Professor Victor Ayeni is an accomplished scholar and practitioner with over 35 years’ experience at senior-level in African universities, international development and African governments. He is a leading authority in African governance and public administration. He has carried out teaching, research and policy advisory assignments in over 45 countries in Africa, Asia, Caribbean and The Pacific.
Prof Ayeni is currently Director and Managing Consultant of the Governance and Management Services International (GMSI), a UK-based firm which specialises, among other areas, in undertaking policy research and advisory support to states and organisations in developing countries and transitional democracies (see: www.gmsiuk.com). Prior to this, he was Director of the Governance and Institutional Development Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat, London, and before that Deputy Director and Lead Adviser in Governance and Public Sector Management. He has held various academic and research positions at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria, the University of Botswana, and the University of the North in South Africa.
Dr Ayeni holds a PhD in Public Administration, University of Ife, Nigeria; a Certificate in Public Administration from the University of Tennessee, USA; and a BSc Social Sciences (Hons) (with specialization in Political Science) from the University of Ife, Nigeria. He has been a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of The International Ombudsman Journal based in Alberta, Canada, and, Editor of the African Journal of Public Administration and Management (AJPAM), Africa’s premier journal published by the African Association of Public Administration and Management (AAPAM).
Prof Ayeni has a wide and versatile publication record, with some 15 books and over 160 referred articles, policy submissions and technical reports in Public Sector Governance and Management, International Development, African and Commonwealth Studies. He is probably most well-known for his work on the ombudsman and related oversight institutions. His pioneering work in this area helped position the Commonwealth Secretariat as a leading technical player in this area. This extensive research and professional work on oversight and accountability institutions sets him out as one of Africa’s leading minds on the institutional responses to securing integrity in government, resolving citizens’ grievances, and ensuring that public services are responsive and performance-driven.
By way of example, his publication on Empowering the Customer – The Citizen in Public Sector Reform, London, 2001 is a well-regarded reference document on recent service improvement reforms and institutionalizing citizens’ (and clients’ service) charters in the service delivery process. Similarly, his publication on: ‘Ombudsmen as Human Rights Institutions’ in the Journal of Human Rights, December 2014 (Philadelphia, USA), presents a definitive statement on a long-standing debate on the human rights aspects of governmental oversight bodies. This interest is reinforced by a more extensive commitment to addressing the issues of democratization and state performance, the challenge of public sector change, and establishment of well-functioning administrative institutions in Africa’s budding democracies. In all, however, Dr Ayeni has consistently focused on ensuring that his research is not just underpinned by hard evidence and rigorous analyses but also contributes to providing practical solutions and concrete action-steps for the future.
Professor Ayeni is a British and Nigerian national. He is married with four children.