The following is a guest post kindly provided by the team at Follow the Money.
On Friday 16 June 2014, the Follow The Money Team launched another campaign to help relocate about 3,000 citizens of flood prone Gutsura – a community in Zamfara, Northern Nigeria. The ‘Abuja Data Party’ was a follow up to our Open Data Day Abuja event at the space acquired in central Abuja with support from The Indigo Trust.
As part of the event, our small team conducted a data expedition class for about 45 registered participants that included activists, government officials, journalists, civil society groups and students. “We believe sharing knowledge of curating data for good, can and will inspire our participants” said Ojonwa Miachi, our data expedition facilitator. During the expedition session, datasets of primary schools in Borno, Zamfara and Nasarawa were restructured and released to the public.
For the team at Follow The Money #RelocateGutsura Tweet-a-thon at the Open Data event was to create an initial visibility on the story of Gutsura sharing firsthand testimonies and our findings from the victims during our community outreach. During the 30 mins session, pre-written and co-ordinated tweets from about 30 participants reached about 200,000 people online.
11 days after the Tweet-a-thon, Mohammed Tukur, a spokesperson for Gutsura confirmed to the team that the Governor of Zamfara State, visited the flood proned #Gutsura and promised to relocate the community.
Also as part of the Open Data Party the team unveiled the new web platform called Bekudi (meaning Follow The Money) in Hausa language. The platform was developed to create a feedback loop between citizens, government and international aid spending on community projects. Citizens can report via the SMS no: 0708-866-5707 and through the report form on the web page.
While using the same strategy used for the #SaveBagega campaign which helped in bringing access to treatment of lead poisoned children, Follow The Money hopes the people of Gutsura will be relocated before the rains starts. “These are voiceless communities that need people that understands their plight to amplify their voices in an innovative way, and that is what Follow The Money team is doing” reiterated Ajah David, a participant at the Abuja Data Party.
To access the primary school datasets mentioned in the article, click here.
Hamzat Lawal, Co-Creator/Team Lead