LDRI welcomes Jessica Musila to the AODN fellowship 2020, as the Open Government Fellow. We caught up with her to find out more.
Where are you from Jessica?
I am a Kenyan from Kilome Constituency in Makueni County, Kenya
Can we call you Jess?
In informal interactions, you can call me Jess, however, let us use Jessica informal settings and documents.
You are passionate about societal inequalities and public participation tell us how you got into this field? My passion to address societal inequalities is informed by stories from my family setting and previous work. Both my parents were orphaned young and their life stories birthed in me a passion to help needy people especially women, youth and children. In my past life, I worked with the Red Cross movement responding to people living in Africa’s war-torn nations. At the centre of the unending cycle of conflicts in Africa is unresponsive government at all levels and I would like help raise the general level of accountability of politicians and governmental institutions.
You worked for Mzalendo.com and leveraged on ICT to monitor parliamentary Initiatives, how did you achieve this? Mzalendo’s founders had started the project as a blog. I joined the initiative in 2011 mine was to help shape it and enlarge its footprint following the more open space brought about by the 2010 Constitution of Kenya. Mzalendo’s growth leveraged on open source software, internet accessibility, social media tools – Twitter and Facebook and mobile phone penetration countrywide. These tools facilitated the sharing of information across the country and widened the platform’s reach. We can credit Mzalendo’s expansion and impact to the internet and mobile phone penetration in part to Kenya joining the OGP multi-stakeholder platform in 2011 to enhance transparency, accountability and citizen engagement. Legislative openness is a key component of OGP and Mzalendo has been a trendsetter in Africa.
You join as a fellow under the OGP what is the core mandate and focus?
The focus of OGP is to increase the involvement of Civil Society Organizations and influence multilateral initiatives at both National and County Levels.
How will you raise awareness of Kenya’s involvement in Open Government at the National and County level?
Working closely with key stakeholders within the CSO community in collaboration with the government on progress and opportunities in the Open Government space. I shall also compile monthly round-ups of Open Government related news, resources and opportunities both locally and internationally.
To find more about Jessica read her bio here