Brenda Anugwom (2011-12)
Senior Program Officer, Policy and Legal Advocacy Center (PLAC)
Following my call to the bar, I joined the World Bank Group in order to contribute to international development. I supported project teams in Africa, Latin America & the Caribbean, Europe and Central Asia in reaching aid recipients and beneficiaries but I knew that I needed to understand the role of law in the international development sector. PROLAW helped me understand what my role as a lawyer was in one of the largest international financial institutions in the world. Today, after graduating from PROLAW, I work as a Senior Program Officer with the Policy and Legal Advocacy Center (PLAC), which is a not-for-profit organization geared towards promoting good governance and citizens' access. My job primarily includes analyzing Bills (before they become law) before the Senate and House of Representatives, (both Houses of the National Assembly) and sharing the analyses with citizens as a way of improving citizens' access to governance in Nigeria. Information provided in the analyses educate the public on the implications of the Bills which then become law, allowing citizens to object or support the Bill passage at public and formal hearings.
As a Senior Program Officer, I also design, execute and report donor-funded projects targeted at supporting public officers, civil society and political office holders in their service to the citizens, as well as capacity building programs for Committees of the National Assembly.
As part of improving good governance, I monitor elections in Nigeria and other African countries, ensuring that election rules are followed through and the voting process is transparent. I share reports on the election for lessons that are expected to guide the conduct for future elections. In addition, I analyze government policies, codes and directives highlighting human rights issues around them for citizens. The importance of my job is that it affords citizens access to relevant information needed to hold government accountable for their actions thereby strengthening democracy.
I am also currently serving on the Presidential Committee on Prison Reforms which is working on decongesting prisons across the country.