Justice Transformation in Kaduna State, Nigeria

Resolving justice problems at scale requires systems to evolve. Following Justice Transformation Labs (JTL) in Imo and Ogun states, respectively, HiiL launched a JTL in Kaduna, Nigeria, a state nicknamed the 'Centre of Learning'.

In collaboration with the Kaduna State Government, key stakeholders, and state-wide justice leaders, HiiL organised a series of dialogues to help realise people-centred justice in Kaduna State. The Justice Transformation Lab series contributed to the broader vision of Kaduna State’s Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai of “putting people first,” and aims to initiate locally-owned strategies that innovatively and effectively produce a more people-centred justice system.

In November 2022, Kaduna’s justice and judiciary leaders publicly shared their commitments to realise innovative, affordable and responsive justice delivery. These commitments represent meaningful, realistic first steps. Looking ahead, 2023 will be about taking work further, so that in time, a ‘turning point’ in Nigeria’s justice sector is reached.

Strengthened dialogue between justice stakeholders on justice needs will create the conditions for an enabling environment that can spur justice innovation and promote game-changing services for making people-centred justice happen in Kaduna state.

Kaduna has a long history of religious, ethnic and communal conflicts and has continued to struggle with establishing a secure environment where people can live, work and do business without fear of violence. The 2022 Justice Transformation Lab and process in Kaduna State is part of a national people-centred justice strategy in Nigeria. These efforts coordinated by our country team have sought to:

  1. Convene a diverse group of stakeholders to exchange ideas and smart actions on bringing justice closer to the people.
  2. Devise an actionable strategy with clear outcomes for implementing accessible, affordable, and user-friendly justice.
  3. Identify key innovations and game-changing services that can support and deliver justice to rural communities and vulnerable citizens in Kaduna State.
  4. Support SDG16 and signal to the global justice community that Kaduna (and Nigeria more broadly) stands by the notion of justice working for all and not just for a privileged few.  

HiiL’s work in Nigeria also includes justice transformation initiatives in Imo and Ogun states. These efforts built on a Justice Needs & Satisfaction (JNS) study which revealed the extent to which Nigerians face justice problems in their daily lives. Between late 2022 through 2025, HiiL will conduct four more JNS surveys in Nigeria.

Overall, HiiL’s work in Africa’s most populous country serves two main objectives: 1) support justice leaders to make data-based decisions about people’s justice needs and 2) create an implementable strategy to deliver people-centred justice that works.

If you would like to collaborate with HiiL or help fund our national people-centred justice programming in Nigeria, then please contact Anne Colenbrander.

Further Reading

Cover image: Abuwale / Shutterstock.com