When Bottom-Up and Top-Down Meet: the ADDIS Process and the Co-Creation of the Nigeria Startup Bill

A new wave of collaborative problem-solving between African entrepreneurs and governments

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Case study abstract

On September 20, 2022, the National Assembly of Nigeria transferred a citizen-drafted bill to the President for signature. 

This case traces the policy-making journey over five years, examining the application of the “ADDIS Process” on a complex problem, the overhaul of public policies in Nigeria affecting entrepreneurs.

The ADDIS Process is a collective intelligence framework developed by the pan-African Innovation for Policy Foundation (i4Policy) and developed through participatory practice in more than a dozen countries.

The ADDIS process

Key recommendations

When it comes to deliberation, encourage learning by doing. As Paolo Freire reminds us, “a person learns to swim in the water, not in the library”


Ensure public participation activities are pedagogical, accessible and explicitly organized as learning environments. Actions, heuristics, and learning materials need to be open sourced, accessible, translatable, and re-mixed to fit each process and each community’s needs

Co-create “minimum viable dialogue rules” to establish conversation norms accepted by all.

Ensure that individual activities are connected, and that participants can understand the context of their participation and how their engagement will contribute to the overall process.

Read the complete case study “When Bottom-Up and Top-Down Meet: the ADDIS Process and the Co-Creation of the Nigeria Startup Bill”

Inspiration, key principles, practical do’s and don’ts

In open acess thanks to the Porticus Foundation

Quick facts



Policy making steps


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