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BUDGIT, CODE commence tracking of COVID-19 Intervention Funds in Nigeria

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BudgIT’s co-founder Olusegun Onigbinde

BudgIT Foundation in partnership with Connected Development (CODE) has launched the COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP) to track COVID-19 intervention funds in Nigeria and six other African countries.

The communication directors of the two organisations, Iyanu Fatoba and Kevwe Oghide, who made the disclosure, said they would be leveraging on their Tracka and Follow The Money platforms, as well as international chapters to activate a Pan-African tracking system for all COVID-19 funds received and donated to the affected countries.

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According to the groups, the project would address the threat of lack of accountability and the effects of COVID-19 on socio-economic development.

They noted: “The response to pandemics should prioritise the participation of citizens, including needs assessments and provision of palliatives, procurement, and delivery of items. Thus, the primary aim of this project will be to drive citizens’ engagement as well as innovative capabilities of tech tools to develop an interactive portal on data relevant to COVID-19, and use these data to enable collaboration between citizen fact-checking programmes and public institutions.”

They noted that beyond the engagement sessions with focus non-profit and frontline leaders, the project would visualise and disseminate the contribution of stakeholders to the COVID-19 Relief Fund and other related programmes.

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The organisations added: “More importantly, requests of citizens in vulnerable areas will be itemised while both organisations’ SMS-to-web platform will be leveraged to deliver relevant data to the government and other stakeholders based on citizens’ requests.

“The project will also curate stories of COVID-19 case management, palliative measures, and its impact on the citizens.

“BudgIT and CODE are committed to working with relevant partners to understand the current transparency and accountability frameworks in focus countries and devise strategies that combine citizen tracking and advocacy for reforms. Both organisations will promote collaboration and learning among local partners so they can be more effective and share lessons about accessing data, mobilising citizens, and engaging governments.

“Our plan is to strengthen existing tools and build new ones where necessary. These tools must match citizens’ needs in the current emergency response and use this platform as a means to drive accountability on the importance of optimising public resources in an emergency situation.”

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