As a specific area of interest, governance focuses on political governance and public affairs. Clearly, a major challenge to development in Nigeria is the quality of governance, particularly in the public sphere. The level of accountability in public offices is generally low, as is the responsiveness of government to the needs of citizens. In addition, there are very limited avenues available to citizens to actively participate in decisions that affect their lives beyond periodic elections that are in any case often marred by irregularities. Consequently, citizens and particularly socially disadvantaged groups, feel excluded or only nominally involved in governance. At the same time, public policy minimally impacts positively on the lives of people. IID seeks to apply innovative ideas to improve the quality of governance at the national and local levels in four broad areas: quality of citizenship, quality of elections, quality of accountability and quality of local government. Deriving from these broad areas, the specific areas of concern are the following:
- Elections and political participation;
- Political inclusiveness, particularly for women, youth and people living with disabilities;
- Public affairs and leadership education;
- Policy formulation and implementation;
- Strengthening the institutions of governance at national, sub-national and local levels;
- Representation and accountability; and
- Conflict analysis, peace building and security governance.