Are you a newsroom based in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Togo, Uganda or  Zambia, and interested in strengthening the capacities of your CheckDesk?

Code for Africa, through its African Fact-Checking Alliance (AFCA), is offering an intensive six to eight-month incubation programme for media organisations based in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Togo, Uganda or Zambia with an interest in building a CheckDesk within its newsroom. 

A CheckDesk is a dedicated fact-checking/verification unit within a news organisation, fact-checking organisation or Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

Successful organisations will receive hands-on technical training and support to help them develop economically viable models and establish editorial production systems for their CheckDesks.

The US State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) supports the programme.

The incubation programme

The incubation programme seeks to build a diversified ecosystem of local fact-checking champions to aid in the fight against misinformation and disinformation. The programme will consist of:

  1. Financial support: The chosen organisations will receive a modest grant to cover eligible activities and costs.
  2. Technical support: CfA will offer hands-on technical training, followed by one-on-one project mentorship, along with support from CfA’s staff technologists, data analysts, multimedia producers and editors. 
  3. Publishing support: The newsrooms will publish their fact-checking products generated under the project on their respective media platforms, and will additionally receive support to publish internationally. 
  4. Organisation building: The selected organisations will receive online consultations with CfA to assist them in better understanding their audience, refining their fact-checking offering and developing potential revenue models.
  5. Growing reach: CfA will offer amplification/growth support, including scaling/syndication support.

Still interested? Check if you are eligible:

  1. The organisation must not work for any paramilitary or security organisation.
  2. The organisation must be based in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Togo, Uganda or  Zambia
  3. The organisation must have an existing online presence, including an actively maintained website and/or social media profiles, or a substantive commitment to establish an online presence at the beginning of the programme.
  4. The organisation must have internet access and internet-capable devices for participating journalists/trainees/researchers to enable them to access project resources and undertake their fact-checking assignments.
  5. The organisation must have skilled and available editorial staff (journalists and supervising editors) or managerial staff who are committed to participating in the period agreed upon.
  6. The organisation must commit to timely and open communication from the management and seconded team members.
  7. The seconded trainees must commit to agreed-upon weekly online training and task-based class assignments.
  8. The organisation must commit to broadcasting or publishing content produced through the programme in the specified cadence and driving engagement on an appropriate public platform.
  9. The seconded trainees must be fluent in either the language of tuition and mentorship: English or French.

If your organisation is eligible, please apply by no later than 12 February 2024 by completing this form.

About the Partners:

Code for Africa (CfA) is the continent’s largest network of digital democracy laboratories, with over 100 full-time data scientists, forensic researchers, technologists and digital storytellers working in support of investigative media and watchdog CSO partners in 26 African countries. CfA builds digital solutions that provide actionable information to citizens to encourage informed decisions, while also 

amplifying voices to strengthen civic engagement for improved public governance and evidence-driven accountability. CfA will give fellows access to support from its openAFRICA data ‘liberation’ team, the commons.AFRICA open source team, the source.AFRICA evidence research team, and a string of wider communities that CfA manages including the africanDRONE community of civic drone/mapping pioneers, the sensor.AFRICA community that uses remote sensors to monitor air/water/radiation and other environmental information, the PesaCheck fact-checking team that debunks misinformation, the iLAB forensic investigation team that tracks and exposes hate speech or other toxic content, the CivicSignal media monitoring and content analysis team, and the WanaData network of women data scientists/storytellers who liberate and amplify feminist data.

The Global Engagement Center‘s mission is to direct, lead, synchronize, integrate, and coordinate U.S. Federal Government efforts to recognise, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining or influencing the policies, security, or stability of the United States, its allies, and partner nations.