08.07.2019 - UNESCO Office in Harare

Zimbabwean Farai Matiashe wins IATI award

Farai Matiashe (24) won the prestigious award for the global aid research competition organised by UNESCO, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). He was presented with his prize, a laptop, during a ceremony hosted by UNDP Zimbabwe in collaboration with the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) on 5th July 2019.

“What is interesting is that this competition was targeting young journalists while some competitions usually target mid-career and senior journalists while leaving us out yet we are the future of journalism. Thank you UNDP, UNESCO and IATI for remembering us the young journalists”, said Farai soon after receiving his award. 

Farai commended the competition organisers for giving young and upcoming journalists a platform to share their work. He highlighted that the competition helped him to improve his skills in data journalism, which is significant in modern journalism.

UNESCO ROSA Director and Representative, Prof. Hubert Gijzen said the award to Farai should be a reminder for “us to reflect on the importance of universal access to information for development cooperation to be transparent and accountable”.

He added that Farai represents millions of young people in Southern Africa who are ready to contribute to the region’s democratic dividend, that is in line with the commitment made at  the 38th Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit where young people were placed at the centre of its agenda.

UNDP Zimbabwe Resident Representative, Georges van Montfort congratulated Farai for winning the challenge.

“Congratulations to Farai for winning IATI’s Research Challenge for Journalists. He is a very talented journalist who has illustrated how important aid transparency and open data is for communicating efforts to drive sustainable development,” he said.

Farai won with his submission entitled: ‘Through empowerment: World Vision Zimbabwe (WVZ) is tackling barriers that hinder progress in women and young girls’. His essay highlighted a World Vision programme that partnered with the private sector to provide bicycles to young girls who struggled to reach their nearest school. He shared the experience of an eight-year-old girl, Shamiso from Lupane District in Matebeleland North Province, approximately 460 kilometres from the capital Harare.

Farai submitted the winning essay to IATI’s Research Challenge for Journalists, that was done to promote aid transparency and the universal access to information. The competition invited young journalists to investigate ‘How aid and other external resources are being used to achieve sustainable development’ – by exploring data published to International Aid Transparency Initiative.

The competition was launched on the International Day for the Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) 2018, under the patronage of Christophe Deloire, Secretary-General of Reporters without Borders. A panel of expert judges reviewed entries from young people across the world and unanimously agreed that Farai’s essay made the best use of open aid data.

In 2018 over US$152 billion of spending was published to IATI by governments, multilateral institutions, private sector and civil society organisations. IATI data on over one million development and humanitarian projects can be accessed easily at d-portal.org.

For more information visit: https://iatistandard.org/en/news/iati-research-challenge-for-journalists-2018-winner-announced/ 

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