Subsidy Palliative: BudgIT seeks transparency, accountability in funds distribution

Nigeria’s foremost civic-tech organization leading the advocacy for accountability, transparency, and effective service delivery in Nigeria, BudgIT, says it is pleased to announce that the 2023 GovSpend Media Fellowship will run from September to November 2023.

Recall that in 2021, BudgIT launched, a visual platform that provides citizens, CSOs, the media, and stakeholders access to simplified data from the Federal Government’s Open Treasury Portal. Based on this, the GovSpend Media Fellowship is BudgIT’s effort to train and equip journalists with the necessary skills to effectively utilize the GovSpend platform and other relevant subjects, such as creative communication and data-driven storytelling.

A statement from Nancy Odimegwu, the organization’s communications associate, noted that for the 2023 edition, 12 journalists will be selected, with two from each of Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones.

The application period for the GovSpend Media Fellowship will commence on Wednesday, August 2nd, 2023 (noon WAT) and end on August 14th, 2023 (5:00 pm WAT). Experienced civil society leaders, journalists, industry experts, and media fellows will review submissions and conduct interviews for successful applicants between August 15 and 25, 2023. After this, shortlisted applicants will be announced on Monday, August 28, 2023. A monthly stipend of N200,000 will be provided to the fellows to support their reporting and logistics.

Commenting on this initiative, Iyanuoluwa Bolarinwa, BudgIT’s Acting Head of Open Government and Institutional Partnerships, noted that BudgIT would evaluate the feedback from the fellows regarding the program’s impact on their careers and consider their perspectives on its usefulness and any potential area for improvement. “In addition, we will monitor public reception and impressions of the stories published by the fellows, taking into account the feedback and reactions from citizens,” he added.

At the end of the fellowship, BudgIT will extend post-training support to the fellows and ensure the ongoing maintenance of the GovSpend portal for the general public’s continuous use.

This project is supported by the MacArthur Foundation as part of its commitment to journalism in Nigeria and partnership with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, ICIR.

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