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.
Build and launch LandQuest, an online database of Kenyan land ownership accessible to citizens online and through a mobile app.
Kenyan land rights advocates including the Federation of Slum Dwellers and Pamoja Trust and crowd-sourced aggregators of corruption such as I Paid a Bribe lack the verifiable evidence to pursue specific cases.
In Kenya, identity, livelihood and often survival are defined by land. Yet corruption thrives in the current property boom and journalists struggle to cover land issues. A free and accessible database of land ownership managed by the leading data journalists will ensure access to trusted land information and news coverage.
Internews data journalism trainees will source the information from deeds offices, archives, legal documents, media references, and online open data. While most of this data are public information, much of it cannot be accessed because of bureaucracy or deliberate concealment. To promote broad access, records will be displayed through maps and a simple question and answer interface that can be accessed by smart and simple phones. For individuals and journalists seeking to investigate contested sets of information, data will be downloadable in simple tables. Journalists will tell both data-driven and personal stories of LandQuest users reclaiming their land rights.
Internews experts will develop and manage the population of and outreach for the Oracle Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) that organized data by county, owners, land prices, court cases, legal restrictions, GPS and public services. Journalists currently participating in Internews data journalism training will find the data in digital and analog formats and enter it into the RDBMS. Internews will lead the outreach among citizens affected by land misinformation and participating journalists will profile several LandQuest users as they search for information about their land and seek restitution. Internews will work with its local partner Bityarn, a Kenyan technology firm designed to impact Kenyan communities through development of innovative and capacity building applications.
Internews has built communities of journalists and technologists with experience working together to liberate, curate, analyze and visualize government data. The relationship has enriched the quality of reporting on governance issues and provided technologists the opportunity to use their skills for the public good. We also have a network of citizens trained in engaging with their local community radio stations via SMS. The LandQuest database would be an opportunity to bring together and leverage the combined skills and communication potential of journalists, technologists and citizens through an online and mobile platform to bring transparency to land ownership.
Internews proposes to partner with Kenya’s Ministries of Lands and Local Government and the Nairobi City Council, which have been under immense pressure to address issues of land abuse in the country. Once the database is completed, Kenyans will pay a small fee to search for information about land.