The lack of oversight frameworks have continuosly marred the effective delivery of institutional projects at community levels. The resultant effects include abandoned projects, diverted project funds and resources into pockets of politicians and their cronies, strained ammenities due to insufficiency of existing ones. and racketeering of resources meant for citizens which stifles access.
Community journalism holds the key to bridging the wide gap between Nigeria’s urban and rural areas with reportage these issues. Since most of these issues are underreported by the mainstream media, community journalists often turns the spotlight on them, assisting in holding those responsible to account.
Our strategy and process
Our key focus was on actors, advocates, and independent media or journalists at grassroot level who are already reporting or want to report on issues affecting their communities. We proceeded with a call for proposals, prioritizing issues on transparency and accountability, health and gender, justice and equitable economic recovery. The selection was in two stages, and we ensured that different geopolical zones were represented. Fellows underwent a two-day skill and capacity development boot-camp, with three renown media professionals as their trainers and mentors. Post-training, fellows will embark on their investigative projects with reporting grants provided.
Outcomes and learnings
Our call for application returned about 105 submissions. We discovered a reoccuring theme which we had not included from the beginnig. 20% of the submissions were proejct ideas on 'Equitable Justice'. These projects seeked to investigate and report on issues of misuse of power and defiance of the rule of law by government-backed private companies extracting natural resources from communities, leaving no benefits and health cirisis behind. This is an ongoin project, more learnings will be shared. This program will support a total of 27 fellows who will deliver up to 60 special reports by February 2023.
This is under the Africa Data Hub Project supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation