ANIC is looking for ideas that will transform the way that African media work. This means that your idea should offer significant and tangible improvements to existing tools or techniques, or should propose new ways for African journalists to gather news, tell stories, engage with audiences, or sustain media organisations.
Ideas that have the potential to be replicated or that could scale continentally will have an advantage.
Develop a network of citizen journalists in 52 districts in South Africa to report on health services via mobisite.
OurHealth will provide a platform for everyone who uses state health services to report on service delivery using mobile phones as our government rolls out a new health model. Citizen journalists will link to specialist journalists at Health-e News, who will follow up on major issues.
Our mobisite will link patients, citizen journalists and mainstream media. Patients will be able to comment on service delivery in real time via mobisite. Reports will be sent from the health districts by citizen journalists to the mobisite, Information will be grouped according to geographical area and subject matter eg medicine shortages.
The idea has buy-in from major players including the Health Minister. Serious complaints will be relayed to the Ombuds’ offices currently being established in all provinces by the Health Department. It is based on mobile phones, which 85% of adolescent and adult South Africans have access to.
Health-e News Service, a news agency with an established web presence, will drive this, led by Managing Editor, Kerry Cullinan, with a team of two writers, two radio journalists and two television producers to provide specialist content and mentor citizen journalists. A project co-ordinator will be employed to co-ordinate the citizen journalists and, in time, a webmaster.
We have support from advocacy groups Treatment Action Campaign, SECTION27 and a national network of youth leaders. We are in negotiations with Mxit Reach to establish a partnership. Mxit has 2 million active users who will have access to our mobisite.
We have networked extensively and are launching a pilot in five health districts serving over 7 million people in July. We are currently identifying potential citizen journalists and building district networks to support them. The districts are part of government’s pilot sites to introduce a new National Health Insurance scheme. From there, we will expand to other districts, guided by government’s NHI expansion programme to monitor their system as it is set up. We have expertise in content generation but need technical assistance to build the best possible web platform that can be accessed via a range of mobile phones.
Ultimately, we want OurHealth to be part of citizen monitoring and evaluation of government, and for it to be funded as part of the independent monitoring and evaluation structures supported by multinational agencies and inter-governmental aid grants.