Special Celebration of the Contributions of Pioneers

A key highlight of IOE 2024 will be a Special Celebration of Pioneers of Ombud, Human Rights and other related Oversight Institutions. This has never been done. Its significance is aptly captured by an old African saying: ‘If we stand tall, it is because we stand on the back of those who came before us’.

In various practices and in the literature, the contribution and impact of pioneer incumbents, many in extremely challenging settings, are taken for granted. Many offices do not even keep a record of those individuals. The goal of this Special Celebration is to put right this apparent omission in the respective fields.

Expo organisers are compiling a Directory of all pioneer incumbents and appointments as heads of office across the world. To enable them complete the relevant data on your office, they would appreciate that you forward the following information:

  1. Official name of your office and country
  2. Full names and title of the first incumbent/appointment as head of the institution
  3. Gender description/preference
  4. Dates of tenure, including month and year of start and demitting
  5. Brief description of contribution and accomplishment
  6. Attach Photo image of the first incumbent, if available

Kindly email the information to: Alternatively you can DOWNLOAD the OMBUD TRAILBLAZERS Form to complete and email as directed. 

We will most appreciate receiving the information requested by Friday 19th April 2024 at the latest.

When completed, the Directory of Pioneers will provide a permanent record of essential data on the trailblazers of the respective institutions, and publicly accessible.

This Directory will complement an identical permanent record of Women Ombud Leaders available at: Ombud Women’s Gallery.

The Special Celebration at Expo 2024 will include, among other things, the following:

  1. Pictorial exhibition of all pioneer leaders of ombudsman and oversight institutions, past and present, from across the world;
  2. A Special Session to review and share the lessons of experience of these pioneers;
  3. Explication of the role played by these individuals in order to better understand the factors which drove their successes, and how they dealt with challenges faced;
  4. Discussion of how current and future incumbents can best chart and utilise opportunities and options open to them after they demit office; and
  5. At the conclusion of the Expo, the Directory of Pioneers will be publicly accessible for your use as well as of policy makers, practitioners, and scholars across the world.