The Theatre for Development Centre (TFDC)

A Message to Democracy – Our Dreams

TFDC promotes social development by sharing the power of participatory development strategies with policy makers, civil society and researchers. Using public drama, stories and film, TFDC is working with 10 communities across Nigeria to increase transparency and accountability in governance.

Research & Output

Methodological approach

The overall goal of the project is to increase transparency and accountability in governance in Nigeria. Community members, community-based organisations, women’s associations, and officials of Local Government Areas in Benue, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano and Kogi States received training in Participatory Governance (PG) aimed at building their capacity to promote and explore the issue of transparent governance in their communities and states. The research study within this Participate synthesis shares the findings from where PG trainees used Theatre for Development (TFD) as a participatory tool for engaging community members to have a dialogue on civic participation and responsibilities, identifying and analysing community needs, and planning collective actions.

TFD is a participatory theatre practice which allows communities to write their own stories and perform in a drama based on the messages that emerge from the storytelling process. It is a practice which operates from their perspectives, using their own language and idioms of expressions. In this way theatre is domesticated to specific needs, taken over and shaped by community people. What they seek to demystify is the expert syndrome which takes away agency from those at ground level that the programmes and projects are intended for.