ENTERPRISE54 – Omidyar Network announced today a grant of up to $400,000 to BudgIT, a Lagos-based public budget communication startup that promotes civic participation and fiscal transparency in Nigeria. Founded by Oluseun Onigbinde who recently got a nomination for young business leader of the year at the All Africa Business Leaders Award, BudgIT works to
ENTERPRISE54 – Omidyar Network announced today a grant of up to $400,000 to BudgIT, a Lagos-based public budget communication startup that promotes civic participation and fiscal transparency in Nigeria.
Founded by Oluseun Onigbinde who recently got a nomination for young business leader of the year at the All Africa Business Leaders Award, BudgIT works to ensure that Nigerian citizens can exercise their right to access government data by providing the information in a usable format and providing tools that enable constructive debate about the use of public resources.
The two-year grant will be used to expand the amount of budget and procurement information available to the public, stimulate its use in participatory governance, and promote media awareness of open-source tools available to aid in the reporting about public budgets, procurement, and spending.
“Greater transparency of budget, procurement, and spending data will lead to greater government accountability and serve as a deterrent to corruption,” said Ory Okolloh, director, investments, Omidyar Network. “BudgIT plays a vital role in enabling access and use of such critical information and fostering greater participatory governance. Omidyar Network is proud to support BudgIT and its mission.”
The idea for BudgIT was conceptualized during the February 2011 Tech-In-Governance event, a 48-hour gathering organized by the Co-Creation Hub, another Omidyar Network grantee in Lagos. Since it’s launch, BudgIT’s website has been visited by hundreds of thousands of unique visitors, and the organization has fielded more than 4,000 requests for data requests and produced more than 60 infographics created to simplify public data for citizens. Its work led Forbes to recognize it as one of the top five African startups to watch in 2013.
Omidyar Network’s grant comes through the philanthropic investment firm’s Government Transparency initiative, which works to build stronger and more open societies by increasing government responsiveness and citizen participation.
Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. Omidyar Network has committed more than $709 million to for-profit companies and non-profit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple initiatives, including Consumer Internet & Mobile, Education, Financial Inclusion, Government Transparency, and Property Rights.