The rocky state of Nigeria’s democracy can rightly be attributed to corruption within our institutions and systems. From the lowest levels of society to private and public institutions involving every individual regardless of social, economic or political class. This has called for a greater involvement and intentional efforts of corruption stakeholders both state and non-state actors, especially young anti-corruption change agents and activists. YIAGA AFRICA overtime have remained invested in promoting transparency, good governance, building community of experts that can support government institutions and demand for accountability thereby contributing to curbing the menace of corruption in Nigeria so as to allow national development to thrive.
In June 2019, YIAGA AFRICA’s Strengthening Citizens Resistance Against the Prevalence of Corruption (SCRAP-C) project trained media and civil societies on Evidence Based Reporting of Corruption in Enugu State Nigeria as a way to improve their skills and technical knowhow in identifying, reporting and employing tools available to them to cause considerable and measurable change. Since impact must be measurable, on 25 November, 2019 YIAGA AFRICA’s Accountability and Social Justice team led by its Program Officer Tracy Keshi carried out an Impact Assessment workshop in Enugu State aimed at collating verifiable evidences from youth groups who reported corruption in the state using the investigative tools learnt from the youth capacity training on evidence based reporting of corruption which held in June. This stems from the fact that in other to correctly fight against corruption, documentation is of the essence. Beneficiaries shared reports on events implemented while utilizing knowledge gained such as writing Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, conducting social audits, and advocacy from the Evidence Based Reporting training which was documented by the Research/M&E Personnel Ezekiel Onu.
During the focus group discussion on their successes and challenges, these youth groups made up of Civil Society and Media provided documentations of their results, challenges, lessons learnt and opportunities foreseen. From small issues such as the lack of provision of toilets by landlords in slum houses, dilapidated infrastructure in a health institution to large scale issues in the power sector. ‘I formed collaborations with other CSO’s like Follow The Money, ActionAid and Media outlets’ said one of the participant.
Another outstanding impact story is how one group has created anti-corruption policies within their organisation which other organisations are now adopting and how another is ensuring a fixed term in the leadership of his religious organisation. The media participants present expatiated on the innovative initiatives they are creating such as engaging episodes; radio show on ongoing corruption campaigns, whistle blowing, Persons With Disability and their connection to corruption, amplifying anti-corruption efforts of other youth groups on social media platforms such as Twitter especially now with Nigeria’s heated scenery of the #SayNoToSocialMediaBill while others are providing free platforms for their cohorts of anti-corruption change agents to reach a larger audience and create more impact. One of the challenges highlighted by these media groups is that most anti-corruption change agents working on key issues are not media friendly and have not been able to key in to these platforms hence the need to build capacity in this area.
In other to create synergy, help find solutions to challenges, bank in on available opportunities and expand on the successes already achieved, YIAGA AFRICA again on 26 November 2019 held a workshop for the establishment of SCRAP-C Support System to enable these young people channel their strengths as a team and deepen their accountability efforts in their various localities.
During the discussion with participants on the road map for building the Support System, Tracy Keshi encouraged the participants to run the Support Groups as their initiatives, hence the groups are tasked with deciding on the timeline of activities which includes mapping of stakeholders, meetings, and anti-corruption reporting structure. These anti-corruption change agents were grouped into three urban local governments (Enugu East, Enugu North and Enugu South) according to their local government of residence.
Drawing from the need for expertise in concise storytelling as it can aid their anti-corruption efforts, YIAGA AFRICA’s Media and Communications personnel Ovinuchi Ejiohuo concluded the workshop with a session on Storytelling for Social Impact. Going forward, YIAGA AFRICA remains committed in building strong institutions through capacity building so that all will be equipped to stand against corruption and stand #Upright4Nigeria.