Follow the Money emerges winner of the Council of Europe Democracy Innovation Award 2019 at the closing session of the 2019 World Forum for Democracy held in Strasburg.
Follow the Money, an initiative of Connected Development, is a network of grassroots citizens in Nigeria dedicated to advocating, visualizing and tracking government and international aid spending in rural communities.
Follow the Money is a participatory advocacy-based initiative that advocates for the proper use of government and international aid funds in grassroots communities, to ultimately ensure that public services work for the people. It is a network of activists, social workers, lawyers, journalists, development consultants, researchers and data analysts, that have signed up on its social mobility platform. It uses media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, as well as mainstream media, to amplify the voices of marginalised communities.
The Council of Europe’s Democracy Innovation Award is given by the Secretary-General each year to the World Forum for Democracy’s most popular initiative, which was presented in the labs, voted upon by the Forum participants.
The award is an original work of the artist Ilana Isehayek.
The Forum brought together 2,000 participants and 250 speakers from all over the world to discuss information and democracy this year.
Three initiatives out of the 27 discussed at the Forum were shortlisted for the final vote:
- Follow the Money (Nigeria) – presented at the workshop “Rebuilding Trust in Institutions”
- alGOVrithms (ePaństwo Foundation/CRTA, Poland) – presented at the workshop “The Human Brain: The Ultimate FactChecker?”
- Le Drenche (France) – presented at the workshop “Local journalism at the frontline of the information?”
Follow the Money defeated the finalists AlGOVrithm, ePaństwo Foundation/CRTA of Poland and Le Drenche of France through a vote by delegates to clinch the award.
Hamzat Code, the Chief Executive Officer of Connected Development, while reacting to the award on Twitter, expressed excitement over the world recognition of the initiative as a tool for democratic engagements in ensuring accountability.
“Follow The Money won the @coe Democracy Award 2019 in France and received by my colleague who leads our communications @preshest. I am super excited that our Nigeria home-grown initiative have been recognized as a tool for democratic engagements in ensuring accountability”