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|Name||Abuja Town Hall Meetings|
|Year of beginning||2005|
|People involved||779,000 people addressed|
|Who started the initiative (NGO, public administration, association)||public administration|
|Type of commons|
|Object||In Abuja, Nigeria, a new democratic space was created to facilitate dialogue between political leaders in local government and citizens. Through the use of public meetings (town hall meetings) and a range of media, decision-making processes became more transparent and the scope for trust and mutual respect improved between citizens and the local government.
THMs were regular quarterly forums where all residents of Abuja could meet with the Minister and his team and raise matters of interest in a ‘no holds barred’ encounter. The THM was broadcast on radio and via a 30 minute television documentary afterwards. Over 1000 people attended the third THM, held in a suburb of the City Bwari. Many people in the community were formally invited to this event, some heard through word of mouth and others through advertisements on the radio. The participation of all six suburbs of Abuja was coordinated through the Area Council Chairpersons who helped organise the events and encouraged different categories of people to participate.
In addition to this, other communication initiatives were subsequently set up to strengthen the process and give feedback on the outcomes from the town hall meetings.
Dateline Abuja – an interactive phone-in and text-in radio programme run every fortnight on a Saturday morning on prime time national radio. A Helpline system – a series of public complaint phone numbers to process public complaints and provide feedback to the source. A team of energetic and passionate young people coordinated the helpline system. Some of them were fresh from University either on the mandatory one year of national service or fresh from service. A fact sheet of what worked well or otherwise according to feedback was circulated and taken as an integral part of memoranda to FCT executive committee. The FCT Executive Committee is the highest body responsible for policy decisions. Abuja Journal publication – an easy to read bi-monthly magazine for citizens with information about spending and policies and human interest stories. Intergenerational dialogues – with a focus on giving voice to children of primary and secondary school age. Boys and girls meet with the Minister of FCT and engage on policy matters in an informal interactive atmosphere.