What is AORC?

The African Ombudsman Research Centre (AORC) is the resource and archive centre of the African Ombudsman and Mediators Association (AOMA) situated at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College Campus.

Aim of AORC

The aim of the African Ombudsman Association Research Centre serves as a focal point for Ombudsman offices in Africa, by coordinating their activities and supporting them with the provision of information and training, and acting as a point of liaison with all participants involved in enhancing corporate governance in Africa.

 

Role of AORC

The role of AORC is to provide the following services to AOMA members and Ombudsman Institutions:

 

Information and research

  • Creating public awareness and understanding of the existence, history and processes of the Ombudsman office.
  • Providing background information on issues and topics affecting Ombudsmen.
  • Providing information on human resources, career and personal development and ethics to ombudsman offices.
  • Research into Ombudsman trends and practices.

 

Training

  • In-service training of Ombudsmen.
  • Education for Ombudsmen and their staff – from paralegal level to masters level in Ombudsman practices.
  • Continuous professional development, enhancement of skills and improvement of career prospects.
  • Sharing of international best practice.
  • Continuous professional development, enhancement of skills and improvement of career prospects.
  • Sharing of international best practice.

 

Coordination

  • Establishing lines of communication and collaboration with international organisations (such as the UN, European and World Banks) and other Ombudsman organisations.
  • Liaising with governance institutions in Africa, such as the African Union (and all its structures) and NEPAD.
  • Maintaining a membership and networking forum.
  • Facilitating meetings and conferences.
  • Developing and operating programmes to improve the exchange of information and experience between African Ombudsmen.

 

Advocacy

  • Promoting the concept and institution of the Ombudsman, and encouraging its use and development throughout Africa.
  • Promoting the use of Ombudsman as providers of alternative dispute resolution in appropriate
  • Lobbying governance institutions in Africa such as the African Union (and all its structures) and NEPAD about governance issues.
  • Advocating for the autonomy and independence of Ombudsmen.
  •  Encouraging mutual understanding and assistance by and between Ombudsmen.
  •  Lobbying governments and organisations to ensure Ombudsman offices are adequately and appropriately structured, empowered and resourced.
  •  Providing consultancy services in establishing Ombudsman offices. AORC invites members of the University Community, Civil Society and the general public to participate in and contribute to our research agenda on good governance, the role and scope of Ombudsman offices, African jurisprudence, the political and institutional environment within which Ombudsman/Public Protector works in the mandate to further democracy, good governance and human rights, among others.




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