2023 GovSpend Media Fellowship Program
August 2023 – November 2023
In Nigeria, corruption continues to be one of the greatest fueling poverty, inhibiting development and internecine conflicts. Even with our natural endowments and gains in financial technology, Nigeria still ranked among the poorest countries in the world. The world poverty clock shows that Nigeria has overtaken India, with most people living in extreme poverty. The struggle to lift citizens out of extreme poverty stems from Nigeria’s mismanagement of its resources alongside corruption and civil unrest.
Nearly 90 million people in Nigeria live in extreme poverty, approximately half of the country’s population. Nigeria faces a major population boom and is anticipated to become the third most populous country in the world by 2050. This being said, the problem is likely to worsen. There are many unresolved problems in Nigeria, but the issue of the upsurge of corruption is troubling, and the damage it has done to the polity is astronomical. Corruption has shown its deep roots in every section of Nigerian society. This evidence indicates that for poverty to reduce drastically, we need to be able to reduce CORRUPTION.
BudgIT recently released a new product called the GovSpend to the public as an analytic of the open treasury platform of the federal of Nigeria that shows the daily spending from the national treasury and different MDAs. The gov spend portal makes it easy for users to see full spending details and access the required information to investigate value for money.
This media fellowship aims to identify and train 12 media fellows (journalists) 2 each from the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria, on how to use the gov spend platform, plus other related topics around creative communication and data-driven storytelling.
On the backdrop of the BudgIT media fellowship, which kickstarted in the year 2017, where the fellowship featured journalists who were focused on writing human-angle stories that raised advocacy on topics like budget access, project tracking, use of extractive revenues, social justice, anti-corruption, open governments, and transparency. BudgIT’s platform helped to give voice to the stories and backed stories up with real-time data.
This year for three months- September to November, the selected 12 fellows would be supported to identify spending from the gov spend platform, investigate it, and establish value for money or corruption cases that may have occurred during the procurement process. The 12 investigative stories developed from the media fellowship will be published via the medium by which the fellows work on.
Open Call: Application starts on August 1, 2023 (noon WAT) and will end on August 10, 2023 (5:00 p.m. WAT). We project that the Govspend fellowship should be able to accommodate 12 investigative/media journalists from the pool of applications received from the open call.
Selection: Due to the number of expected applications, we will conduct reviews and interviews from August 15- 21. Reviews will be done by our selected team of judges, which includes experienced civil society leaders, Journalists, Industry thought leaders and pioneer media fellows.
Announcement: The winners will be announced on August 28, 2023. Fellows will be informed earlier to ensure media materials are provided for the announcement. The Govspend Media Fellowship session for the 2023 cohort will be from September 2023 and end on November 2023.
Benefits: We will provide a monthly stipend of N200,000 to cover story coverage and logistics. We will also hold rounds of engagements with stakeholders on the ideas to receive feedback and potential support. Other sessions on Centring People in your stories, Storytelling for journalists, Making sense of the data, Data Visualisation Tools, and Multimedia storytelling will be handled by the BudgIT team.
BudgIT does not guarantee the publishing of stories in the Nigerian dailies as applicants are ideally full-time writers, print, radio or broadcast journalists, filmmakers, bloggers, or other media makers, with well-established records of publication, dissemination or broadcast in local, regional or national markets, or among targeted audiences or constituencies.
From 2017 to 2022, we provided extended support of $700,000 to all journalists who were on board through our organisation. Journalists like Eromo Egbejule, Mercy Abang, Olu Rotimi, Babatunde Okunlola, Adebulu Taiwo, and Kelechuckwu Iruoma who did stories that sent shock waves across Africa through the platform offered to them by BudgIT.
Activity 1: Launch and Select Media Fellows to Strengthen Fight Against Corruption through the GovSpend Platform BudgIT will launch the Govspend fellowship program for application in the third week of June and select the 12 fellows to be brought on board the program. The selection process would be deliberate in picking candidates from the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria and ensuring gender balance and inclusion in the selection.
Activity 2: Review and update the Govspend Portal
BudgIT will engage consultants to review and update the govspend portal to ensure that it is up to date with the available information on the open treasury platform for use by the media fellow during this program.
Activity 3: Training Sessions for the GovSpend Media Fellows
There will be a focused training session, a total of 4 sessions, with the govspend media fellows. The sessions would be facilitated by experts on different thematic topics that would enhance the capacity of the fellows to develop investigative stories. The session will include training on using the govspend portal, creative communication, data analysis and data-driven stories.
Activity 4: Media Investigative Story Development
The media fellows would be supported with N200,000 to aid their investigative story development.
Monitoring and Evaluation
The project will be monitored based on the metrics we have set to achieve with the project.
- First, we will measure the number of fellows trained and their spread to establish if we achieved inclusion, region, and gender balance.
- We will also count on achieving the 4 training sessions planned for this project and 12 data-driven stories using the govspend portal.
- We will also measure the feedback of the fellow on how the program is helpful or otherwise to their career, and we will track the citizens’ impressions on the stories that the fellows would publish.
BudgIT will provide post-training support to the fellows and keep the management of the govspend portal up for continuous use by the fellows and the general public.
To apply: https://bit.ly/Govspendmediafellowship