Connected Development – Empowering marginalized communities

Connected Development (CODE) is a Nigerian NGO, founded in 2012, whose mission is to empower marginalised communities in Africa by creating platforms for dialogue, enabling informed debate, building the capacity of citizens on how to hold their government accountable, and closing the feedback loop between citizens and the government.

CODE is made up of activists, advocates, educators, mobilisers, community champions, volunteers and journalists, and its work focuses on the following four objectives:

  • Increase people’s access to information through whatever technological means they choose;
  • Increase and share innovative approaches to information exchange through experimentation, research and technology;
  • Develop innovative platforms for coverage of social, environmental and governance issues;
  • Increase the adoption and implementation of international development laws and policies.

CODE’s three core focus areas are Follow The Money, advocacy and policy influencing, and citizens mobilisation.

Follow The Money is CODE’s signature campaign through which it advocates, visualizes and tracks government and international aid funds earmarked for capital projects for the provision of health, WASH and education services in rural communities. Over the past five years, CODE has tracked projects in over 50 communities, impacting over 600 000 lives. CODE employs both traditional and new media to amplify the voices of the people in the communities where it conducts its campaigns.

Follow The Money Radio (in Abuja and Kaduna) ensures that a large percentage of the local population is able to participate in conversations about CODE’s campaigns. Online social media engagements also ensure that CODE reaches a critical mass of the youth population, the majority of which are active on various social media platforms.

In 2017, CODE visited 31 rural communities in 17 states to monitor projects and collect baseline data, corresponded with over 15 government agencies, and administered online and offline activities to enhance citizens participation.  Based on extensive data mining of states’ 2017 budgets, the Follow The Money team discovered the sum of 9.8 million naira that had been allocated for the renovation of a primary healthcare centre in Jessu community in Gombe state. A preliminary visit to the community revealed that the centre was completely derelict and community was completely unaware of the budgetary allocation for the project. The community immediately mobilised into action, engaging their government stakeholders who informed them that the implementing agency for the project is the Gombe state SDGs agency. The community engaged the agency, and today, plans are underway to begin construction of a new primary healthcare centre, a process which the community leadership is actively part of.

Through empowering communities for effective public oversight on projects and funds, CODE’s interventions also contributed to the provision of water to various communities, as well as classrooms and other school facilities for thousands of children across Nigeria.

Based on a clear understanding of the issues that affect people at the grassroots level, CODE in an advantaged position to advocate for issues that directly affect them. CODE is a member of several civil society coalitions involved in the health, environment and education sectors and utilises its expertise to contribute to evidence-based advocacy and the policy needs of people. As part of the Health Reform Coalition, CODE played a significant role in both high and low-level advocacy campaigns for the implementation of the National Health Act. In advocating for better health for Nigerian children, especially the girl child, in partnership with notable indigenous and international NGOs, CODE also convenes policy dialogues and curates articles that provide much-needed evidence for education interventions in Nigeria.

With an estimated population of 180 million people, Nigeria is blessed with abundant human resources, a large majority of which still remains untapped. Through its ifollowthemoney.org platform, CODE has mobilised over 2000 active citizens, both offline and online, who are actively taking action to empower their communities and ensure that the dividends of democracy are felt in corners country.

CODE has introduced Follow The Money state chapters across Nigeria to decentralize its operations and be more effective in its social mobilization obligations. It has also extended its activities to The New Gambia and Kenya as part of a broader strategic civil society contribution to strengthening open government in Africa.

Over the past five years, CODE has received much global attention and accolades for its work in fighting corruption in Nigeria and empowering citizens with the right tools to hold their governments accountable. Notable among these is winning the ONE Africa 2016 award for its contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.

Contact details:

Tel: +234 9 291 7545
E-mail: admin@connecteddevelopment.org
WWW: http://www.connecteddevelopment.org / http://followthemoneyng.org / http://www.ifollowthemoney.org  /
Twitter: @Connected_dev / @4lowthemoney
‏Facebook: Connected Development

This is the twentieth NGO profile of my #NGOs4Africa Campaign.

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