Who we are
We envision a future with an open society that is managed by informed, fact-driven citizens. This society features a responsive and accountable government that delivers the services its citizens need at the level of service they deserve.
This society includes active non-state actors who play an active role in educating citizens on their role as responsible and active citizens safeguarding democracy and development. These non-state actors also engage actively with government to provide feedback from the grassroots on the changing realities facing citizens and the emerging needs for which services and policy must evolve to meet.
This society is composed of citizens who are informed about their role, empowered to play it and equipped through the right infrastructure, appropriate technology and relevant policy and legislation. We see in this future a continent that is making inclusive progress towards elimination of poverty, creation of wealth and the establishment of capable and developmental institutions.
Our Mission is to collaborate with governments, citizens, civil society organisations and other players to develop policies, tools and knowledge that strengthen citizens’ voices in the governance and development in their societies.
To achieve this mission we work with national and subnational governments to strengthen their capacity for transparency, accountability and citizen engagement. In other words, we do whatever is needed to provide governments with the means to better engage with citizens by giving them information and data and strengthening their ability to listen to citizens.
We also work with civil society organisations, private sector companies and citizen groups to promote active citizenship. What active citizenship means to us is the ability of citizens to speak up and engage government on how their development should be accomplished. We work with citizens to provide them with tools and knowledge that give them the confidence to use their voice effectively.
- We care about Africa. While we will continue to focus on promoting transparency, accountability and citizen engagement globally, our focus is on finding and building bridges between citizens and governments in sub-saharan Africa – particularly at sub-national level.
- We are committed to hype-free development. In our experience, there has been a strong temptation to have shiny projects that have limited impact because of funding and other needs for support. We recognise this as a reality in our business. From experience we have learnt that in fact many meaningful activities around involve slow and progressive change. To this end, we commit to going through the process that will yield meaningful impact, even when we have to operate within financial and other constraints.
- While recognising the limitations imposed by our financial situation at any given time, we commit ourselves to working on Big & Lasting Solutions. What this means for us is that we will seek to form partnerships with other like minded organisations in government, private sector and other players in society for our projects. We care that solutions are built in a way that they can scale easily and can easily be replicated in other countries and sectors.
- We are a collaborative organisation. We acknowledge that there is a role that is played by civil society organisations to aggressively call out governments for areas where they are not performing well, we recognise that the area of transparency, accountability and citizen engagement is relatively emerging and in its early stages in sub-Saharan Africa and therefore we elect to work alongside governments to develop policies and structures for openness and citizen engagement.
- We commit ourselves to work inclusively, taking care to work together with minority groups in every sphere that we work. We shall be decidedly nonpartisan and work with governments as well as other political and civil groups in a way that ensures that efforts towards transparency are sustainable.
- We shall respect everyone, their capabilities and contribution. It is our view that everyone has something to offer in the work towards building an equitable, fair, democratic and open society. We see differences in opinion and approach as good and valuable, when discussed openly and respectfully and we shall use such debates to fuel our creative impetus to have impact.
- We shall be pragmatic. We shall work openly as much as possible and all our tools and materials shall be released openly. Given that we are a collaborative organisation, we shall also be cognisant that openness in some of the actual work we do shall conflict with our partners views and policies and we shall respect their needs as we continue to advocate for them to be open. We choose to ensure positive impact on our work. In other words, while we are committed to be open, we recognise that others may not see things our way and we shall seek to work with them to find acceptable avenues to strengthening transparency and accountability. We shall go through it painstakingly.
- appreciate that there is process and we shall go through it painstakingly.