Winners emerge from SDG 16 Innovation Challenge

The second edition of our SDG 16 Innovation Challenge held in Abuja, Kano and to find creative solutions for SDG16 by supporting young men and women to develop ideas, build skills and connect with others working towards a shared goal of strengthening accountability, the rule of law and access to justice.

The SDG 16 Innovation Challenge is a campaign led by Accountability Lab Nigeria with support from the National Endowment for Democracy. This edition focuses on four (4) thematic areas which include:  How to redesign the justice system to serve the poor; How to support the voices of women in the rule of law;Supporting young people to enhance corporate accountability; and How to make sure everyone is included in the conversations about the future of Nigeria.

Country Director of Accountability Lab Nigeria, Friday Odeh, commented: “According to the report by the World Justice Project on measuring the justice gap – an 5 billion people have unmet justice needs globally, including people who cannot obtain justice for everyday problems, people who are excluded from the opportunity the law provides, and people who live in extreme conditions of injustice. This statistic is alarming and calls for creative and scalable solutions to ensure that citizens have timely access to justice and rule of law is upheld by an independent judiciary.”

Precious Obeahon, the Project Officer of Accountability Lab Nigeria said: “The challenge will arm these young social innovators with the right knowledge and capacity to refine their ideas, implement on a very small scale and then scale upwards after evaluating their strategy.”

Ayotola Jagun, Chief Compliance Officer & Company Secretary at Oando Plc said: “As members of the UNGC Action Platform on peace, justice and strong institutions, Oando remains committed to contributing towards the achievement of SDG16. In this regard, the company is determined to build a strong and transparent organization which is anchored on the ethos of accountability and sustainable development. As an indigenous oil and gas entity operating mostly in Nigeria, the company continues to demonstrate its resolve in tackling corruption, systemic failures and critical social issues which have deprived millions of citizens of access to fundamental human needs, including but not limited to access to affordable quality education and healthcare, justice for all and economic inclusion, all of which form the bedrock of a functional society.”

The Abuja, Kano, and editions of the SDG 16 Innovation Challenge were held between 27th and 30th of January, 2nd and 5th of February and 10th and 13th February, respectively. They were each four-day long events and trained participants on social innovation for rule of law and access to justice, mentorship, theories of change, monitoring and evaluation plans, key performance indicators of social innovations, pitching, legal reforms in the Nigerian judicial system and others. Our seasoned facilitators included Chinenye Uwanaka of The Firma Advisory, Founder and Co-founder of Network of Pro Bono Lawyers, Tony Onazi and Mrs Katumi Mohammed, Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, Folarin Aluko, Damola Dawodu, head, governance Oando PLC, Tonia Uduimoh, programme manager at Oando Foundation, and a host of others from the Accountability Lab Nigeria team.

The participants went on to pitch their ideas before a panel of judges comprised of Amy Galigan (Political Counsellor High Commission of Canada in Nigeria), Esther Mabadeje (CLEEN foundation), Rita Lasoju (CLEEN foundation), Ezenwa Anumnu (NBA) and Rhoda Tyoden (International of Women Lawyers, Nigeria) for the Abuja edition. Nibuas Tahir Jacacain of the Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria, Katumi Mohammed (Nigerian Bar Association Kano), Halima Ben Umar (Co-chain OGP & Member Women in Media Network, Kano), Huwaile Mohammed (FIDA),  Uman Saleh Auka (Member OGP & Member Anti-Corruption Network, Kano) and Ibrahim M.G. Sayasi (Assistant Secretary, NBA) were judges for the Kano edition. Iyanuoluwa Bolarinwa (BudgIT/Civic Hive), Lola Adekanye (Center for International Private Enterprise – CIPE), Philomena Nneji (International of Women Lawyers – FIDA), Adebisi Janda (Oando Plc), and Opeyemi Owolabi (Socio – Economic Right And Accountability Project – SERAP) scored participants for our edition. The event culminated with a debate on the fourth day and saw Emmanuel Bagudu, Ismail Auwal and Adedokun Titilope emerge as overall winners of the Abuja, Kano and editions respectively, based on their pitching skills, context provided, relevance, innovation, sustainability and comportment.

Emmanuel Bagudu’s project called ARC (Accountability Reporting Centre) is an application meant to serve as a platform for exposing fake news and countering “brown envelope journalism” which has been used over the years to shield accountability and enhance citizen participation in the conversation about the future of Nigeria.

Ismail Auwal’s project is an initiative aimed at reducing the prevalence of malnutrition in one of the most affected local governments of Kano, which happens to be the state with the highest number of malnourished children.

Adedokun Titilope’s Get Justice project is aimed at providing underserved communities with access to justice. Its four pronged method includes awareness outreach on the criminal justice system, the rights of citizens and the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA); incentivized community classes, training sessions for law enforcement officers, and a mobile application.

In the coming weeks these winners will go on to join the 2020 Accountability Incubator programme of Accountability Lab Nigeria where they will receive further training, mentorship, stipends to support their ideas and be connected to a network of donor and stakeholders with the potential to scale up their ideas.