Meet two of the newest staff at Open Ownership

  • Publication date: 17 August 2021
Meet Hani Rosidaini and Favour Ime

10 minutes with Favour Ime

OO: Tell us about your early life

I was born in Port Harcourt in Nigeria and I definitely had an interesting childhood. I’ve always been a very active child. I know I was very bold: I would ask the questions people wouldn’t ask, say the things they were thinking about but couldn’t say. People would usually say that I should become a preacher, as I was so convincing in the way I spoke about things. I was firm in my requests for things as well! That followed through from primary school to secondary school to university.

I wasn’t necessarily the smartest of my sisters - my older sister was and is very ‘book smart’ - but I studied a bit of everything. I also loved playing basketball, football and table tennis, and I play the drums and the keyboard. I used to write, and became the chief editor of my secondary school magazine.

My parents hadn’t had the opportunity of education past secondary school, so they made it a point of duty that we get the best education possible. So after going to a University open day in Nigeria and learning about the possibilities, it was my Mum’s idea that I go abroad to study. I totally agreed with the plan and when I was 16 I travelled to the UK on my own, which was the first time I’d left Nigeria!

I went to London to school, then did a one year diploma in Cambridge, and then I did a law degree at the University of York. I was the only Nigerian in my set out of about 120 people. I’m very open to learning about different cultures, and so my first friends were from Greece and other countries. I had so much fun. I immersed myself in it and took advantage of the whole process.

OO: At what point did you realise your calling to work in the public sector?

In August 2020. I had been working in a law firm for about two years by then and I’d got substantial experience in drafting legislation and policy documents, and providing legal support to help government agencies achieve their statutory mandates. While I enjoyed the professional development I gained from the work, I needed satisfaction and for me, satisfaction is working in a place where I can measure the impact of what I do. And I don’t like things that are purely transactional or money-driven. I am an impact-driven person, I have realised.

OO: And why is that important to you now, particularly?

There is so much going on in the world, so much news unfolding on a daily basis. Nigeria has its own multi-dimensional problems. So I think now is the best time to be part of something that will make a difference. Essentially to make transparency and accountability the order of the day.

OO: You’ve come into a brand new role at OO, working as the Regional Associate, Africa. What do you think are the challenges ahead?

The obvious one is transitioning from a structured environment to a more collaborative, flexible workplace. And also, managing the unpredictable nature of the work we do. Working across different national contexts means I’ll have to respond with relevant solutions for the different countries in my portfolio. So, I’ll be interested to see how I balance working across countries with radically different economic models and social priorities. It’s sure to be an interesting time!

10 minutes with Hani Rosidaini

OO: Tell us about your early life

I grew up in Bandung, the second biggest city in Indonesia. Bandung is known as a very creative city, where the creative industries are constantly developing. Not only through music and youth activities, but also in tourism and technology. Indonesia’s top university for technology is in Bandung, and lots of media start-ups are born there. This environment made me interested in studying technology and I went to that university to study Computer Science and Business after finishing school.

Most of my family members run businesses, and I always thought that we could help people a lot by the way we ran them. Since I was a kid, my main interests were in business and technology; I always get excited about how to integrate the two.

OO: At what point did you realise your calling to work in the public sector?

I shifted my career from the private to public sector within the last five years. I got married and then my husband made plans to go to Canberra, Australia, to do his Masters. Being the capital, Canberra is full of government departments, and so before we went to live there, I thought I would add to my CV by working in the public sector. So I started working in the presidential offices of the Indonesian government, managing the One Data Programme, which brought together data from ministers and government agencies from all over. Then when we went to Canberra, I actually got a fellowship from the Open Knowledge Foundation- the only fellow from Indonesia. I was helping the Indonesian government improve its procurement system.

OO: And why is that important to you now, particularly?

After I started working in the public sector, I found that there were not that many people from technology backgrounds, most came from social science backgrounds. I thought: if I keep working in the private sector, I will only have a marginal impact. I think quantitatively, and in the public sector I can have a greater impact. I can optimise so many things.

Indonesia has a lot of corruption, and one of the biggest problems is inequality, not just economic inequality, but inequality of information. If we democratise information, we can improve so many things, including wealth distribution. Access to open data can really change this.

OO: You’ve recently joined OO as our Regional Associate, Asia. What do you think are the challenges ahead?

So after six months focusing on the procurement system of Indonesia in 2020 as a consultant for OO, I then joined the staff permanently. I see my role as working as the enabler of the government, because the ones who really understand the country are the people and the government. We, as an organisation, are trying to be the best enabler, to optimise the resources of the country, and their potential.

Over the next few months, I am looking forward to finalising the assessments of Mongolia and the Philippines’ progress with beneficial ownership transparency in context of their involvement in the Opening Extractives programme, which we launched in February this year. First, I have to understand the available resources that a government has, and then identify any challenges as well. Challenges are different from country to country, as the political situation, and the human resources, are never the same.

Publication type
Blog post