Last week, ONE’s team on the ground in Bali continued to lobby the members of the High Level Panel (HLP) on our Open for Development petition and the preliminary results of the You Choose campaign from Malawi, South Africa and Zambia.
Almost 120,000 ONE members from around the world have signed the Open for Development petition so far, and another 150,000 Africans have given their ideas on what development should look like in their countries. We presented both the petition and the results to as many members we could find. In particular, I was particularly pleased and delighted to speak to Co-Chair of the High Level Panel, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, regarding ONE members’ actions.
After explaining to her the transparency and accountability mechanisms we’re proposing in the next set of development goals, I was able to briefly tell her about some of the preliminary results we’re finding from the You Choose campaign survey.
As we promised to take the voices of our African members to the High Level Panel and other world leaders, it was important to demonstrate the connection between ONE’s goals for transparency and the consultations and outreach we’ve done on what Africans want for their development.
President Sirleaf understood and even made the connection with ONE and Save the Children’s event at the HLP meeting in Monrovia, Liberia, back in January. She was also pleased to hear that ONE’s You Choose survey is being adapted to contribute to the UN’s My World process of soliciting citizens’ views on the future of development.
In addition to President Sirleaf, I was able to speak to and present our petition and findings to all of the African members of the HLP. I also spoke to Minister Gunilla Carlsson of Sweden and Minister Justine Greening of the United Kingdom, who was representing Prime Minister David Cameron.
After all the remarks and encouragement, I was particularly struck by what my friend and ONE Board member Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria had to say. After receiving ONE’s petition and reports, she commented that “this is an important process which shows that African citizens want to be engaged on matters that affect them.” Minister, we couldn’t agree more.