Deadline: 5th January 2018
In July 2016, the Nigerian government joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP) as its 70th member, expressing a renewed determination to deepen development through a culture of openness. But advancing open government is not limited to national actions. Given their proximity to citizens at the grassroots, Nigerian states, and local governments have potential to make democracy and development have more meaning for citizens at the grassroots. As the arm of government with a direct representational function, state and local legislatures are strategically positioned to promote such a culture of openness.
In spite of their best efforts, however, sub-national legislature contend with a serious baggage of weak institutional capacity, opaque culture and other inefficiencies that run at cross-purposes with development aspirations. The result of the crisis within ‘the people’s own branch of government’ has been a gaping disconnect between citizens and the governance processes, with lawmaking and other decision making for development happening in contempt of the actual needs of communities and citizens.
With its peculiar development context and specialized resource streams, the Niger Delta provides a unique laboratory for open government efforts in general and legislative openness in particular. Is there a nexus between legislative opacity and the persistent poverty, corruption, conflict, and under-development in the region? What can be done to ensure greater transparency, accountability, citizen participation, and innovation in the work of state and local government legislatures? Can legislative openness really contribute to the making of a healthier and more prosperous Niger Delta?
The GLOW 2017 Essay Contest on the theme ‘How legislative openness can lead to the Niger Delta of our dreams” for students of tertiary institutions in the Niger Delta region seeks to generate ideas, trigger debate and inspire fresh thinking on legislative openness in the Niger Delta and Nigeria. It was launched by Policy Alert on Thursday, November 30, 2017, as part of activities for the Global Legislative Openness Week (GLOW2017) marked around the world from November 20-30, 2017.
Typed essays (not more than 2,000 words long in Times New Roman 12-point font) can now be sent to email@example.com on or firstname.lastname@example.org on or before January 5, 2018. Prizes include laptop computers, cash scholarship awards and much more! For more information, please contact: email@example.com or call 08189611762.
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Policy Alert: The Grassroots People Empowerment Foundation is a registered non-profit organization that works to promote social, economic and ecological outcomes that are people-centered, equitable and sustainable.
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