Gwagwalada Area Council applauds DEAN and Centre LSD over Commitment to OGP-Local.

Ahead of a scheduled Local Action Plan Orientation Workshop for the Area Councils in FCT, a joint team of DEAN and Center LSD visited Gwagwalada Area Council for a joint planning meeting and was received by the Secretary to Council and the Parliament Speaker.

The Secretary on behalf of the Chairman recommended specially packaged OGP Implementation Capacity Building exercise for all newly elected and appointed government officials as a requisite for effective government leadership and governance delivery. In his statement “I have not recovered from the session you held for us and I believe for any elected or appointed government officials to have what it takes to deliver governance, the OGP plan is crucial as a basic foundation of knowledge”.

The Secretary further stated that it is a shame that both citizens and development partners over the years have failed to partner with the local government level of governance to pursue development, which to him spells systemic errors; “I think it is a continuous error to ignore working with the closest government to the people under any excuse, because that is the shortest and most reliable path to achieving tangible developmental results, but both citizens and development partners have failed in this quest”. “I was personally surprised to see a different approach by your organizations who not only promised but showing commitment to your support promises, the Council commend you spirit and vision”

DEAN Initiative is committed to deepening governance delivery and value at the local level and with the support from Centre LSD and MacArthur, we will drive the change.

Advancing the Domestication of OGP-Local Abuja FCT Area Councils

In a quest for transparent and accountable governance at the local level in Nigeria, DEAN has consistently worked to connect citizens’ concerns to government’s priority. With support from MacArthur, Centre LSD is helping to strengthen our work. Our mission is To weave the principles of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) using OPG-Local into the very fabric of FCT’s local councils governance and administration.

To advance our mission, we conducted official Advocacy Visits to the 5 Area Councils that are yet to join the OGP-Local governance model. Starting from Kwali Area Council, home to the ALGON Chairman in the FCT. We met with the council secretary, parliament speaker and officials who applaud our commitment to working with them and pledged the council’s readiness. Kwali Area Council, a driving force in our journey through the Chairman as FCT’s ALGON Chair, set the stage by leading the hosting of the OGP-Local onboarding session that marked the beginning of our citizens centric governance at the local level in FCT. 


At Abaji Area Council, the council secretary represented the Chairman to receive and meet with our team. The Secretary’s several concerns as he presented them in a number of questions were attended, he requested for immediate capacity building support from DEAN Initiative in order to swing into action.

We also visited Gwagwalada Area Council and met with the council secretary and parliament speaker. The Secretary, speaking on behalf of the Chairman praised DEAN. In his view, our proposal of OGP-Local governance model should be a standard for all levels of government. The Speaker and the Secretary jointly expressed the Council’s readiness to work with us.

While at Kuje Area Council, the council’s representatives, shared the vision of their administration and pointed how they believed it aligned with the OGP-Local ideals. They desire to infuse OGP-Local into their governance approach and use citizen feedback as their guiding light. It was clear they had been waiting for this moment, and the OGP Local Action Plan Orientation Workshop we pitched to them came at the right time.

The final bus top for one week advocacy exercise was Bwari Area Council, a place echoing with a call for collaborative governance. Officials spoke as one, their anticipation vivid and their dedication resolute. They weren’t just aligning with the OGP Local Action Plan; they were embracing it wholeheartedly. Bwari’s energy was infectious, and their readiness to contribute to the OGP local Action Plan was undeniable. They were ready, and we are READY.

We are now going to return to each Area Council with our already designed OGP-Local Action Plan Orientation Workshop sessions. We will give updates.


In a world grappling with the ever-pressing challenges of climate change, education emerges as a beacon of hope, illuminating the pathtoward a sustainable future. Imagine a captivating gathering of visionaries, climate experts, and passionate organizations, all converging under one roof for an extraordinary conversation event on climate education. DEAN Initiative proudly hosted this remarkable occasion, uniting hearts and minds with a shared mission – to integrate climate consciousness into school curricula and shape a greener, more sustainable tomorrow.

As the event unfolded, the room buzzed with electrifying energy, as if the collective dedication to climate education had sparked a wildfire of inspiration. Together, these change-makers explored innovative ways to infuse climate-related topics into educational systems, fostering a generation of environmentally conscious global citizens.

Beyond its significance, the event shone a spotlight on existing initiatives already paving the way for transformative change.From awe-inspiring projects that nurture environmental stewardship to immersive learning experiences that forge a deep understanding of climate challenges, these initiatives painted a vivid picture of what’s possible when passion meets purpose.But perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this event was the collaborative spirit that permeated every discussion.It was a magical blend of ideas, perspectives, and expertise, all coming together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, forming a clearer picture of our collective potential for change.

Join us on this exhilarating journey, as we delve into the profound impact of climate education. Discover how it empowers the next generation of trailblazers to become informed, engaged, and unwavering champions of sustainability. Together, we will unlock the secrets of climate education, unleashing a green revolution that will shape a world where every young mind becomes a torchbearer of positive change.

Setting the Stage: The Importance of Climate Change Education

The stage was set, and the energy in the room was palpable as the event started with an inspiring introduction by none other than the visionary Executive Director of DEAN Initiative Mr Semiye Micheal. With unwavering passion, he made a compelling case for why climate change education must take centre stage in school curriculum. The crowd was captivated, their minds alight with the possibilities of what this transformative journey could achieve. It became clear that it is paramount to empower students with knowledge, awareness, and critical thinking on climate change. Climate education is not just a subject; it is a transformative force, nurturing a sense of responsibility and equipping the next generation with the tools to drive positive change.

Sharing Success: DEAN Initiative’s Impact

Amidst the captivating conversation, the spotlight shifted to none other than Mr. Taiye Ojo, the vibrant representative of DEAN Initiative.With infectious enthusiasm, he took the stage, unleashing a torrent of inspiration that left the audience spellbound.His words carried the weight of unwavering dedication and a burning passion for spreading climate education knowledge among students. DEAN Initiative’s impact was undeniable, as they bridged the gap between theory and action with remarkable finesse.Through their ingenious programs and initiatives, some of which are CLIMATE CHANGEMAKERS WORKSHOP, ABUJA COP 27 CLIMATE EDUCATION ACTIVATION, Global Children’s Designathon, to mention but a few . they breathed life into climate education, transforming it into an interactive and meaningful journey for young minds.The result?A generation empowered with a profound understanding of climate change and its profound impact on our beloved planet.

Navigating Challenges: Insights from Mr. Ayodeji

As the conversation danced with fervour, Mr. Ayodeji, a passionate member of the team, emerged as a beacon of insight.With wisdom in his words, he illuminated the path through the labyrinth of challenges and solutions in integrating climate change education into the curriculum.From the shadows of potential resistance to the constraints that loomed large, his valuable guidance became a guiding star for navigating this transformative journey.Among the obstacles, clear – proactive planning, inclusive stakeholder engagement, and a dash of creativity held the key to unlocking the door to effective solutions.In this spirited exchange of ideas, the recipe for success revealed itself, and the pursuit of a greener, more informed generation found its compass.

Empowering Collaboration: Interactive Group Work

The event flowed into a vibrant hive of interaction, as participants were playfully divided into five groups, each entrusted with unraveling specific questions and conjuring collaborative solutions.The room pulsated with infectious enthusiasm, a Symphony of ideas and perspectives harmonizing in the air.It was a breathtaking spectacle, a fusion of minds that showcased the shear potency of collective intelligence.This enthralling group work session was more than just a learning experience; it was a celebration of teamwork, where every individual danced with their own unique insights, adding their colorful strokes to the grand masterpiece that was awaited in the final presentation.The conversation questions are highlighted below:

Conversation Themes

  1. Enlisting climate education into Nigeria’s global commitment at the COP 28: Procedure, benefits, and possible challenges

     2.  Stakeholders, Engagement Process and Possible Outcomes

  1. Government institutions that should be leading these ambitons and the strategies they should apply to achieve climate education mainstreaming into school curriculum.
  1. The role of teachers, their existing challenges, and possible ways of resolving these challenges to achieve climate education delivery in schools.
  1. Exploring the role of legislation in establishing sustainable climate education laws and policies.

Conclusion: A Stepping Stone to a Sustainable Future

The event closure marked the beginning of an impactful journey toward a sustainable future through climate education.The insightful conversations, collaborative group work, and shared commitment left a profound impression on everyone present, fueling a renewed sense of purpose to drive positive change in our spheres of influence.

It was a powerful reminder that climate education is not just an abstract idea but an actionable path toward a greener, healthier planet.Equipping young minds, fostering collaboration, and addressing challenges head – on lay a strong foundation for a more informed and sustainable future.With newfound knowledge and a shared vision, we are better equipped to shape a world where climate education is integrated into our educational systems.

Together, we will inspire action and nurture environmentally conscious leaders, creating a brighter future where knowledge and action converge to address pressing global challenges.This transformative event sparked our collective passion for climate education, and we are grateful to share this journey with you all.

A video story as reported by NAN (News Agency of Nigeria)

A blog story by The Reporters Online.

A blog story by Aluta News.

A video story as reported by TrustTv


Are you ready to be a part of the solution? Let us embark on this adventure hand in hand, illuminating the future with the boundless power of climate education.

Below are the Names of Organizations represented at the conversation

  1. DEAN Initiative (Host Organization)
  2. Federal Ministry of Education (Dpt.Of Education Support Serveries)
  3. Federal Ministry of Education (Dpt.Of Education Support Serveries
  5. Susty Vibes
  6. EVA – Education as Vaccine
  7. Education Research Council
  8. CleanTechHub
  9. Project Karanta
  10. NAN – News Agency of Nigeria
  11. Sydani
  12. National Council on Climate Change
  13. Department of Climate Change
  14. YASIF
  15. EcoBarter
  16. NICO – National Institute for Cultural Orientation
  17. AACJ
  18. CODE
  19. Trust Tv


Nigeria, with its significant youth population, is facing a critical issue of inadequate representation of young people in its parliament. This blog post delves into the challenges hindering youth inclusion in Nigeria’s political landscape, highlighting key obstacles that contribute to this underrepresentation and analyzing their implications.

Lack of youth representation

A major challenge lies in the absence of young people’s involvement across all levels of government, resulting in limited opportunities for them to engage in and influence policy-making processes. Consequently, policies are formulated without considering the needs and perspectives of the youth. For instance, the recent bans on cryptocurrency and Twitter, which are popular platforms for active engagement among young people, could have benefited from the input of youth representatives in the policy-making process. By including young persons in policy-making, more balanced regulations could have been developed instead of resorting to complete bans.

Age limit for candidacy

The Nigerian constitution sets age limits for political candidacy, posing a significant limitation for ambitious and energetic young individuals seeking political office. The minimum age requirements are 30 years for the presidency, 35 for governors and senators, and 25 for members of the House of Representatives. This age barrier becomes a hindrance for youth who possess the drive and capability to lead. A simplistic viewpoint suggests that if one is not deemed too old to rule, they should not be deemed too young to rule.

Cost of Political Participation

Participating in political office in Nigeria comes with exorbitant costs, which creates a substantial barrier for youth who often have limited financial resources. For example, the astronomical expenses associated with political party candidacy forms and the cost of conducting political campaigns pose significant challenges. These financial constraints prevent many young individuals from successfully challenging for political office, perpetuating the lack of youth representation in the parliament.

Patriarchal Sentiment

One foundational challenge faced by young people aspiring for leadership roles is the deeply entrenched patriarchal sentiment within Nigerian society. Traditional norms tend to view young individuals as lacking the necessary experience to hold political offices. This prejudice further marginalizes the youth, hindering their opportunities for meaningful political participation.

Limited resources or capacity

Many young people lack the necessary resources and capacity to run a robust political campaign that can effectively compete with more established political figures. This further diminishes their chances of attracting the required support needed to win an election. As a result, youth face significant disadvantages in challenging or competing with older, more experienced political elites.


Youth inclusion in the Nigerian parliament faces numerous obstacles, as outlined above. Addressing these challenges requires concerted efforts at all levels of government. Policies should be formulated and implemented to promote youth inclusion and representation, lifting age barriers for candidacy, increasing access to financial resources and support for young individuals, and ensuring that the cost of candidacy forms is affordable. By prioritizing these actions, Nigeria can harness the energy, creativity, and potential of its young population, leading to a brighter, better, and prosperous future for all.

writer: Taiye Ojo

Editor: Esther Daramola

Embracing Fearlessness through Design Thinking: Unleashing Creativity and Captivating Solutions

Design thinking transcends being merely a methodology; it evolves into a mindset that empowers individuals to conquer their fears and unleash their creative potential. Recently, our team had the privilege of participating in a transformative three-day design thinking workshop, led by our visionary Executive Director, Mr. Semiye Michael, from the DEAN Initiative. Mr. Michael, fresh from an inspiring trip to the MOTH class in London, imparted invaluable design thinking techniques and guided us on a journey of self-discovery, enabling us to embrace new possibilities. In this two-page blog story, we shall delve into our experience, highlighting key insights and lessons that have profoundly impacted us.

Understanding Design Thinking:

Design thinking represents a human-centered approach that emphasizes empathy, creativity, and collaboration to solve complex problems. Its core tenet is deeply understanding the needs and perspectives of those we serve, leading to solutions that genuinely resonate with them. The iterative nature of design thinking foster experimentation, learning from failures, and refining ideas to arrive at innovative and effective solutions.

According to Mr. Semiye Michael, the Executive Director of the DEAN Initiative, “Every answer must stem from creative thinking.” He stressed the significance of thoroughly understanding the problem through continuous analysis, limiting our intervention to the ASK. This approach effectively breaks down the fear associated with exploring new and unfamiliar territories.

Embracing Fearlessness: “What are You Afraid of?”

Fear, a natural response to the unknown, often acts as a barrier to creativity and innovation. When confronted with the task of creating solutions, fear can manifest in various ways, including fear of failure, judgment, or stepping out of our comfort zones. Design thinking provides a structured framework that guides us in navigating and overcoming these fears.

Mr. Semiye Michael also underscored the importance of fearlessness in seizing global opportunities. Fearless individuals, unafraid to put labels on their names and articulate their thoughts, are often presented with global opportunities. Design thinking serves as a means to overcome the fear of expressing ideas by promoting a culture of openness and continuous learning.

In design thinking, the confinement of the mind can act as another agent of fear. Understanding and acknowledging our fears is the first step in breaking free from their grip. Embracing design thinking principles encourages us to challenge our own limitations and explore new perspectives, ultimately allowing us to unleash our full creative potential.

Design thinking encourages the use of storytelling and visual communication techniques to effectively convey ideas. By presenting solutions in a captivating narrative format, supported by visual aids such as infographics or prototypes, we can engage our audience on both rational and emotional levels, leaving a lasting impact.

Design thinking places significant emphasis on rapid prototyping and iteration. By constructing small-scale models or prototypes, we can test our ideas early on, gather feedback, and refine our solutions. This iterative process minimizes the fear of needing a perfect solution from the start, allowing us to embrace an experimental mindset and learn from each iteration.

During the workshop, we were divided into two groups and swiftly built prototypes that showcased what we had learned. The experience was marvelous as we worked together toward a common goal, ensuring the success of our group work. It also allowed us to identify our individual strengths and weaknesses, empowering us to build upon our areas of strength.


The three-day design thinking workshop became a catalyst for personal and professional growth, enabling our team to embrace fearlessness. Under our boss’s visionary leadership and the immersive experience in London, we discovered that design thinking equips us not only with problem-solving tools but also with the power to conquer our fears and unlock our creative potential.

The true power of design thinking lies in its ability to transform our fears into opportunities for growth and innovation. By embracing empathy, iteration, and collaboration, we can overcome the fear of failure, judgment, and stepping outside our comfort zones. Design thinking empowers us to craft captivating solutions that deeply resonate with our audience, driving a positive change and creating a meaningful impact. So, let us harness the power of design thinking and fearlessly embark on a journey of creativity and innovation.

As we continue our journey, we are committed to applying design thinking principles in our work, embracing new opportunities with courage and enthusiasm.

Adopt A Teach: Igniting Creativity through Hands-On Craft and Children’s Love


At DEAN Initiative, we believe in nurturing young minds and fostering creativity through hands-on experiences. Adopt A Teach is our innovative approach to education leveraging on skill-based volunteers who are passionate about teaching students practical skills in various fields. In this two-pager blog, we will explore our journey of igniting creativity through hands-on craft activities and how children wholeheartedly embrace this concept.

Inspiring Creativity through Practical Education

Adopt A Teach is a unique initiative that aims to empower young people by equipping them with the skills they need to live their dream lives. We understand that children often connect more deeply with tangible experiences rather than abstract concepts. Therefore, our focus lies in providing hands-on learning opportunities that allow children to explore their creative potential.

We have assembled a team of passionate volunteers who are experts in various fields, including singing, drama, public speaking, politics, and talent management. These skill-based educators act as mentors and role models for the students, guiding them on their paths to excellence. By sharing their expertise and inspiring creativity, they foster a love for learning and personal growth among the young minds they engage with.

The Power of Hands-On Craft: Connecting Imagination and Reality

One of the core aspects of Adopt A Teach’s approach is the integration of hands-on craft activities. We firmly believe that children thrive when they can physically engage with the learning process. Hands-on craft not only allows children to express their creativity but also provides a practical outlet for their imaginations.

Recently, we had the opportunity to conduct our first practical session at Gado Nasko Primary School in Gwagwalada. With a focus on environmental consciousness, we designed a DIY craft session that utilized eco-friendly materials. The children were excited to create their own masterpieces using readily available materials and simple techniques.

Children’s Enthusiasm and Love for Hands-On Craft

The children’s response to the hands-on craft session was truly exhilarating. Their eyes lit up with joy and curiosity as they delved into the world of creativity. The process of transforming everyday materials into beautiful crafts captured their imaginations, inspiring them to think outside the box and explore their artistic abilities.

Not only did the hands-on craft session spark creativity, but it also fostered a sense of accomplishment and independence among the children. They were thrilled to have produced something tangible with their hands, instilling a sense of pride and self-confidence.

Adopt A Teach’s campaign of igniting creativity through hands-on craft has been a remarkable one. By providing practical learning experiences and leveraging the expertise of our dedicated volunteers, we have witnessed the power of tangible education in nurturing young minds. The children’s enthusiasm and love for hands-on craft reaffirm the importance of incorporating practical elements in education to inspire and empower the next generation. Through our continued efforts, we aim to cultivate a generation of self-prepared individuals who can confidently navigate their chosen paths and make a positive impact on society.

Seun Onigbinde Visits the Global Goals Community Center.

The Global Goals Community Center yesterday welcomed the Executive Director of BudgIT and CivicHive, Oluseun Onigbinde on a congratulatory visit to DEAN Initiative for the work well done during the election period.

The Global Goals community center is a space of art facility center, where young people in marginalized communities can connect, learn and collaborate to create community-based solutions and other development ideas. Over the years we have had lots of people who have visited the center.

Seeing that DEAN Initiative consistently devise means of working with young people to enhance their skills as well as build them for global opportunities, we invited young persons from our community level youths and engage them in a conversation tagged: Young People and the Nigerian Election. The conversation availed the selected young persons the opportunity to share their experiences and observation from the just concluded election and also learn from Mr. Seun’s wealth of knowledge and life experience.

“I am delighted to be here today and I want to say thank you to my friend and brother Semiye Michael for the excellent work he is doing here at DEAN Initiative and to his amazing network of young people spread across the country” Seun Onigbinde.

(L-R Executive Director DEAN Initiative, Semiye Michael And The Executive Director BudgIT, Oluseun Onigbinde)

Each participant shared their experience on the election without mincing words, Mr. Usman from Dobi community who served as an ADHOC staff during the presidential election lamented about the defectiveness of INEC election materials at his Polling Unit, how the trained ADHOC staff were switched overnight for some untrained staff who did not understand the rudiment of the process and ended up causing problem at the Polling Unit. Mr. Usman further stated how he and other ADHOC staff were beaten at his Polling Unit and the election results were carted away. He also added that Commission’s budget should be reviewed and questioned as to why they make use of defective materials despite budgets raised for every election.

Olaleru Fisayo of DEAN Initiative who led and conducted several Pre and Post-Election Community Town Hall sessions shared feedback from the field. She raised a salient issue from the angle of People Living with Disability (PWDs) who could not exercise their franchise because they couldn’t reach the election boxes on their own without aid, INEC didn’t make adequate provisions for them to be aided. She leveraged this opportunity to urge Mr Seun and other CSOs in the civic space to continue to lend their voices towards this course on one hand, and the Commission to follow strictly the words of the Electoral Act as well as Guideline and Procedures for election on the other hand.

In his closing remark, Seun Onigbinde encouraged young people to not allow the outcome of this election to weigh them down but should be more committed to the process for the benefit of all, as this is what we must do to make the country great again.

(L-R Executive Director DEAN Initiative, Semiye Michael And The Executive Director BudgIT, Oluseun Onigbinde)

Before the goodbyes, Mr Seun was taken on a tour round the center from the Goal keepers’ hub which is a workstation for young people and techpreneurs to bridge the gap of work space

Next to the Hajia Amina Mohammed resorce library which is a mini library that collect and store development focus books to support research and academic works.

SDGs Community Studio which is an inhouse studio that document and amplify the SDGs action drive by young people in video and photo documentaries.

(L-R Executive Director BudgIT, Oluseun Onigbinde, Rebbeca Odugbose, GGCC Manager And The Executive Director DEAN Initiative, Semiye Michael)

Zero Hunger Kitchen which promotes zero hunger and responsible consumption.

Ideation room which provides opportunities for hub users to host business meetings strategy and design sessions for brighter innovation project.

We had a group picture at the SDGS Art Wall aimed for beautification of the center that uses art to describe and express the connectivity of the SDGs to our being.

The OGP Local is set to welcome all six Area Council Chairmen in FCT-Abuja as its members.

After several meetings with the ALGON FCT Chairman on partnering with his office as the ALGON chair to invite the other 5 chairman in FCT under his leadership to a one day OGP Onboarding session. The ALGON Chairman, Hon. Danladi Chiya finally conveyed the long awaited onboarding session with all the 5 Area Council chairman in FCT, letters from his office were dispatched to the other 5 Area Councils ahead of the event for proper documentation. DEAN Initiative in Collaboration with Center LSD hosted the Six FCT Area Councils on the 8th of May 2023 brings together all Area Council Chairman, their Council Secretary and speakers of their parliaments for the OGP Local Onboarding session. 

Cross photo session of the Chairmen(L-R Hon. Abu Giri Chairman Gwagwalada Area council, Hon. John Gabaya Chairman Bwari Area Council and Hon. Danladi Chiya Chairman Kwali Area council.)

The Executive Director Center LSD, Mr Monday Osasah applauded the political bigwigs and representatives in the 6 Area Council to join the OGPLocal. In his speech recognised that the Center has supported other states in the aspect of mentoring and training to enhance their understanding about Open Government Partnership. He hinted that 25 states have signed up for the Open Government Partnership and called on the remaining five local governments in the Federal Capital Territory to join the OGP as AMAC had joined in 2020, if they want to promote good governance. 

The Kwali Area Council Chairman Hon. Danladi Chiya who also doubles as the ALGON Chairman in his keynote speech acknowledge the impact of OGP in AMAC  as to this he  showed readiness towards joining OGP and  assured partners and citizens that he will use his position as the ALGON Chair to mobilize all other Area Councils to Sign up for the Open Government Partnership.

Hon. Danladi Chiya ALGON Chairman FCT/ Kwali Area Council Chairman.

During her Goodwill Message the National Coordinator, Dr Gloria Ahmed summarized the achievements of OGP at the National Level and how many states have joined. She reiterated the need to target the grassroot in the National development plan.  Dr. Gloria used the opportunity to invite the Chairmen to the Annual Global Summit in Estonia, where their ideas and experience can be shared and celebrated. 

Dr Naomi Ahmed, National Coordinator OGP .

The Executive Director DEAN Initiative, Semiye Michael notion that while the organization is aimed at increasing citizens participation in politics, OGP is bringing governance and civil society together to co-create good governance, through which it platform has coordinated the onboarding of the 6 Area Council Chairmen with their Council Secretary and the speakers of their parliament.

Semiye Michael, Executive Director DEAN Initiative.

Hon. Abubakar Umar Abdullahi of Abaji Local Government Area Council asserted his fear on how OGP works and what they stand to achieve? An expert on public governance, Abayomi Akinbo said OGP is a broad partnership that includes members at the national and local level and thousands of civil society organizations. There is a lot to gain from OGP only if they allow Co-creation in governance and citizen involvement in the budgetary system of the Area Council.

Hon. Umar Abdullahi, Chairman Kwali Area Council.

Action Aid country Representative ably represented by Hajiya Suwaiba Muhammad Dankabo in her goodwill message that Action Aid commits to support citizens’ participation and development, urging local Councils to collaborate with CSOs for partnership while employing other Area Councils to sign up for OGP globally. She suggested the setup of OGP desk at the local government.

Hajiya Suwaiba Muhammad Dankabo, Director of Programmes Action Aid.

Civil Societies in attendance promised support to Area Council who have citizen centric development initiatives  as it is the goal of many Civil Societies to develop initiatives that promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.

Group picture of all participant

OGP-Local Gamechanging Public Procurement in AMAC

After a successful first cycle Action Plan that opened up citizens in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) to have the opportunity to co-create governance through citizens participation in budget making and through voting for citizens prioritized needs and projects, citizen’s participation in budget making has improved truth and trust in governance and also allows citizens, involvement in the electioneering process.

Through a public survey conducted by DEAN initiative, citizens were asked various questions among which was, “What should AMAC OGP-Local Action Plan II Focus on?”

Forms response chart. Question title: Choose only one option.
What should AMAC OGP-Local Action Plan II focus on?. Number of responses: 37 responses.

The above chart shows the response from citizens, Open Contracting Public Procurement and Anti Corruption and Integrity both had 21.6% but we went for Open Contracting and Public Procurement as AMAC had done Anti Corruption and Integrity in their first Action Plan Cycle. With this survey  citizens expressed their desire to actively participate in the procurement process of the Area Council as a way of engaging in the Government hidden system for projects, and calling for a strengthened and accountable procurement process and project implementation tracking mechanism.

The above survey birthed the Second Cycle of AMAC OGP Local Action Plan which aims to involve citizens in public procurement and making its Contracting System open to all for proper citizen inclusion. As AMAC’s OGP CSO partner, DEAN Initiative collaborated with AMAC to hold a two day workshop to develop its OGP Action Plan II. 

The Action Plan II is focused on Open Contracting which is aimed at encouraging accountability and transparency in procurement processes in the council and to further encourage citizens participation in the budgetary process. 

Andie Okon from Open Contracting cleared the air on what Open Contracting is. She further emphasized why it is important for Women and People Living with Disability (PWDS) to be actively  involved in this process as there should be gender balancing in the procurement system.

Andie okon, Program Officer Open Contracting.

The Executive Director of DEAN Initiative, Semiye Michael said the workshop is targeted at establishing the duty and presence of the citizen  into a people-centered budget and procurement at the local government level.

Semiye Michael further stated that “it is essential for projects and contracts to be free of malfeasance and open to  inclusion of women and people living with disability (PWDs) as well as all contracting processes.” There are roles in which the local government should smash-hit in development, such as primary education, primary health care, water and sanitation activities at community level. This and more is what DEAN Initiative aims at using the OGP to achieve at the governance level of the local government. 

The Council Chairman represented by his deputy and the Director of Administration AMAC, Mr. Attahiru Ibrahim, in their speeches stated that the Council was committed to promoting OGP with the people at the grassroot, that the council is also committed to achieving the OGP plans as they are committed to ensure an Open Procurement Process for everyone to participate.

Deputy Chairman, Hon. Nasiru Umar.
Mr. Attahiru Ibrahim, Director of Administration AMAC.

DEAN Initiative hopes to encourage citizens’ inclusion and active participation across all levels of government, as this will reshape our governance system and make leaders accountable to the people by providing them with relevant knowledge and tools to engage elected officials.

When completed, the Action Plan will be hosted on the AMAC page of the global OGP website for global tracking and referencing.

The Global Children Designathon (GCD) 2023 Project.

The Global Children Designathon (GCD) Project was held on Saturday 15th April 2023 at the Global Goals Community Centre by DEAN Initiative. The Global Children’s Designathon is a yearly event that uses design and problem-based learning to encourage children to think creatively about sustainability issues. Each year, children from around the world come together to devise solutions for global environmental problems, focusing on specific themes. The theme for Global Children’s Designathon 2023 is “Our World: Restoring Biodiversity Big and Small“. The objective of the project is centered to inspire and provide a platform for students to engage and know, what biodiversity is, what the main causes of the loss in biodiversity are, and how it affects the planet and the future of all living things. To offer students a chance to participate in a well-structured design thinking workshop, to introduce students to various ideas and brainstorming techniques, and to enable students to prototype their own solutions to tackle biodiversity loss and promote co-existence. 14 students made it to the finals of this year’s cohort and were supported by 8 facilitators. There was a gender balance agenda that ensured participants to be 7 boys and 7 girls. The Global Children’s Designathon is an initiative of Designathon Works, Netherland.

The Initiative is centered on raising early-stage pupils through education to be able to understand their environment and basically understand climate change from the early stage. The children had generated a wide range of ideas, they were happy to create prototype sketches as instructed. This process allowed the children to refine their ideas and communicate them more effectively. By the end of this segment, children had generated a variety of solutions to the problem at hand and had visually represented these ideas through their prototype sketches. The children were also asked to design a prototype of their ideas. The prototyping section was a critical step as it enabled the children to turn their ideas into actionable solutions to tackle biodiversity loss. They made use of eco-friendly materials such as paper, straws, pencils, food sticks, cardboard, and so on, to create their solution prototype. The teams made different prototypes as stated below:

  • TEAM INVENT: Created an idea around houses in the cities and rural areas. These ideas encourage house owners in the cities and rural areas to cultivate vegetations around their houses by planting local trees and flowers especially creepy plants to grow over the roofs of these houses; making artificial ponds to grow species of fishes enabling interactions in our ecosystem. These innovations will bring a habitable environment for animals, insects, and man to boost living coexistence between man and animals in the ecosystem, create cool and conducive habitat, thereby increasing biodiversity.
  • TEAM CHANGE: focused on modern houses, they want to help flying insects like butterflies, birds, and bees to increase pollination. The ideas are described “we want to engage in the cultivation of flowers in our Gardens, this will attract butterflies and bees, increase their population, thereby increasing Biodiversity” and the ways in which they think they can promote their ideas is to inform their parents to purchase flower seeds and demarcate an area for the seeds to be planted around their houses.
  • TEAM DESIGN: focused on forest, they are particular about helping wild animals and the way in which they want to help these wild animals is by making spaces and food for life, and to teach people about Biodiversity. Their ideas were to introduce forest rangers to ward off poachers who indiscriminately kill wild animals for their parts thereby drastically reducing the population of animals in the forest. They also thought that another way to promote their ideas is by soliciting help from the government and asking private organizations to help implement these ideas.

At DEAN Initiative, we provide innovative, educational learning programs, in an extra-curricular format. The students in our participating schools’ constituents are opened up to sustainable skill-based educational resources and learning experiences that turn them from mere academic students into educational solution-based resource students. Our education interventions secure an unwavering partnership with the government that ensures smooth delivery in all participating schools without any form of technical issues. Models are co-delivered by volunteer educators, which makes delivery less expensive. Real-time teachers in participating schools also participate in delivering models as part of their partnership contribution to delivering our innovative solutions. Students are allowed to create their ideas and innovations, rather than listening to lessons only, they are now able to co-create their learning resources and as well enjoy the freedom of creating solutions to basic community challenges raised as problems in their classes.