Applications for the ACRP Reporting Grants 2022 on Digital Identity, Data & Technology in Africa are now open. The Africa-China Reporting Project (ACRP) at the Wits Centre for Journalism in Johannesburg with support from Omidyar Network, and in collaboration with Paradigm Initiative, invites journalists worldwide to submit proposals for reporting grants.
Successful applicants will be provided with a reporting grant to investigate issues related to 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 will also be participating in the Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum (DRIF): Towards a digitally inclusive and rights-respecting Africa, 27-28 April, Nigeria where a panel of journalists will 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.
Potential Issues to be Investigated
The following themes can guide journalists to identify specific topics for investigating issues around digital identity in 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 benefits and unintended consequences of how technology is used or consumed; ethical uses of technology and data; social credit scoring algorithms; artificial intelligence 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).
Benefits from ACRP Reporting Grants
- Successful applicants will be provided with a reporting grant of $1,000.
Eligibility for ACRP Reporting Grants
- Open to journalists worldwide.
- Applicant may be freelancers or journalists working in a newsroom.
Application of ACRP Reporting Grants
Applications must be sent to [email protected] by no later than Thursday, 21 April 2022 and should contain the following (only documents in MS Word or PDF formats will be accepted):
- Applicant CV
- A brief proposal outlining (a) story to be investigated with a clear headline and explanation of story relevance and significance, (b) investigation methodology, (c) proposed publication/platform, and (d) itemized budget totaling no more than US$1,000.
- List of previously published relevant reporting, if any.
Lastly, It is important to visit the official website link found below to access the application form.
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