Data For Governance Alliance – Africa: Quarterly

By Published On: 14th December 2023

As we approach the end of 2023, the Data for Governance Alliance in Africa (D4GA), of which the IJR is a consortium partner, can look back on a highly productive year. During the course of this year, our team has continued to build on the foundations that were laid in 2022 to enhance democratic governance through the use appropriate use of data for policymaking purposes. In the paragraphs below, we report on some of the highlights of the past six months.

In July, the project participated in the Charter Africa Tanzania Dialogue, which was hosted by our sister project Charter Africa in Tanzania on July 6th. Our team shared key insights on the democratic trends in Tanzania, emanating from the Afrobarometer Survey, with Tanzianian civil society group, which contributed to lively discussions on the state of democratic governance in Tanzania. Shortly thereafter, on July 10th, the D4GA team took part in the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption (AUABC) Anti-Corruption Celebrations, where it shared data on perceptions about corruption across Africa, illuminating some of the challenges that ordinary Africans perceive in terms of their exposure to corruption, as well as their impressions about official efforts to counter this scourge. Towards the end of July, the team made several inputs to another Charter Africa, this time in South Africa, where the emphasis fell on the quality and challenges for democracy in the South African context as the country approaches the three- decade mark since its’s political transition.

Adding to the project’s achievements, it launched the D4G Advocacy Manual in August. The manual, which was launched during a webinar has been designed as a tool for articulating data- based advocacy and engagement between African CSOs and the African Union. The event saw the D4GA consortium showcasing how CSOs can effectively utilize the manual to enhance their advocacy work on human rights, democracy, and governance in Africa. Representatives of CSOs and AU welcomed the valuable insights and recommendations provided by the newly launched advocacy manual.

Also in August, the project made presentations to the Regional Workshop on Communication and Collaboration, which was hosted by Good Governance Africa. The workshop aimed to enhance communication and collaboration between Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and government entities and served as a platform to showcase our advocacy manual’s relevance in promoting good governance and transparency.

September saw the hosting of the D4GA Southern Africa Convening. This collaborative effort brought together diverse Southern African Pan-African CSOs and participants from various African Union organs to deliberate on effective use of data for policymaking purposes. The event culminated in the formulating of a collaborative data-driven advocacy strategy to address critical governance challenges across the continent.

Also in September, our Project Leader, Nyasha Mpani, attended the Political Regression and Transitional Justice Learning Exchange which was hosted by Global initiative for Justice, Truth and Reconciliation (GIJTR) in Cape Town. The workshop hosted academics, researchers, CSO representatives, working in a range of areas that include gender justice advocates, victim’s advocates, data experts, legal advisors, and more general peace process professionals. During the workshop, Mr Mpani made a presentation on the power of information sharing and how organizations can leverage data and media for advocacy, drawing from our recently launched D4GA Advocacy Manual.

In October, we expanded our engagement by conducting the West Africa Convening in Accra. Approximately 35 representatives from AU member organs and West African CSOs participated, receiving hands-on training in evidence-based advocacy planning and the utilization of empirical data.

Our journey continued with the Amani Africa Training in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from November 6 to 8, which was attended by our project Leader, Nyasha Mpani. This training focused on key African Union themes like African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), #Agenda2063, African Union Transitional Justice Policy (AUTJP), the role and mandate of African Union ECOSOCC, African Union position on climate change, coups, elections, term limits, civic space, and its role in reshaping the multilateral system. It provided participants with valuable insights which will pave the way for innovative engagement strategies with the African Union.

On the 6th-10th November the D4GA hosted the 2nd Stakeholder Convening in Nairobi, Kenya. The Nairobi convening offered hands-on training in data analysis, data-based advocacy and effective communications to Pan-African Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). Participants engaged with the Afrobarometer online data analysis tool and the AfricanLii platform that houses thousands of African Union legal documents. This practical experience has informed advocacy campaigns addressing critical issues, including youth empowerment, climate change, unconstitutional changes of government, elections, and child welfare.

Later in November, during the 42nd Ordinary Session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) from the 9th to the 11th, D4GA actively participated in various activities. A significant highlight was the presentation and launch of our data on child welfare in Africa, accompanied by the unveiling of our first-ever child welfare scorecards which we strongly believe they will go a long way in protecting the rights of children in Africa.

During the same month the project also participated in the inaugural Data Governance Innovation Forum #DGIFA2023 in Addis Ababa which was hosted by GIZ at the African Union. Our Project Leader, participated in a panel discussion on youth and data governance and emphasized the crucial role of youth in shaping the African Union Data policy framework, sharing Afrobarometer data on youth digitization.

At the end of November, the D4GA team wrapped up the quarter with our Project Leader travelling to Midrand in October to attend the joint meetings of the standing committee of the Pan African Parliament. Representing Data for Governance Alliance, he presented our data on migration and unconstitutional changes of government for consideration by the committees.

In closing, as we bid farewell to an eventful year, the impact of the Data for Governance Alliance in Africa reverberates across the continent. Our engagements in various dialogues, convenings, and initiatives have not only contributed to a deeper understanding of democratic trends, corruption challenges, and key governance issues but have also fostered tangible change. From the launch of our Advocacy Manual to the collaborative data-driven strategies formulated during the three regional convenings, we see the seeds of positive transformation taking root. The presentations, workshops, and active participation in regional and continental events have positioned D4GA as a catalyst for informed policymaking and advocacy. As we move forward, we remain committed to leveraging data for the betterment of governance, and we express our sincere gratitude for your unwavering support. The impact of our collective efforts is a testament to the potential for positive change, and we eagerly anticipate the opportunities and challenges that the upcoming year holds. Wishing you all a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year filled with continued collaboration and impactful endeavours.

Nyasha Mcbride Mpani is the Project Leader for the Data for Governance Alliance in Africa Project at the IJR

The views and opinions expressed in the article are solely that of the author, and not the IJR

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