Through a rigorous deployment of data journalism and story telling tools and the ability to work with correspondents and volunteers across Ghana, the media and civil society, iWatch Africa is shaping the national and regional discourse in order to promote transparency and accountability, as well as to encourage citizen participation in the governance process in Africa.
iWatch Africa is a non-governmental organisation with considerable national repute and significance. They have carved a niche in Ghana’s policy and journalism environment for putting out objective and independent assessment of government commitment towards Ghanaians.
iWatch Africa also tracks Digital Rights in Africa, Organised crime and Trans-national Crime in Africa, Gender-based Violence and Discrimination and finally Police Abuse of Power in Ghana.
1. Leveraging the Power of Data Journalism and New Media technology to Promote Transparency and Accountability in Africa.
The iWatch Africa initiative employs the power of data journalism and new media tools to put the spotlight on government spending in key promised areas; Education, Health, General Government Expenditure (corruption), and Job Creation to increase citizen participation in governance and also promote transparency and accountability.
Trained correspondents and volunteers across the ten regions of Ghana have been equipped to drive this initiative. Their findings are projected via news websites and their new media platforms as well as their over 15 media allies in Africa.
Data journalism with its special focus in the use of data in the production and distribution of information in the digital era is very critical to the work at iWatch Africa.
Data journalism as a tool to enhance transparency and reduce corruption serves two important purposes for their work;
1. Finding unique stories to execute their watchdog function by providing relevant content that bothers on government expenditure (corruption), job creation, education and health.
2. It also presents the opportunity where hard economic, social and political data is translated into easily digestible information to readers. It enables citizens to visually understand government statistics and make meaning out of it. But, most importantly, it brings governance closer to citizen and increases their participation in governance.
(The United States government provided seed funding for this initiative)
2. iWatch Africa also uses data and investigative journalism tools put the spotlight on the following challenges confronting the continent;
1. Organised crime/ trans-national Crime (Drug Trafficking, Illegal Mining, Illegal logging, Human Trafficking, Organ Trafficking etc.)
2. Illicit Financial Flows in Africa ( Trade Misinvoicing, Money Laundering, Transnational Crime and Terror etc)
3. Digital Rights in Africa: Their reportage and advocacy focuses on three main areas: I. Data Governance, II. Digital Inclusion and III. Security, Safety, Stability and Resilience.
4. Gender Force: Gender Force is a team of journalists and advocates focused on tracking cases involving violence and discrimination against women and girls in Ghana.
3. Together Against Corruption
Together Against Corruption’ is a 2-year project being implemented by iWatch Africa, Socioserve-Ghana and JMK. The project seeks to build citizens’ capacity to fight corruption in their engagements with the Police as well as increase the responsiveness of the Police Administration to cases of corruption involving Police Officers.
‘Together against Corruption’ is sponsored by STAR-Ghana with funding from UKaid, DANIDA and EUROPEAN UNION.See more