What is your idea? What makes it innovative? Why is it important?
Can local journalists equipped with smart phones help improve accountability and transparency in development aid? This pilot project uses journalism as a tool for independent reporting on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in Ghana.
Diarrhoea, a disease largely attributable to unsafe water and poor hygiene, contributes to the high child mortality rate in Ghana . An estimated 3.4 million school days of 5 to 14 year olds are lost to diarrhoea. One in 5 Ghanaians has to defecate in the open because they have no access to a toilet. Helping to improve this situation are over 50 local and international organizations active in the water and sanitation sector.
Local communities often don’t know what is happening in the development sector. The aim of the project is to engage local media talent in the monitoring and evaluation of water and sanitation projects in their area. Secondly, implementing agencies are increasingly required by their funders to show positive impact. However, few publish independent monitoring and evaluation reports. They may not have the resources to do so or they may be afraid of negative publicity. Rather, communication efforts mostly come from the project itself. Community journalists can fill the gap with independent [video] reports on water, sanitation and hygiene projects.
The project will support the local capacity of selected journalists to evaluate WASH using local and international expertise through trainings lead by:
• A local NGO in Ghana,
• IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre on monitoring and evaluation, and
• A media partner in the Netherlands active in Africa.
Replication will be enabled through the development of a detailed open community toolkit on planning, training, and communication strategy development..