ICIR trains journalists on strengthening public accountability and knowledge project

THE International Centre for Investigative Reporting (The ICIR) has concluded a two-day training for selected journalists on the Strengthening Public Accountability for Results and Knowledge Project christened SPARK2.

The training, which had participants drawn from Oyo, Anambra, Niger, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Kano and Ogun states across print, electronic and digital media, was held in Abuja between Wednesday, March 13 and Thursday, March 14.

The project supported by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) aims to examine factors contributing to the appalling state of the healthcare and agricultural sector in Nigeria.

SPARK2  also aimed to address significant challenges and power relations and provide system-level evidence across the two thematic areas on challenges in the delivery of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund -(BHCPF), Maternal Service  Scheme-(MSS), and the Agriculture Development Projects across SPARK’s focal states.

It also focuses on systemic, political, and economic issues such as inadequate budgetary support, the influence of party politics in policy, gender disparities as well as cultural and other nuanced influences that impact on outcomes.

It was designed to build the capacity of journalists to hold power bearers, policymakers, and implementers accountable by publishing focused special and investigative reports and documentaries on delivery end at Primary Health Care, Ward Development Committees, across commodity groups within Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation (SWOFON) networks in the focal states to report and investigate the health and agriculture sectors.

participants during an investigative sharing workshop
participants during an investigative sharing workshop

THE ICIR will also provide financial support for the selected journalists to undertake critical investigative and data-driven reports on the health and agriculture sector in Nigeria.

Some of the participants interviewed by The ICIR, Vincent Yusuf from Daily Trust and Ibukun Emiola from News Agency of Nigeria, in their remarks, lauded the training programme and said it would positively impact their future.



    The Executive Director of The ICIR, Dayo Aiyetan, highlighted the importance of the training in his opening remarks and stressed its significance for journalists, urging them to take a proactive approach to the #SPARK2 project while emphasising the importance of not just reporting and writing but also actively tracking its impacts as a follow-up measure.

    Executive Director of The ICIR, Dayo Aiyetan
    Executive Director of The ICIR, Dayo Aiyetan

    The Country Director of the IBP, Babalola Olayinka, shared her delight in being involved in the #SPARK2 project. She noted that the project is focused on adopting a systematic change approach, with a focus on identifying those directly impacted.

    The Country Director, IBP,  Babalola Olayinka.

    The Programme Coordinator, IBP,  Ogechi Gift Okebugwu, from the Smallholder women farmers, also expressed her enthusiasm about the #SPARK2 project. She provided an overview of the project’s goal, which aimed to enhance the quality of life for smallholder women farmers in Nigeria.

    The Programme Coordinator SWOFON, Ogechi Gift Okebugwu

    The organiser said in the last five years, the Centre had worked to build the journalists’ capacity to undertake investigative, data-driven reporting,  strengthening accountability and engendering effective service delivery for citizens, particularly at the sub-regional level.

    Blessing Otoibhi is a Multimedia Journalist and Anchor host for the News in 60 seconds at The International Center For Investigative Reporting. You can shoot her a mail via [email protected] or connect on Twitter @B_otoibhi

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