Digital and Technology Reporting Grant ; Successful applicants are going to be given a reporting grant of US$1,000 to research issues associated with digital identity, surveillance, internet shutdowns, freedom of expression online, access to information, privacy, Internet access, women’s rights online, digital empowerment for underserved communities, inclusive digital access, data privacy, and technology in Africa.
APPLICATIONS: Reporting grants on digital identity, data & technology in Africa
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Reporting grants on digital identity, data & technology in Africa
The Africa-China Reporting Project (ACRP) at the Wits Centre for Journalism in Johannesburg with support from Omidyar Network, and together with Paradigm Initiative, invites journalists worldwide to submit proposals for reporting grants.
Successful applicants are going to be given a reporting grant of US$1,000 to research issues associated with digital identity, surveillance, internet shutdowns, freedom of expression online, access to information, privacy, Internet access, women’s rights online, digital empowerment for underserved communities, inclusive digital access, data privacy, and technology in Africa.
The ACRP also will be participating within the Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum (DRIF): Towards a digitally inclusive and rights-respecting Africa, 27-28 April, Nigeria where a panel of journalists are going to be selected from the previous Digital identity, data & technology in Africa workshops and reporting grant series of 2019 and 2021, to reflect on the impact of their published investigations.
See below for a way to use and therefore the Potential issues to be investigated.
The importance of reporting on digital identity, data and technology
As governments and businesses worldwide innovate and digitize their identification processes, having a digital identity are often increasingly valuable, if not required, for people to get healthcare, education, employment, bank services, purchases and trade; and to pay taxes, amass capital, own property, lend money, open businesses, express themselves online and travel.
While digital identity has massive implications for economies and societies, only a few people understand how they themselves are digitally identified; how their information is employed by businesses, governments, and individuals; what rights they have; what risks they’re exposed to; and what safeguards are or might be in situ . Journalism and on-the-ground investigations are crucial for advancing general knowledge and understanding of digital identity and to shift thinking beyond government and business objectives by illustrating human experiences.
REPORT: Journalism Workshop on Digital Identity, Data & Technology in Africa, 23-26 August 2021, Abuja, Nigeria
Main themes: Open Forum – Key Voices on Digital Identity and Data Privacy in Africa
REPORT: Workshop on Digital Identity, Data & Technology in Africa, 28-31 October 2019
ID4D Data: Global Identification Challenge by the Numbers (World Bank)
ID4Africa Annual Meeting 2019 Presentations
Personal Data Protection Guidelines for Africa (African Union)
How to Apply
Applications must be sent to ACRPapplications@gmail.com by no later than Thursday, 21 April 2022 and will contain the subsequent (only documents in MS Word or PDF formats are going to be accepted):
A brief proposal outlining
(a) story to be investigated with a transparent headline and explanation of story relevance and significance,
(b) investigation methodology,
(c) proposed publication/platform, and
(d) itemized budget totaling no quite US$1,000.
List of previously published relevant reporting, if any.
Please send any queries to ACRPcontact@gmail.com
Potential issues to be investigated
The following themes can guide journalists to spot specific topics for investigating issues around digital identity within the Nigerian/West African context:
•Regional, national and community government-issued IDs (e.g. plans/promises, purposes/rationales, best practices and challenges, public reactions and experiences, lessons for and application in African countries)
•Private sector data practices (e.g. industry approaches to data protection, consent, privacy policies, cyber security, data sharing, Know-Your-Customer requirements, technology innovations, compliance with regulation, breaches, penalties and positive incentives).
•Governance, regulations, transparency, and accountability (e.g. privacy and data protection laws, CCTV/surveillance laws, standards, codes of conduct, independent oversight at regional or continent-wide levels, grievance processes, procurement processes, litigation, budgets, public engagement, access and representation, data bill of rights, data trusts).
•Technology innovations and start-up companies (e.g. privacy-by-design approach; “reg tech”; the promise of blockchain; the implications of biometrics, “adtech”; privacy-protecting tools; encryption; identities traded on the dark web; de-identification; open-source code; the advantages and unintended consequences of how technology is employed or consumed; ethical uses of technology and data; social credit scoring algorithms; AI to sharpen identification; hacking; locally developed solutions; futuristic technologies not yet on the market that digitally identify people).
•Foreign partnerships and investors (e.g. private companies’ data collection, data localization, African perspectives on such collaborations, technology transfers, adoption of systems first piloted outside of Africa, Chinese firms’ AI-based identification systems drawing on CCTV and government ID databases).
•Development and security agendas and human rights (e.g. data permanently , inclusion, discrimination-by-design, IDs for migrants and refugees, citizenship/immigration issues, humanitarian crises, links to poverty alleviation and youth empowerment, African perspectives on the freedoms enabled or put in danger by a digital identity).
•Risks and harms (e.g. use of identity information that leads to surveillance, exclusion, manipulation, discrimination, oppression, violence, loss and reputation issues, distrust and power imbalances).
Trends and research (e.g. emerging issues and use cases across communities, the increase of self-asserted IDs, customer preferences, trust in institutions, breaches and fraud , fraud, technology failure).
•Privacy and user control (e.g. an African perspective on privacy, privacy as a fundamental right/public good vs.
•fee-based service, consumer rights, the commercialisation of our identities, treating African data as an African resource, experiences with data ownership, Africa-based data agents/fiduciaries).