Journal of Social and Political


ISSN 2615-3718 (Online)

ISSN 2621-5675 (Print)

Published: 16 April 2020

The Sub-National Politics of Setting Health Development Agenda: An Insight Into Yobe Health Development Plan

Ali Ibrahim Abbas, Abubakar Umar Sadiq

Yobe State University (Nigeria) Universiti Putra Malaysia (Malaysia), World Health Organisation and Usmanu Danfodio University (Nigeria)

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Pages: 313-328

Keywords: Health, Politics, Policy, Agenda Setting, Yobe State, Nigeria


Democratic regimes have always been confronted with political, social and economic factors in making decisions in their health development policies. Despite its importance, the health development plans made at sub-national levels are often neglected in most political discourse. In Yobe state, North Eastern region of Nigeria where health indices are poor and financial resource inadequate, the relevance of the health policy agenda setting remains an important starting point. This study influenced by Kingdon’s stream theory provides the health development agenda (HDA) of Governor Gaidam regime from 2009-2015 through the perceptions of health stakeholders in Yobe state. The qualitative study involved 28 interviews with informants and review of policy documents that underscores what, why and how the regime’s HDA was developed. The study highlighted the power play through the regime’s responsibilities, mandates, strategic objectives and priority agenda setting in achieving health development in the state. Furthermore, through the political lenses of agenda setting in the state, the emphasis was laid on the process, content and context of the regime’s HDA. Although the HDA were home-driven, the motivations comes from local health problems related to health goals advocated by international development partners aimed to reduce IMR, UMR, MMR and other diseases all by 2015. Although the SSHDP provided 8 priority areas of key interventions in documents, in practice only 5 priority areas were prominent. Finally, the targets identified will serve as the justification to assess the regime’s accountability since its intentions and goals could be judged from the extent of its performance.


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