) Food, energy, water and the climate: A perfect storm of global events? UK Government Office for Science.

xxxv UN General Assembly (1966) International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 16 December 1966, Article 12.1.

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