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Promoting Open Data, Civic Participation and Participatory Budgeting in Lokoja

Multiple women making a sign.
Written by
Published on
September 12, 2020

This post is part of our series on the Open Heroines Community Events Fund, to support local or international OH meet ups on gender and the intersection of data/open government/civic tech.

It was written by Believe Ojochenemi Obafaiye, executive director of Fooster Initiative, an indigenous non-profit organization that tackles poverty and inequality by supporting girls to go to school and succeed, and empowering young women to step up as leaders of change in Lokoja, Nigeria.

On 7th March 2020 Foosteer Initiative celebrated International Open Data Day. It is an annual event that promotes awareness and use of open data through talks, seminars, demonstrations, and training across the globe.

Our team hosted a one day face-to-face meet-up to share skills about open data, civic participation and participatory budgeting with local women. The event took place in Lokoja in Kogi, a state in central Nigeria. It brought together 36 women from the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria, representing each of the 36 states of the federation. The event was funded by a grant received from Open Heroines.

Highlights included an introduction to Open Heroines and Open Data, alongside facilitated sessions on open data, citizen participation, participatory budgeting, diversity and inclusion in civil society and feminism and gender.

We had breakout sessions for brainstorming, group discussions and presentations. It was an interactive session with rich discussion and contributions from all participants. Feedback indicated that 90% of participants found the program to be very informative.

Participants also provided feedback saying they’d like to make the event as regular as possible. We would like to make this a monthly or bi-monthly program so we can reach out to more women in society to talk about open data, citizen participation and participatory budgeting, diversity and inclusion in civil society, feminism and gender. After that, we’d like to expand to other states in Nigeria and neighbouring African countries.

A woman presenting.
Multiple women in a meeting.
Women in a meeting.
Women discussing.
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