Zainab Bangura

3 October 2005

Sierra Leone’s decade-long civil war ended in 2002, leaving tens of thousands dead and a large portion of the population displaced. I am chair of the advisory board of the Network for Collaborative Peace Building in Sierra Leone, as well as adviser to the Peace Building Forum of the International Peace Academy and the War-Torn Societies Project of Geneva International.  After founding the political party Movement for Progress, I ran for president on the party’s ticket in 2002.  I have been a consultant to the United Nations Development Programme, advising the body on inclusion and participation within its programs and formulating advocacy positions for its work with the government and development partners.  Also as a  member of the Sierra Leone Women’s Forum, I have served on the board of the International Crisis Group.

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My peace-building activities include:
    * providing conflict resolution training to freed commanders of the three warring factions;
    * founding Women Organized for a Morally Enlightened Nation (WOMEN), a nonpartisan women’s political rights organization, which played a vital role in the campaign against the ruling military junta, the National Provisional Ruling Council;
    * founding and coordinating the Campaign for Good Governance, the largest indigenous NGO in Sierra Leone, which promotes democratic participation, civil society and grassroots organizing, human rights, the rule of law, and the political and economic empowerment of women;
    * identifying grassroots women’s groups that promote women’s rights and the inclusion and participation of women in peace building as a consultant to the Mano River Women’s Peace Network, which brings together women from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone; and
    * formulating a strategy to ensure community empowerment’s sustainability for Sierra Leone office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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