As a rule, we do not support projects or organisations in North Africa. A couple of years ago, though, we were very excited to see a parliamentary monitoring project starting up in Morocco and so we decided to help get it off the ground. Fast forward to now and Nouabook has become the go-to place for Moroccans wanting to find out more about their parliamentarians and how to connect with them to ask them questions about a range of issues from education to health and national defence to energy. To date, SimSim – the group behind Nouabook – have engaged an impressive number of politicians from a wide range of parties in the project. Using online media, video and a network of volunteer reporters they have collected questions and answers from all around the country.
We are delighted to be supporting Nouabook with a grant of £17,600 which will be used to cover core costs, some tech consultancy and help them through the next few months which will see elections happening in early October. Unsurprisingly, parliamentary monitoring and contact sites can see surges in activity around elections, as people try to work out who’s in and who’s out, how parliamentarians have responded to particular issues and what their interests are. It will be an interesting few months and we are keen to see how things progress.