Do you want to help debunk conspiracy claims and other toxic misinformation in indigenous languages in Somalia?

Code for Africa (CfA), through its African Fact-Checking Alliance (AFCA), is offering an intensive five-month incubation programme for Somalia-based media organisations. The initiative is premised on helping new organisations establish their CheckDesks and grow the local fact-checking ecosystem, as a way to deepen their monitoring/debunking activities.

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 support grants to establish fact-checking desks or products. Additionally, they will benefit from hands-on technical training and support to develop economically viable models and set up editorial production systems for their CheckDesks.

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 organisation(s) 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 organisation(s) 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. You must not work for government institutions, state-funded media or any paramilitary or security organisation.
  2. The newsroom or media organisation must be based in Somalia.
  3. You must be an established journalist/researcher/editor/manager in a newsroom or media-focused watchdog civil social organisation, social enterprise, or research/policy institute with a verifiable publishing history.
  4. 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.
  5. The media organisation or newsroom must be a member of the AFCA network. If it is not at the time of application, fill out this form to become an AFCA member, before applying.
  6. The participants designated by the newsroom must commit to using their new skills and tools to produce regular fact-checks, and must publish/broadcast the debunks on the newsroom’s platform or an appropriate public platform.
  7. The participants must be fluent in either the language of tuition and mentorship: English and Somali/Arabic.
  8. The fact-checks must be produced/published in English. Somali is optional.
  9. The participants must have access to a home laptop/computer with internet connection, to participate in online classes and benefit from the digital mentorship and electronic resources.
  10. The organisation must have skilled and available editorial staff (journalists and supervising editors) or managerial staff committed to participating in the period agreed upon.
  11. The organisation must commit to timely and open communication from the management and seconded team members.
  12. The seconded trainees must commit to agreed-upon weekly online training and task-based class assignments.
  13. 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.
  14. Participants must commit to sharing their new skills and insights within their organisation and wider journalistic/research fraternity, by demonstrating their projects and techniques to peers.

If you are eligible, apply by no later than 12 April 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.

African Fact-checking Alliance (AFCA) is a pan-African ‘self-help’ community of desks, with 167 member newsrooms in 21 countries that commit to ongoing incremental skills sharing. We also give seed resources for proof-of-concept projects & collaboration.