Encouraging citizens to Follow The Money in Nigeria

Lucky Umezulike

20 Mar 2019, 10:30 a.m.
Room CC9, Level -1 (Conference Centre)

Corruption, contracted transparency and poor social accountability are governance challenges one might find in every developing country. These phenomena are more common in Sub-Saharan Africa where weak institutions cannot implement the required checks and balances necessary for effective democratic and accountable governance.

Since 2012, Connected Developmentā€™s initiative, Follow The Money (FTM), has been at the frontline of technology driven initiatives that seek to address these governance challenges, first in Nigeria and now in other African countries.

The initiative tracks government spending in rural communities for open government, service delivery and poverty reduction, and launched the ifollowthemoney.org platform to broaden impact, decentralise its operations, mobilise citizens to follow the money themselves and exchange knowledge on FTM activities.

This open source platform has recorded mass followership in just a year, with an estimate of 4,000 journalists, community champions, activists, and data enthusiasts as users. In addition, the initiative has used other technology tools such as radio, social media and mobile phones in the course of its work.

Alisa presents a critical examination of the operations and methodologies of Follow The Money, especially the role and impact of technology in its strategy, investigating how these technologies have inspired citizens to perform virtual and real time public oversight and have facilitated public spending data access/exchange.