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COVID: Follow The Money wins World Summit Award for citizen engagement

COVID: Follow The Money wins World Summit Award for citizen engagement
February 08
23:05 2022

Follow The Money (FTM), a social accountability initiative of Connected Development (CODE), has been named one of the 40 winners of the 2021 World Summit Awards.

Out of 290 nominees from 182 countries, FTM, alongside 39 other initiatives from 29 countries, was recognised by an international jury for providing digital solutions that are contributing to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

FTM emerged winner in the category of ‘government and citizen engagement’, affirming its position as one of Africa’s leading accountability home-grown initiatives shaping the world.

Commenting on the feat, Hamzat Lawal, FTM founder, said in a statement that the real reward is watching FTM grow into a powerful movement that is positively impacting lives and enabling democracy.

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“The global pandemic specifically demonstrated the importance of digital solutions and the 2021 WSA winners are an excellent example of how digital solutions and applications can help protect the environment, support healthcare, provide inclusive and high-quality education, connect people and share relevant information,” the statement reads.

“Known for fostering accountability and transparency in governance, back in 2019, FTM won the United Nations mobiliser of the year award at the SDG Global Fest.

“During the heat of the pandemic, FTM deployed digital tools; social media, google form and sheets to gather data on COVID-19 donations, interventions and spendings in Africa and used the data to advocate for transparency and accountability in its expenditures.

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“As a result, more state governors in Nigeria, who were not willing to release information on COVID-19 spendings, were forced to publish the expenditures, while some countries like Malawi fired principal public officers.

“In 10 years, FTM has impacted over 390 grassroot communities, with the help of over 8000 dedicated community champions, and the movement is present in 10 African countries, including Nigeria. Our collective reward is measured in the number of lives we have impacted and our direct action in enabling democracy.”

Other WSA winners in the same category as FTM (Nigeria) are: My Parliament (Lithuania), IRMA (Netherlands), Urban Platform (Portugal) and TASMU (Qatar).

Speaking on the 2021 winners, Peter Bruck, WSA chairman, noted that each winner was reviewed for sustainability, aim, technical and strategic finesse, adding that they presented a “wonderful showcase of purpose-driven innovation and entrepreneurship”.

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“The WSA winners combine two major focus points – the commitment on the UN SDGs and solving societies issues with smart content application,” Bruck said.

“Evaluated by an international expert jury in 2 stages – a multi-stakeholder college unique in terms of diversity and background – the 40 WSA Winners 2021 have been tried for sustainability, aim, technical and strategic finesse.

“This year’s challenges show more than ever how much digital means can offer progress and solutions.”

In 2019, FTM won the United Nations mobiliser of the year award at the SDG Global Fest.

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