ASSESSMENT OF CITIZENS’ PARTICIPATION IN POVERTY REDUCTION PROGRAMMES IN EBONYI STATE
This study examines the challenges of citizens’ participation in poverty reduction programmes in Ebonyi State. The objectives of the study include: to find out the strategies adopted by government and its agencies in poverty reduction programmes in the rural communities, to find out if such strategies have encouraged the participation of the citizens and identify factors militating against the participation of the citizens in poverty reduction programmes using Ebonyi State Community Based Poverty Reduction Programme. The paper highlights the relevance and practical issues relating to citizens’ participation in poverty reduction programmes. The work argued that participation of the citizens whose poverty levels are being reduced is critical and denying them the opportunity to participate and contribute to the process of alleviating their poverty level will hardly achieve the desired result. The research methodology adopted is the contents analysis of the existing literature on the related subject while secondary source of data were used. The paper was predicated on the Participatory theory as its framework of analysis. The findings reveal that the participatory strategy of poverty reduction programmes in the state was not properly applied while the programme was over politicised which led to very low level participation of the citizens. The paper therefore, recommended strict compliance to participatory strategies of poverty reduction programmes in the state while poverty reduction implementation agencies should be made to be independent through legislation to avoid unnecessary political interference in its activities.