Simon Osborn

Zimbabwe Resident Director

From January 2012 to mid 2019, Simon managed the Institute's programs to enhance political participation and accountability in Uganda.

Initially working on U Speak, an innovative technology based communication system for MPs and constituents to enhance representation and accountability, Simon expanded the Institute's work in this field in 2013 with a USAID funded program to promote political competition and consensus building in Uganda. This included working with Ugandan civil society networks countrywide to broaden consultation on  and build consensus around the Citizen's Compact for Free and Fair Elections in 2014, supporting civil society organizations and networks to come together to successfully advocate for systemic reform of a proposed draconian NGO Registration bill that would limit civic space and thereafter work with Civil Society and Government to reach consensus on regulations under the much revised and adopted Act.

During the elections Simon worked with a new network of anti corruption groups in the Alliance for Campaign Finance Monitoring to mobilize 1.2 million citizens registered to vote in six percent of Uganda's polling stations to undermine norms of accepting and reciprocating gifts with votes, and to foster new community strategies against vote selling. This large scale campaign was evaluated by a team of researchers from Harvard, Columbia and MIT and found the campaign to have significant affect in undermining social norms of reciprocity and voting behaviour. In 2015 Simon oversaw a new USAID program to assist a broad coalition of civil society actors to effectively monitor the 2016 General Elections. After those polls NDI continued to work with ACFIM to assist them and a cross party group of MPs to advocate for campaign finance reforms.

In early 2019, Simon, began supporting the NDI Office in Zimbabwe and in October of that year formally moved and became the resident country director for NDI in Zimbabwe. Simon has continued to work with civic organizations and networks and political parties to help reach consensus around electoral and political reforms in Zimbabwe that seek to level the playing field and mitigate electoral intimidation and violence.

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