Webinar - Concept of the Ombudsman

The University of KwaZulu-Natal


The African Ombudsman Research Centre (AORC), a research and training arm of the African Ombudsman and Mediators’ Association (AOMA)

Cordially invite you to a webinar


Tuesday, 30 March 2021

The word ‘Ombudsman’ derives from the Swedish word ‘umbudsmann’, meaning representative. The modern concept dates back to 1809 when the Swedish Parliamentary Ombudsman was established to protect the rights of citizens through setting up a supervisory agency, independent of the Executive branch of government. The Ombudsman was independent of the Monarch of Sweden and was tasked with making sure that the Monarch and his government complied with the rules of the land. Over time, many other countries have created Ombudsman offices, which are known by a number of different names. Francophone countries tend to use the term Mediator rather than Ombudsman. In South Africa, the Ombudsman is called the Public Protector, while in Nigeria, the institution is known as the Public Complaints Commission. Although there a number of ‘hybrid’ Ombudsman models, especially in emerging democracies (which have the dual function of tackling maladministration as well as human rights abuses), it is important to note that the Office of the Ombudsman differs from national human rights commissions in that its primary role is to monitor human rights abuses perpetrated by government entities, while human rights commissions generally address the actions of private entities and individuals as well as government conduct.[1]

This facilitated discussion will focus on understanding the concept of the Ombudsman and how the Ombudsman institution can be used as a tool to strengthen government institutions to be an efficient service that is responsible and responsive to the needs of the citizens.

This facilitated discussion would enhance the capacity of Ombudsman and their staff throughout the continent in their understanding of the role that they play in contributing towards strengthening democracy in Africa.

Please click on the RSVP link below should you wish to participate.


Tuesday, 30 March 2021


10h00 – 11h30

Speakers & Facilitator

Speaker 1: Ms. Victoria R.M. Pearman, JP, Ombudsman, Bermuda

Speaker 2 : Paul Dubé, Ombudsman of Ontario

Speaker 3: Prof. Ibrahim Agboola Gambari (African Peer Review Mechanisms (APRM))

Facilitator: Hon Florence Kajuju, Ombudsman, Kenya and

General Secretary of AOMA

Click HERE to RSVP

Please note that there will be no live question and answers due to time constraints. Participants may however submit relevant questions to Franky Lwelela (Lwelela@ukzn.ac.za) or Marion Adonis (adonism@ukzn.ac.za) by 10:00 on Monday, 29 March 2021 or use the Q & A function during the webinar.  Time has been allocated for a response to questions raised before and during the session. If there is insufficient time to respond to all, the questions and answers will be made available on the AOMA/AORC website www.aoma.ukzn.ac.za.

Enquiries only :           Franky Lwelela

Email: Lwelela@ukzn.ac.za


                                    Marion Adonis

Email: adonism@ukzn.ac.za  

[1] M Reddi … et al; Best Practice Guidelines for the Institution of the Ombudsman in Africa (2016) African Ombudsman Research Centre (AORC) Policy Brief 1.

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