Dr Joe Abah is the Country Director of DAI. DAI is an international development company that works with a wide range of clients, including national and local governments, bilateral and multilateral donors, private corporations, and philanthropies in over 100 countries.
Before joining DAI in September 2017, Joe was the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms in Nigeria. Under his leadership, he emphasised the need for public service reforms to focus on tangible improvements in the lives of citizens, not just administrative reforms. His Bureau has successfully intervened to make drivers licenses, passports, tax clearance certificates and national identification numbers easier to process and obtain. He has also supported the development of a ‘Structured Mandatory Assessment-Based Training Programme’ for public servants and a new Performance Management System. He is one of the first appointees of government to publicly declare his assets and the Bureau he ran developed Nigeria’s first electronic Freedom of Information portal, an initiative that has been adopted as part of Nigeria’s first Open Government Partnership National Action Plan.
Before his appointment as Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms in 2013, he led several programmes for the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in Nigeria, including the State Partnership for Accountability, Responsiveness and Capability. Prior to returning to Nigeria in 2003, he worked in various public sector organisations in the UK, including the Prime Minister’s Office of Public Service Reforms and the Audit Commission.
Joe is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. He holds a Ph.D. in Governance and Public Policy Analysis from the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, Maastricht University, the Netherlands, where he currently serves as a Visiting Lecturer. His academic interest is how organisations in dysfunctional environments can overcome daunting institutional constraints and still function for the benefit of citizens.