Extending the Ombud Frontiers:
Better Governance, Enhanced Performance


The International Ombud Expo 2019 brought together over 250 participants representing national and specialty ombud and grievance handling offices from 38 countries in an exhibition of the role and operations of these unique institutions in facilitating better governance and driving performance in governments and organisations across the world. 

The 3-day international event, and first of its kind, was held from 28 to 31 October, 2019 at the Sheraton Hotel Abuja in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria.

Convened under the theme: Extending the Ombud Frontiers: Better Governance, Enhanced Performance, the IOE 2019 was organised by an international collaboration of organisations and agencies consisting of the following: Federal Government of Nigeria; Public Complaints Commission and Ombudsman Office of Nigeria (PCC); Federal Capital Territory Administration of Nigeria (FCTA); International Ombudsman Institute (IOI); African Ombudsman and Mediateurs Association (AOMA);  Public Protector of South Africa (PPSA); African Ombudsman Research Centre (AORC); Caribbean Ombudsman Association (CAROA); Instituto LatinoAmericano Del Ombudsman – Defensorias Del Pueblo (ILO); Ombudsman of Bermuda; Commonwealth Secretariat; United Nations; and Governance and Management Services International (GMSI), who also served as the Secretariat and Project Manager of the Expo.

The event was co-hosted by the Chief Public Complaints Commissioner and Ombudsman of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in collaboration with the President of the African Ombudsman and Mediators Association (AOMA) and Public Protector of South Africa.

Ombudsman offices from the following countries participated in the Expo, namely: Angola, Bermuda, Botswana, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Curacao-Netherlands, Jamaica, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Libya, Malawi, Namibia, Uganda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South African Military Ombud, Pakistan, Senegal ICRC, Eswatini (Swaziland), Tanzania, The Gambia, Zambia, Nigeria, USA as well as the representatives of the Commonwealth Secretariat, London.

In all, 74 international and local organisations and agencies participated in IOE 2019.   A complete list is available at the end of this report.

The first International Ombud Expo, 2019 involved, among other features:

  • Exhibition of the work of different ombud offices and oversight institutions;
  • Parallel Experts’ Sessions and Workshops on topical issues and the ombudsman practice;
  • Unparalleled insight into how ombud institutions execute their roles and make a difference in governments and organisations across the globe;
  • One-on-one interaction and sharing of experiences between and with ombud leaders, diverse functionaries, and a wide range of stakeholders;
  • Study tours of ombud, anti-corruption, human rights and related oversight organisations in Nigeria;
  • Meeting with wide ranging organisations which service and facilitate the role of ombud offices in different parts of the world;
  • Special celebration of the role and impact of women leaders in ombud and oversight institutions;
  • Honour recognition of the contributions of eminent former ombudsmen.


The spread and popularisation of the ombud institution across the world over the last five decades has been unprecedented.  It is estimated that there are over 50,000 ombud offices, grievance-handlers, and complaint-bodies in operation in over 150 countries while the demand for more offices continue to grow by the day.  Thus, IOE 2019 provided a unique first-hand insight for policy makers, corporate leaders and organisation managers on role of ombud and grievance handling in tackling wide-ranging governance problems, managing conflicts, and boosting performance and productivity of governments and organisations around the world.


What Offices Exhibited

The rich display of the work and experiences of offices and organisations included the exhibition of:

  • Reports and official publications
  • Audio visual displays on role, operations and performance
  • Media reports and excerpts
  • Campaign publication of organisation’s services and other literatures
  • Physical evidence of achievements and success stories
  • Technology use and business processes
  • IT software
  • Documentary visuals, videos and other online sources
  • Interactive videos
  • Training and capacity development materials
  • Book publications and other intellectual materials
  • Cultural artefacts

Celebrating Women Leaders

For the first-time ever, the International Ombud Expo 2019 also included a special event dedicated to showcase through pictures, sharing of experiences, and expert discussions the contributions of women leaders.  Under the theme: Women Leaders in Ombudsman and Oversight Institutions, this special Expo Event involved:

  • Pictorial exhibition of women leaders in ombudsman and oversight institutions, past and present, from across the world
  • An Expert Forum where women ombudsman and oversight leaders to shared experiences and knowledge towards enhancing personal and institutional effectiveness;
  • Explication of the phenomenal role that women leaders have played through the years, the factors that have driven such successes, and drawing out of lessons for prospective leaders;
  • Illumination of the uniquely effective role women leaders continue to play in resolving conflicts, promoting peace building, and boosting the performance and productivity of governments and organisations;
  • Extensive discussions of how women can further use the ombudsman, complaints handling and related oversight institutions to promote gender equality and women in development, especially in the context of Sustainable Development Goal 5 on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.

Recognition of Eminent Former Ombudsmen

The Expo concluded with a public recognition of the achievements of three eminent former ombudspersons, namely:

  • Justice Florence N. Mumba, Africa’s first woman ombudsperson and former Investigator-General of Zambia;
  • Ms Alba M. T. Martijn, former Ombudsman of Curacao and former President of the Caribbean Ombudsman Association (CAROA); 
  • Lt. General T. T. Matanzima, Africa’s first and former Military Ombud of South Africa. 

In conferring the honours, IOE’s overriding objective was not only to convey a collective appreciation but also reassure every serving ombudsman that even after they relinquish office their contributions and immense personal sacrifices on behalf of the rest of us will never be forgotten.


Key Benefits for Participants and Offices

Participants and exhibitors in IOE 2019 benefited in many ways, including:

  • A rare comprehensive experience in one location of ombud-types, complaints handlers, grievance offices together with organisations that service and facilitate their roles;
  • Exposure to a rich display of how ombud and grievance handling offices effectively tackle a wide ranging of governance concerns, help reduce corruption, manage conflicts, enhance customer service, drive innovation, defend and promote human rights as well as boost performance and productivity of governments and organisations;
  • Participation in parallel workshops and experts’ sessions on topical issues.  See Programme of Event;
  • Capacity enhancement of participating officials and functionaries through sustained exposure to the success stories of counterpart institutions from across the world;
  • Ombud brands awareness and showcasing of the work of ombud and related oversight institutions as an indispensable feature of any well-functioning government and organisation determined to surpass their performance bottom-line;
  • Exchange of best practices on the role and operations of different ombud-types and how they realise sustainable performance in an often unpredictable governance and organisational landscape;
  • Opportunity for offices and institutions to benchmark and evaluate themselves against and benefit from the lessons of experiences of counterparts from elsewhere;
  • Fostering strategic relationships and networking towards enhancing the role and performance of amongst ombud organisations;
  • International media spotlight and coverage for participants and exhibitors through the event and in the record of the event now permanently available in world wide web.

For a detailed record of the first International Ombud Expo, follow the links to the event summary, pictures and video content:

Abuja IOE EXPO 2019 Picture Gallery
Abuja IOE Expo 2019 Videos
Women Ombuds Gallery in GMSI website

Programme of Event



1Mediateur de la Republique de Cote D'Ivoire
2Office of the Public Defender of Jamaica
3Inspector General of Government of Uganda
4Office of the Provedor de Justica of Angola
5Commission on Administrative Justice of Kenya
6Office of the Ombudsman of Malawi
7Institution of the Ombudsman of Ethiopia
8Central Bank of Eswatini
9Public Protector of Zambia
10Ombudsman de la République de Burundi
11Office of the Ombudsman of Botswana
12Administrative Control Authority of Libya
13Provincial Ombudsman, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
14International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
15Office of Ombudsman of Seychelles
16Office of Military Ombud of South African
17National Ombudsman of Namibia
18Médiateur de la République du Djibouti
19Office of the Police Ombudsman of Spokane, Washington, USA
20Institute of Latin American Ombudsman Buenos Aires
21Office of the Ombudsman of Curacao
22Ombudsman de la République de Burkina Faso
23Office of the Public Protector of South Africa
24African Ombudsman Research Centre, South Africa
25Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice of Tanzania
26Office of the Ombudsman of the Gambia
27Governance and Management Services International, United Kingdom
28Office of Political Ombudsman of Jamaica
29Ombudsman for Bermuda
30Ombudsman of The Republic of Sierra Leone
31Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice of Ghana
32Office of the Ombudsman of the Gambia
33African Ombudsman and Mediateurs Association (AOMA)
34Caribbean Ombudsman Association (CAROA)
35Senate of the Republic Cameroun
36Commonwealth Secretariat, London
37International Ombudsman Institute (IOI)
38IOE 2019 International Secretariat, London

39Public Complaints Commission of Nigeria
40Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission
41Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of Nigeria
42Federal Capital Territory Administration of Nigeria
43Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission of Nigeria
44National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria
45Presidency of Nigeria, Abuja
46Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Abuja
47Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA)
48College for Legal Studies, Borno
49O.S. Ephraim Oluwanuga & Co. Solicitors & Arbitrators
50Governance and Sustainable Development International Ltd
51Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators (ICMC)
52SERVICOM Nigeria
53Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission
54Nasarawa Broadcasting Services
55Federal Polytechnic Nekede
56Ministry of Justice of Benue State
57National Orientation Agency of Nigeria
58Punch Nigeria Limited
59Zecomoyo Conference & Multilingual Services
60Jigawa State Investment Promotion Agency
61Local Government Service Commission, Yobe State
62Bureau of Public Enterprise, Nigeria
63Kano State Judiciary
64Judicial Service Commission
65Yobe State Public Service
66Imo State University Owerri
67Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria
68Federal University of Oye-Ekiti
69National Assembly of Nigeria
70NEXTIER, Abuja
71Swedish Embassy in Nigeria
72Botswana High Commission in Nigeria
73Chikwendu & Chikwendu & Co. Solicitors, Abuja
74Office of the Head of Service of Benue State