COVID-19 changes nothing: citizens and governments must work in tandem to make development happen.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a great impact on the way the world is functioning. “New normal” has become a phrase that describes the  emerging practices and ways of life. 

The truth that continues to endure is that citizens own their countries and should continue to be in a position to control what happens in their communities and societies. 

Governments must continue to be responsive to citizens’ needs and citizens must continue to exercise their voices.

WHAT WE DO

Our Programmes

Subnational Citizen Engagement

We work to build citizen capacity to use data for better engagement with government and other stakeholders for better resource allocation and development outcomes, and achievement of global and national goals.

Open County

We work with subnational governments to build their statistical capacity for better transparency and accountability, while providing technical support to establish structures to better listen to and engage with citizens.

The Ability Programme

The Ability Project aims to gather data around the Nairobi Central Business District and clearly mark out how accessible these every day environments really are, by using the globally recognized concept of Universal Design as our compass.

Open Extractives

We work to improve the working environment for artisanal small scale miners as well as to build on the body of knowledge for the achievement of Kenya’s policy goals in the mining industry. We recognise artisanal small scale mining potential and the need to create a conducive ecosystem to foster its development.

Data Governance

The #RestoreDataRights movement aims to work with governments and other stakeholders towards realising a transparent, inclusive and accountable COVID-19 response in Africa and beyond by working to foster trust in the handling of people’s sensitive personal data.

Community Monitoring

To monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, we created Nuru as a tool to crowdsource observations about how citizens are coping in the exceptionally difficult circumstances brought on by the virus, with the aim of inspiring engagement with civil society, governments and other stakeholders to take action and effect change in their communities.

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Our goal is simple: give government back to the people in real and practical ways

Our approach is defined by our belief that citizens own governments and therefore they should have the agency and confidence to speak up and use their voice to direct public projects. 

We give the analogy of a shop. If you establish a shop and you employ me to keep the shop, you would frequently track inventory and look at the books in detail. So too must citizens look at public records.

In turn, governments at all levels must be open and allow citizens to review its records. 

Al Kags

Executive Director

Our passionate team

Meet some members of our vibrant team who work tirelessly towards achieving our mission.

Geoffrey Muthami

Senior Backend Developer

Loise Mboo

Wellness Director

Muli Mbuvi

Operations Officer

Asha Ali

Android Developer

Kevin Kavai

Frontend Developer

Ivy Gathu

Programme Officer

The principles that guide us.

While we will continue to focus on promoting transparency, accountability and citizen engagement globally, our focus is on finding and building bridges between citizens and governments in sub-saharan Africa – particularly at sub-national level.

In our experience, there has been a strong temptation to have shiny projects that have limited impact because of funding and other needs for support. We recognise this as a reality in our business. From experience we have learnt that in fact many meaningful activities around involve slow and progressive change. To this end, we commit to going through the process that will yield meaningful impact, even when we have to operate within financial and other constraints.

What this means for us is that we will seek to form partnerships with other like minded organisations in government, private sector and other players in society for our projects. We care that solutions are built in a way that they can scale easily and can easily be replicated in other countries and sectors.

We acknowledge that there is a role that is played by civil society organisations to aggressively call out governments for areas where they are not performing well, we recognise that the area of transparency, accountability and citizen engagement is relatively emerging and in its early stages in sub-Saharan Africa and therefore we elect to work alongside governments to develop policies and structures for openness and citizen engagement.

We are committed to take care to work together with minority groups in every sphere that we work. We shall be decidedly nonpartisan and work with governments as well as other political and civil groups in a way that ensures that efforts towards transparency are sustainable. (See our DEI Policy)

It is our view that everyone has something to offer in the work towards building an equitable, fair, democratic and open society. We see differences in opinion and approach as good and valuable, when discussed openly and respectfully and we shall use such debates to fuel our creative impetus to have impact.

We shall work openly as much as possible and all our tools and materials shall be released openly. Given that we are a collaborative organisation, we shall also be cognisant that openness in some of the actual work we do shall conflict with our partners views and policies and we shall respect their needs as we continue to advocate for them to be open. We choose to ensure positive impact on our work. In other words, while we are committed to be open, we recognise that others may not see things our way and we shall seek to work with them to find acceptable avenues to strengthening transparency and accountability. We shall appreciate that there is process and we shall go through it painstakingly.

 

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+254 721 327 511

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hello@openinstitute.com​

MAIN OFFICE LOCATION

209 State House Road,
P.O Box 50474, Nairobi 00100, Kenya