NYSC Community Development Service (CDS) Review


NYSC Community Development Service (CDS) is one of the four (4) Cardinal Programmes of NYSC in which corps members contribute positively to the development of their host communities throughout the period of national service. It is a year-round affair and through the programme members of the Service Corps work with the local communities to promote self-reliance by systematically prospecting and executing development projects and programme which impact positively on the socio-economic development of the host communities.

Table of Contents

Over the years NYSC Community Development Service (CDS) has been faced with numerous challenges arising mainly from poor perception and a dearth of knowledge of the corps members on the objectives of CDS. This structured guide of Community Development Service is therefore made to give Corps Members explicit insight into what the program is all about and how to successfully participate in the program.

For ease of navigation, we have made a table of content below.


Community   Development Service (CDS) is the third programme of a corp member’s National service year only after the Orientation course and Primary Assignment (PA). NYSC Community Development Service (CDS) is often referred to as a secondary assignment and is compulsory for every corp member (group cds).

It is aimed at correcting the imbalance in the nation’s rural-urban development through the various    community development    programmes executed by   corps members.   These programmes   have helped tremendously our communities in   the areas   of   education,   health   care   delivery,   agriculture, communication,  infrastructure,  technology,  economic  empowerment,  poverty eradication,  social  services  and  above all national consciousness and  socio-cultural regeneration.


Although the objectives of NYSC Community Development Service (CDS) are burgeoning as the potential of the programme is limitless, the following are identified ones:

  1. Impacting positively on the improvement of rural community life.
  2. Developing the spirit of entrepreneurship in the corps members.
  3. To utilize the  challenges  which  rural  development  poses and inculcate  in the  Nigerian  Youth  the  ideals  and  capacities  for leadership ,endurance, selflessness, community service, national service, patriotism, and creativity.
  4. Exposing corps members  to  diverse  traditions  and  customs  of the  host communities.
  5. Providing the forum  for  corps  members  to  experiment  with  ideas  and translate  them  into  concrete  achievements  thereby  relying  less  on  foreign technology and encouraging the use of local raw materials in the execution of projects.
  6. Harnessing the enormous talents and  skills of  corps members  into an effective machinery of change in our rural communities.
  7. Providing on-the-job training and experience for corps members.
  8. Providing complimentary service in our National development activities, by ensuring that our  under-privileged  population learn  basic  techniques for self-help through  the  appropriate technology concept being  promoted  by NYSC.
  9. To instill in corps members the tradition of the dignity of labour and productivity.
  10. To complement the  activities  of government  at  all  levels  in  the  stride towards national development


There are three (3) major classifications of CDS. However, corp members actively participate in only two (2). The major classifications are as follow:

  • Personal/Individual Community Development Service
  • Group Community Development Service (Group CDS)
  • Community Development Service

Personal/Individual CDS

These are projects/programmes executed by individual corps members in their host   communities based   on   Community   felt-needs. Corps   members   are encouraged  in  addition  to  the  group  CDS  to  look  out  for areas  where they  could make  individual  impact  in  the  community.  It  could  be  construction  projects  like building  of  toilets,  incinerators,  bridges,  classrooms,  games  facilities  for  schools etc  or  social/educational  project  such  as  establishment  of  ICT  laboratory,  school libraries, extra-mural classes,  campaigns,  charity  work,  vocational  training  for empowerment of unemployed youths  etc.

Even though Personal CDS isn’t compulsory, there are lots of reasons why corp members are encouraged to engage in the program. One of such is that the Government and communities that benefit from these projects hold corp members responsible for their initiation in high esteem and reward them handsomely.

At the end of your service year, some or all of State Coordinator’s Letter of Commendation, Local Government Honors Award, State Government Honors Award and Presidential Honors Award can be given to you if your project is evaluated as one that has brought significant development to your host community.

Recently, the Federal Government Administration of President Muhammad Buhari gave some corp members that did Personal CDS in their host communities National Award and Jobs with attractive salary.

Another benefit of personal CDS is seen around rural communities in the nation where underprivileged kids benefit tremendously from the educational programs corp members organize for them. This has enabled them to acquire good formal education and hence have the opportunity of becoming good ambassadors of the nation.

Group CDS

Group Community Development Service (Group CDS) are projects/programmes executed by groups of corp members. It is compulsory and failure of a corp member to participate in their assigned group will lead to appropriate sanction(s) according to NYSC bye-law.

The assigning of Corp members to the NYSC Community Development Service (CDS) groups is done by their Local Government Inspector (LGI) usually according to their field of study/expertise. For example, a Geographer will most likely be assigned to Environmental protection and sanitation group (EPSG) and a Barrister Corps Legal Aid Group (CLAG).

Group CDS Corps  members  are  expected  to  use  one  day  in  a  week  for  group  CDS  activities.  They  are  not  expected  to  attend  duties  in  their  Places  of  Primary assignment on CDS  days. Such days are dedicated to the execution of projects and programmes that will improve the living conditions of their host communities. It usually falls on Wednesdays or Thursdays.

Below is the list of all CDS groups their purpose and activities.

Corps Legal Aid Group (CLAG)


  • Free legal services to the less privileged and indigent prison inmates (Victims of denials and violation of rights)
  • Sensitization of the public on fundamental human rights


  • Advocacy
  • Visit prisons
  • Legal service to inmates and indigent persons
  • Public lecture and awareness of fundamental human rights.

Sports Group


  • Creates an avenue for recreation and healthy rivalry among corps members and the community.
  • Arousing the consciousness of living healthy and purposeful lifestyles through participation in one form of physical activity or the other.
  • Identifying talents among Corps members


  • Participation in Sports competitions
  • Identifying and Training members of the Community
  • Organizing Sports Competitions

Cultural and Tourism Group (Band, Dance, Drama & Tourism)


  • Promoting arts and Culture
  • Dissemination of vital socio-economic and political problems and prospects.


  • Identifying talents
  • Setting up of the schemes theatre groups

Education Development Group (Mass Literacy, Adult Education, Extra MuralsICT)


  • Enhance the Education Standard of the host community.
  • Career guidance and counseling for students


  • Campaign against Illiteracy
  • Organizing Extra-mural classes for Adults.
  • Organizing of in-school programmes

Environmental Protection and Sanitation Group (EPSG)


  • To promote and sustain healthy environment
  • To create awareness on sustainable environment management and regeneration.


  • Tree planting
  • Sanitation
  • Drainage Control
  • Erosion Control
  • Landscaping

Editorial/Publicity Group


  • Compliment the activities of the NYSC PRU in disseminating Information to the Community


  • Making presentations on mass media to enlighten people on socio-cultural education.

Road Safety Group


  • To contribute to public safety on our roads


  • Sensitization and control of traffic.
  • Rendering first aid to accident victims
  • Establishment of road safety clubs in school.

Reproductive Health & HIV/AIDS Group


  • To train and mentor Students
  • To mobilize and strengthen community-based responses on HIV/AIDS prevention


  • Sensitization and Campaign

Anti-Corruption Group (EFCC & ICPC)


  • To help in eradicating corruption through Campaign


  • Sensitization
  • Creation of awareness in schools and organizations
  • Establish Anti-Corruption Corps members in schools.

Service Delivery Group (Attitudinal Change, Re-Branding)


  • Sensitization on Service delivery and good work ethics.


  • Training
  • Sensitization
  • Group discussions on value re-orientation



  • To create awareness and actualize the 8 goals of MDGs


  • Advocacy and Mentoring of the host community.

Medical and Health Services Group (Red Cross, Breast Without Spot, Polio Plus, etc.)


  • Promotion and provision of Medical Services


  • Health outreach
  • First Aid administration.
  • Establishment of Community based clinic
  • Setting up of clinic for the NYSC Secretariat

Drug Free and Quality Control Group (NDLEA, NAFDAC, SON)


  • Eradication of fake and adulterated foods and drugs
  • Create awareness on the danger of drug abuse.


  • Campaign and Sensitization
  • Establishment of drug free clubs in Schools
  • Ensuring linkages with the host Communities.

Agro-Allied Group


  • Support agro-allied activities in host communities
  • To promote better food production and security


  • Demonstration farms/Extension Services
  • Establishment of Farmers Cooperative Societies.
  • Advocacy
  • The teaching of new farming techniques to communities
  • Training and capacity building
  • Establishment of young farmers clubs in host communities

Charity Services and Gender Group


  • To improve the living standard of the downtrodden
  • Charity outreaches to the public


  • Mobilize funds and other resources for less privileged
  • Visits of orphanages & prisons.
  • Donation of materials to homes

Disaster Management Group (NEMA)


  • To create awareness on disaster management
  • To disseminate information on how to manage disasters through Corps Emergency Vanguards.


  • Public enlightenment on disaster management and control through the emergency Vanguards.
  • Disaster management
  • Liaison with NEMA on how to assist during emergencies
  • Formation of emergency vanguard club in schools.

Collaborative Community Development Service

This a form of CDS in which the scheme partners with National and Non-Governmental organizations and other establishments to implement development programmes. The Scheme signs MOU with the partners, clearly stating each partner’s roles/responsibilities. Corps members are usually involved as Volunteers on this programme.

Types of Collaborative CDS

  • Road Safety Group
  • Reproductive Health & HIV.AIDs Group
  • Anti-Corruption (EFCC & ICPC) Group
  • Service Delivery Group (Attitudinal Change, Re-Branding)
  • MDGs
  • Medical and Health Services Group (Red Cross, Breast without Spot, Polio Plus, etc.)
  • Drug Free and Quality Control Group (NDLEA, NAFDAC, SON)


The two basic techniques you can use in carrying out needs assessment are:

  1. By observation of challenges faced by the community (e.g. lack of potable water, medical facility,  educational  institution,  link  road  or  bridge)  or prevalence of a common disease, illiteracy, non-basic skills, ignorance, drug abuse, etc.
  2. By discussion with  members  of  the  community  ranging  from  youths, market  women,  opinion  leaders  and  elders  through  which several  needs may be identified.


Two important factors to guide the choice of project(s) you engage in are:

  1. The SMART test of project management. This means that  the  project must be Specific (defined), Measurable (visible outcome when completed), Achievable  (is  it  possible),  Rewarding  (benefits)  and  Time-bound  (deadline for completion)
  2. The felt-needs of the community must be considered. For example, a starving person is in desperate need of food. Giving them clothes to wear cannot help them at that material time. That is not them felt-need. Similarly, carrying out a community development project that is not the felt-need of the community amounts to a futile effort. You should consult your CDS Schedule officers, Zonal/Local Government Inspectors for guidance.


(a) A written proposal must be forwarded by the corp member addressed to the State Coordinator through the Local and Zonal Inspectors.

(b) The relevance of the project to the Community must be stated in the proposal.

(c) Sustainability and benefits of the project to the Community after the departure of the corp member must be stated.

(d) Location and accessibility of the project – Projects to be executed by corp member(s)  should  not  be  in  disputed  areas and  should  be  accessible  to members of the host community.

(e) Source   of   funding: Funds   should   be   sourced from the   communities, individuals and organizations within the State of service. It is strictly prohibited for corp members to fund CDS  project  with  their  allowance  or  money from parents/relatives.

(f) Period of Project Execution:-All CDS projects must be completed within the service year


1) Interaction between corp members and community stakeholders to identify the felt needs of the community;

2) Identification of sources of funds and relevant linkages for the project.

3) Preparation of a viable proposal with the guidance of Local Government and Zonal Inspectors containing the following:-

  • Introduction
  • Name of project
  • Estimated cost of the project
  • Source of funding
  • Expected time of completion
  • Proposed date of commissioning.

The   work   plan   should   be   attached   and   it should contain the following: activities and time frame, period of report submission and documentation, etc

4) Approval of project by the NYSC Secretariat after consultation with the Zonal and Local Government Inspectors;

5) Mobilizing resources  in  consultation with  community  members  from  the community, Local Government Council, Government, and Non-Government Organizations  as  well  as public  spirited  philanthropists.

Corp   members shouldn’t write letters to government, parastatals and private organizations without passing through the State Coordinator.

6) Ensuring  contact  with  linkages  relevant  to  the  execution  of  the  project jointly carried out by corps member(s) and the community;

7) Execution of the project;

8) Submission   of bimonthly progress   report   with   documentary/pictorial evidence;

9) Submission of completion report to the NYSC State Secretariat

10) Commissioning and handing over to the Community; and

11) Giving  of feedback  to  persons  that  donated  towards  the  execution  of  the project. The community participatory approach built into the aforementioned steps allows for  decision  making  on project  to  be  jointly  taken  which ultimately  leads  to sustainability of such projects and community ownership.

That is all we have for you on Nysc Community Development service (CDS). Be sure to leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comment box. And if there is anything we’ve left out or you want to inquire about drop a comment below, we reply faster than you can recite the Nysc anthem.


  • Gbenga Ajisefinni

    is the founder and editor of nysc connect... He loves to share contents on; educational guides, Job search globally, scholarship opportunities, personal development, plus related news from varying & credible sources to keep readers guided and informed. You can follow him via the following socials

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