Data for Governance Alliance, a consortium of governance data producers, users, and funders, has wrapped up pan-African civil society organisations (CSOs) capacity-building workshops on accessing and using data for advocacy.
The series of three regional workshops took place in Accra for the West Africa subregion, Nairobi for the East Africa subregion and Cape Town for the Southern Africa subregion.
A communique issued by Data for Governance Alliance and copied to the Ghana News Agency said the series of regional workshops were aimed at promoting public data-based advocacy and engagement between pan-African CSOs and the African Union (AU).
“Unused data is useless, so let us make data useful,” Professor Winnie Mitullah, Afrobarometer core partner Director for East Africa, urged at the Data for Governance Alliance capacity-building workshop for pan-African Civil Society Organizations (CSO) in Nairobi, Kenya.
The AU’s Agenda 2063 and its African Governance Platform (AGP) prioritize a citizen-centred approach to governance. However, the lack of public awareness and access to data on citizen support for the agenda hampers its understanding.
“The Data for Governance Africa convenings aim at creating engagement platforms for collaboration between CSOs and the AGA organs in support of the Agenda 2063,” Prof Mitullah said.
“We also seek to strengthen the use of Afrobarometer data in Africa’s affairs, in particular in the areas of governance, human rights, and development,” she added.
The communique said in a series of three regional workshops in Ghana, South Africa, and Kenya, dubbed “Stakeholder Engagement on Democracy, Governance, and Human Rights in Africa,” 42 CSOs representatives received practical training on accessing and using new data and information tools.
It said they explored public attitude data on Afrobarometer’s online data analysis tool and familiarized themselves with AU’s governance and law protocols on the online AGP repository platform.
It noted that other training modules included data analysis, data visualization, effective communications, and building evidence-based advocacy strategies.
It said the regional stakeholder engagements also served as a platform for pan-African CSOs to meet representatives from various AU entities, interact on their core mandates and explore avenues for collaboration.
The communique said representatives from the AU African Peer Review Mechanism, the Economic, Social and Cultural Council, the office of the AU Youth Envoy, the Pan-African Parliament, and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child attended the workshop.
Prof Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, Afrobarometer Board Chair, speaking at the West African edition of the stakeholder engagement in Accra, underscored the need for collaboration between the AU organs and African CSOs.
“The AU, its substructures, the UN, the EU and others’ commitment to working to strengthen democratic accountable and responsive governance in Africa aligns perfectly with the preferences and aspirations of citizens across the African continent,” he said.
“When it comes to the deployment of empirical evidence in the service of Agenda-2063 policymaking and implementation, there is a great deal of value to be gained from forging a closer partnership between AU organs, its allied bodies and non-state actor/civil society research think tanks, academia, advocacy groups,” Gyimah-Boadi said.
The Data for Governance Alliance is led by Afrobarometer and run together with the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR), and Laws Africa, with funding from the European Union (EU).
Consortium The Data for Governance consortium is a four-year (2021-2024) collaboration led by Afrobarometer with the Center for Democratic Development Ghana, the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Nairobi, the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation and Laws Africa at the University of Cape Town.
The consortium is part of the broader African Governance Architecture Support Project that includes several African Union organs and civil society organizations such as the Charter Project Africa.
The consortium’s work is funded by the European Union.
Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan survey research network that provides reliable data on African experiences and evaluations of democracy, governance, and quality of life.
Eight survey rounds in up to 39 countries have been completed since 1999.
Round 9 surveys (2021/2022) are currently underway.
Afrobarometer’s national partners conduct face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice with nationally representative samples of 1,200-2,400.