Community Development Service (CDS) is one of the four (4) Cardinal Programs of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in which Corps Members contribute positively to the development of their host communities throughout the period of National service. here is  A to Z of NYSC CDS.

 A to Z of NYSC CDS

It is worthy of note, that over the years from its inception in 1973, the National Youth Service Corps has contributed immensely in the social, political and economic transformation of the nation. In recent times, the scheme has been in the vanguard of the nation's drive to correct the imbalance in our rural-urban development through the various community development programs executed by corps members. These programs have revolutionized 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.

Idea behind NYSC CDS (Objectives)

As one of the cardinal programs of the NYSC, Community Development Service was envisaged among other benefits to:

  1. Impact and improve positively on the rural community life.
  2. Expose corps members to diverse traditions and customs of the host communities
  3. Provide a 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 as well as on-the-job training and experience for corps members.
  4. Harness the enormous talents and skills of corps members into an effective machinery of change in our rural communities.
  5. Develop the spirit of entrepreneurship in the corps members.
  6. Explore 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.
  7. Instill in corps members the tradition of dignity of labour and productivity.
  8. Complement the activities of government at all levels in the stride towards national development.
  9. Providing complementary service in our National development activities, by ensuring that our under-privileged population learned basic techniques for self-help through the appropriate technology concept being promoted by NYSC.

Read also: All you need to know about NYSC Orientation Camp

Categorization of CDS

NYSC CDS is categorized into to two main categories of:

  1. Group Community Development Service (Group CDS)
  2. Personal/Individual Community Development Service (Personal/Individual CDS)

Read about: Personal CDS Project

Group Community Development Service (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 CD days. Such days are dedicated to the execution of projects and programs that will improve the living conditions of their host communities. However, such days varies with different state across the federation.

Various CDS Groups in NYSC Scheme and Functions



  • Provide free legal services to the less privileged and indigent prison inmates (Victims of denials and violation of rights)
  • Sensitized the public on fundamentalhuman rights


  • Advocacy
  • Visit to prison
  • Legal service to inmate and indigenes of host community
  • Public lecture and awareness on fundamental human rights



  • Creates 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.
  • Identify talents among Corps members


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




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


  • Tree planting
  • Drainage Control
  • Erosion Control
  • Sanitation
  • Aforestation
  • Land Scaping


EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT GROUP (Mass Literacy, Adult Education, Extra Murals ICT)


  • 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 programs

CULTURAL & TOURISM CDS 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




  • 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.



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


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




  • 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
  • Liaison with NEMA on how to assist during emergencies
  • Formation of emergency vanguard club in schools

MEDICAL & HEALTH SERVICES CDS 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


SERVICE DELIVERY CDS Group ( Attitudinal Change, Re- Branding)


  • Sensitization on Service delivery and good work ethics.


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




  • Eradication of fake and adulterated foods and drugs
  • Create awareness on danger of drug abuse
  • Campaign and Sensitization
  • Establishment of drug free clubs in Schools 
  • Ensuring linkages with the host Communities




  • To improve the living standard of the down trodden
  • Charity outreaches to the public
  • Mobilize funds and other resources for less privileged
  • Visits of orphanages & prisons
  • Donation of materials to homes




  • To create awareness and actualize the 8 goals of MDGs


  • Advocacy and Mentoring of the host community


Agro-Allied CDS 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
  • Teaching of new farming techniques to communities




  • To help in eradicating corruption through Campaign


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




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


  • Sensitization and Campaign

However, some of these groups might not be found in some states, reason being that two to three cds group could be merged together if their function is interchangeable. For example, Disaster Management CDS Group (NEMA vanguard) is related to Environmental Protection and Sanitation CDS Group (NESREA vanguard). Thus in some state like Ebonyi state, these two groups as well as other environmental allies are merged together to form a mega environmental CDS group.


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

Personal/Individual CDS as the name implies, are projects/programs executed by individual corps members to meet a pressing need in their host communities. Corps members are encouraged in addition to the group CDS to look out for areas where they could make individual foot print in the community.

Possible projects/programs that could be executed under personal/individual CDS include but not limited to the following:

  • Construction projects such as building of toilets, incinerators, bridges, classrooms, games facilities for schools.
  • Social/educational project such as establishment of ICT laboratory, school libraries, extra-mural classes, campaigns, charity work, vocational training for empowerment of unemployed youths

There is also, a collaborative Community Development Service, in which the NYSC partners National and Non-Governmental organizations as well as other establishments to implement development programs.   

In such partnerships, the Scheme signs MOU with the partners, clearly stating each partner’s roles/responsibilities.  Corps members are usually involved as Volunteers on this program.

Recruitment into collaborative CDS groups like PET, MDGs, Red Cross, NEMA etc. often begins right in the camp. This does not actually make them superior of other groups. Every CDS group is extremely relevant. What matters is where you have the gifting and talent to serve the nation well.


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)


IDENTIFICATION OF PROJECTS THROUGH NEEDS ASSESSMENT: To execute a project, the first step  is to identify it. Project identification is done through a thorough assessment of need for such project.

The two basic techniques of 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.



In the course of project identification, it is very likely that many projects will be visualized. This will then take you to the next stage in project execution which is project selection.    

Two important factors to guide the choice of projects 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.  A starving person is in desperate need of food.  Giving him/her clothes to wear cannot help them at that material time.  That is not his/her felt-need.  A sick person needs medical attention.  Giving him/her shoes to use makes no meaning. Similarly, carrying out a community development project, that is not the felt-need of the community amounts to a futile and meaningless effort.

CDS Schedule officers, Zonal/Local Government Inspectors should be consulted by corps members for guidance.



Now that you have been able to identify and select a community need-felt amongst other things project, it is type for actual execution.

Here are steps by step approach to NYSC CDS Project execution:

1)  Interaction between corps members and community stakeholders to identify the felt needs of the community which you have carried out under project identification

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: 


Name of project 

Estimated cost of 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.

On no account should Corps members 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.



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

 (b)  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 corps member must be stated. 

 (d)  Location and accessibility of the project - Projects to be executed by corps 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. On no account should corps members fund CDS project with his/her allowance or money from parents/relatives.

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


CDS Comprehensive Time Frame 

First Month Orientation Camp
Second Month Placement of CM on CDS groups/settlement
Third Month Development/submission of proposals
Fourth Month Development/submission of proposals continued
Fifth Month Approval of proposals and project commencement
Sixth Month Supervision/monitoring of project by relevant officers
Seventh Month
  1. Collation/submission of quarterly report
  2. Late Submission of proposals and approval
Eighth Month
  1. Project Execution and supervision by relevant officers continued
  2. Late Submission of proposals and approval
Ninth Month Project execution and supervision by relevant officers continued
Tenth Month Final Reports and inauguration of project
Eleventh Month POP (Passing out of CMs)


Items you need to take to NYSC Orientation Camp

NYSC State Secretariats

State Allowances paid to NYSC Corps Members