Category: Annual Report

Reflections on World Book Day

Hamzat Lawal March 3, 2016 0

As you are quite aware, we are interested in government spending for education in Nigeria for local communities as education is key achieving development for any nation. For us the World Book Day celebrated on March 3 every year [it’s presently 19 years old] presents a unique opportunity to look beyond books and delve into education in Nigeria.

Regardless of structure, i.e. formal or informal, education can have a large impact on the social, political and economic spheres of life of citizens of a country.

In Nigeria’s National Policy on Education (FRN 1998), it is stated that the Federal Government has adopted education as an instrument for effecting National Development in all areas of the nation. In Nigeria’s philosophy of Education, we believe that:-

  1. Education is an instrument for national development, and the interaction of persons and ideas are all aspects of education;
  2. Education fosters the worth development of the individual, for each individual’s sake, and for general development of the society;
  3. The training of the mind in the understanding of the world around; and
  4. The acquisition of appropriate skills and competencies as equipment for the individual to live in and contribute to the development of the society.

With disparate figures on the number of Nigerians who are illiterate [In 2010, UNESCO put the number of illiterate youth at 8.6million, this is aside adults] it is imperative that we reflect on the poor reading culture of the youth and education in rural Nigeria.

When last did you enjoy a book? I’m not talking reports, figures or articles, I mean a book, with a preface, forward and all the prefixes that characterise a book. Did you muse on the characters; did you escape for a while and connect with the essence of the story? Oh books! Technology has made reading easier [we now have e-books, downloadable content we can carry on-the-go, and so on].

Just a few days ago, the chairman senate Committee on Tertiary Education and TETFund, Binta Garba, shared that $2bn is spent by the elite yearly on foreign education. She described the trend as embarrassing but noted it could be curbed if stakeholders work at strengthening the weak educational structures in the country [Weak education structure costs Nigeria $2bn annually –NASS] Is it really a shocking figure; education is expensive regardless of whether home or abroad. Families run into debt trying to put their children through school; young people take up menial jobs to make ends meet as well – all of which are a result of Nigeria’s economic standing.

Policies upon policies have been introduced to supposedly put Nigeria on the right track to educating its citizens but so far, no translated improvements have been noted.

In January 2016, the governor of Kaduna State introduced the school feeding program in his state [El Rufai to provide one meal per day to 1.5m pupils in Kaduna] as an incentive promote education and nutrition.

Professor Yemi Osinbanjo, the vice president of Nigeria announced “Teach Nigeria”, an initiative to employ 500,000 Nigerians as teachers as part of the social programs planned by President Buhari’s administration which as a planned policy sounds good but what is the capacity of the intended teachers? Are the educational infrastructure in Nigeria good enough to support such a cause?

World read aloud day

CODE at World Read Aloud Day

In line with SDG Goal 4 [Quality Education] which is aimed at ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, CODE partnered with fellow CSOs in February for the World Read Aloud Day. We encouraged children to explore the exciting world of books and discussed with teachers challenges facing education and the diminishing reading culture. 

It is key to note that despite poor education in rural Nigeria, most of the resources used for enriching the economy of the nation stems from such areas. As insurgency has left areas in North-East Nigeria vulnerable, we also have to look at new situations such as “safe education”.

Sigh! Anyways back to books. Growing up many Nigerians picked up reading in secondary school where books such as “The Passport of Mallam Iliya” by Cyprian Ekwensi, “Without A Silver Spoon”by Eddie Iroh, “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe, “The Wives’ Revolt” by J P Clark, the list is endless!

Let’s celebrate the authors, illustrators, books and reading.

You could share with us your favourite books as well and remember to instil a love of book in young people wherever you are.

Happy World Book Day.


CODE receives grant from The Indigo Trust

Hamzat Lawal February 29, 2016 0

The following blog post is reproduced from the Indigo Trust website. The original post can be found here 👇👇👇

Visitors to the Indigo site may already be familiar with the work of CODE in Nigeria (formerly Follow the Money). CODE, which uses data, social media and offline campaigning to press for more accountable and effective government, has previously received funding from us and has grown from a small start-up organisation into a much more ambitious and financially sound organisation over the last couple of years. It’s for that reason that we have awarded them with a grant of £37,492 towards core costs, including salaries and rent. We recognise the importance of supporting organisations’ core costs, realising that to do so frees them up from the day-to-day problems of covering next month’s rent and instead lets them focus on their programmes and just getting on with things.

Where Techies Come Together to Promote Peace: The Tech Camp in Niamey

Hamzat Lawal February 4, 2016 0


Over 65 participants: religious leaders and young people, from across the Niger and the Sahel met in Niamey to participate in the first TechCamp Program of the International Information of the State Department,  in partnership with the National Youth Council, focused on the fight against violent extremism.

The two-day workshop included a fully interactive session with leading technology experts from across Africa, Europe, and the USA as trainers with local leaders to strengthen digital capacity and co-create solutions to real world challenges.

The event kicked off with a welcome remark by Ambassador Eunice S. Reddick, the US ambassador to Niamey, who disclosed that it was a camp for youth and religious leaders to share their skills and expertise, and develop dynamic strategies to counter extremist messages and promote peace and tolerance.

TechCamp 2

The opening remarks was followed by a “speed – geeking” session, a fast paced project presentation where each trainer spoke for 5-minutes on how he used Social Media to sensitize and mobilize the public. The participants were broken down into smaller groups and spent 5 minutes at each stand listening to each trainer.

FB_IMG_1454044663491 FB_IMG_1454044677501

It was then followed by topics which included:
1. your audience into a community by Jamila Fagge from Voice of America Radio Hausa
2. Multimedia story Telling by Gino Hadji – A presenter and producer with Canal 3 Niger TV
3. Storytelling for Radio by Inne Kaka Moussa from Equal Access Radio
4. Social Radio for Religious Leaders by Shiek Bourama Dauoda
5. Digital Skills for job seekers by Oussama Abdelah Benhmida from LabNet – Morocco showed how 10,000 youths can be employed by learning skills like infographics making, creating digital contents etc
6. Mobile App Development by Mamadou Drame, Digital School Technologies and Mandela Washington Fellow ( YALI)
7. Connectivity, Computing access in rural areas by Ali Karim Alio, Nova Technologies, Mandela Washington (YALI)
8. Community Mapping by Orsoly Ajenei, PDEV. The Mapping for Niger which involved about thirty Geography students in mapping their communities that largely lack geographic data, and using social media to talk about the life in Niger.
9. Digital Media Strategies for Advocacy by Daouda Hamadou, NOVATECH Houssein Abil, L’Incubateur CIPMEN
10. Video Production by Sopien Ben-Achour from “Search for Common Ground”.

The first day ended with a session where the participants and the trainers developed a “Challenge statement”.

Tech Camp 5 FB_IMG_1454044722075

The second day kicked off with Networking, discussion of problem statements/challenges, brainstorming sessions of Day 1, with small group work on identifying solutions, small group problem definition refinement and action planning. I was opportune to be part of the team that worked on “How to use Information Technology(IT) as tools of communication and/for conflict resolution”.

Tech Camp 4 FB_IMG_1454044608392

Interesting and educative camps like this would not have been complete without dinners like the one at Hotel Gaweye hosted by Ambassador Eunice Reddick with all the great TechCamp Niamey committee, Trainers and participants. Many thanks to Hon Ahmed Bachaka, and my happy friends from Mauritania (Morocco), Hungary, USA, Senegal etc who made my two day in Niamey pleasant.

Ahmad Bachaka TechCAMP 00 FB_IMG_1454044584066

CODE’S Follow The Money Receives Grant from Omidyar Network

codepress October 16, 2015 0

Follow The Money, a nonprofit initiative of Connected Development [CODE] has been awarded a one-year grant of US$100,000  ( NGN19, 894, 994 million) by Omidyar Network, mainly towards the cost of their projects in local communities which includes stakeholders meetings, focus group discussions, travel support, and visualization.

Founded in 2012 by Hamzat Lawal & Oludotun Babayemi, Follow The Money uses traditional offline engagement methods and technology tools to track government and aid spending at the local level. In 2012, the initiative was able to save the lives of about 1,500 children in Bagega, Zamfara state who needed  urgent medical attention for lead poisoning.   And after the 2012 flooding in Nigeria, the group was able to track 17 Billion NGN allocated for intervention and document the impact on affected rural communities. In 2015, the group’s activities convinced the federal government of Nigeria to change its controversial US$49.8 million (NGN 9.2 billion) clean cookstoves plan.

“Foreign aid and government spending should be grounded in in how spending affects local community realities.  Government programmes that track the impact of funds in local contexts are still remarkably rare,” said Hamzat Lawal, the chief executive of Connected Development.

Omidyar Network’s grant comes through the philanthropic investment firm’s Governance & Citizen Engagement initiative, which works to build stronger and more open societies by increasing government responsiveness and citizen participation.

In the past, Follow The Money had received grants from The Indigo Trust, Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), Heinrich Boell Foundation, and Open Knowledge Foundation and The European Union.


****** END******

[In Abuja – Nigeria, for Connected Development/Follow The Money , Oludotun Babayemi +234 09 291 7545 0r/and]


For more information about Follow The Money, please visit

For more information about Omidyar Network , please visit


Editor’s Note:

Follow The Money is an initiative of Connected Development [CODE] that advocates, tracks, and visualize funds meant for local communities. The Team is made up of Researchers, Data Analysts, Campaigners, Journalists, Legal Practitioners, Activists, Information Managers, Students, and Academia & Development Consultants.


CODE is a non-government organization whose mission is to improve access to information and empower local communities in Africa. We strengthen local communities by creating platforms for dialogue, enabling informed debate, and building capacities of marginalized communities which ensure social and economic progress while promoting transparency and accountability.

Connected Development [CODE] is Hiring!

codepress July 22, 2015 0



NOTE: These positions are no more available

Connected Development [CODE] is a non government organization whose mission is to improve access to information and empower local and marginalized communities in Africa. We strengthen local communities by creating platforms for dialogue, enabling informed debate, and building capacities of marginalized communities which will bring about social and economic progress within communities, while promoting transparency and accountability.

CODE is looking for  committed, motivated and dynamic persons to join the team to contribute and enhance their activities in a professional, efficient and effective manner.

Applications are hereby invited from suitable qualified persons to fill the three full term positions below:

  1. Administrative and Finance Officer
  2. Digital Marketing and Communications Officer
  3. Programme Officer


Administrative and Finance Officer

Under the supervision of The Chief Executive, the Administrative and Finance officer will be the overall responsible for running the administrative, finance and logistics functions of Connected Development. The Administrative and Finance officer will work closely with The Chief Executive to ensure smooth day-to-day operations as well as overall office management. The Officer will also work with our various donor agencies, clients, beneficiaries and service providers.

Work Hours (8am – 5pm) from Monday – Friday except during public holidays and sometimes might need to be present at our events during the weekend

Gender: Female only

Job Purpose:

This position will perform scheduling, meeting logistics, guest receiving, and general administrative assistance for multiple experts and team as a shared resource. This role takes an administrative to juggle priorities, understand requests and needs and deliver clear and professional communications and support. This role will participate on administrative projects, deliver and track proposals, and will partner with all levels of staff, experts and the full administration team.

Responsibilities Include

Support and coordinate schedules and administrative requests for multiple CODE projects.

Anticipate and respond with quality, professional administrative support

Prepare expense reconciliations for team and volunteers

Prepare budget plans in line with work plans and financial rules and regulations and ensure that costs are reasonably estimated. Prepare budget plan revisions as required

Support implementation of activities in accordance with the budget plans and available funds

Shepherd contract or proposal process, orientation schedule, onboarding and offboarding when requested

Monitor expenditures against financial authorizations;

Prepare financial reports and updates for donors in consultation with the management.

Work well with all levels of the organization; editors, volunteers, staff, technical staff, contractors, Experts etc.

Provide administrative solutions and quality support at all times.

Hold confidentiality and ability to work with sensitive matters and information.

Ability to work with colleagues who do not have English as primary language.

Special projects as assigned including working on small to large events with other team members

Required Qualifications

A year of administrative and financial support in a medium organization/ voluntary organization/ academic institution.

Bachelor’s degree in Accounting/Finance or Administrative courses.

Demonstrated technical aptitude and savvy, ability to adjust, learn and use new and different open source s/w.

Excellent calendar management and meeting preparation skills

Excellent accounting and financial planning skills

Setting up Teleconference and video conferencing meetings

Comfortable and experienced with technology, various a/v equipment, and s/w.

Excellent writing and communication skills.

Expert in the use of Microsoft Office Suites especially Excel

Expert in the use of QuickBooks

Excellent organization and planning skills

Superior attention to detail and ability to anticipate needs and provide solutions

Excellent ability work with all levels of staff including a wide range of diversity of staff

Ability to learn, adapt and thrive in changing technical environment

Must enjoy supportive, service oriented administrative work within a team of professionals


Additional Desired Qualifications include

Experience in event planning, local or international travel and speaking additional languages (Hausa is a priority)

Open Source knowledge and strong desire to learn and be part of free access and open source movement

Working with Spreadsheets as a Travel and Expense system

International time zone and virtual community experience

Working with virtual communities

Experience with editing on Wikipedia, Google Documents or other wiki projects


Digital Marketing and Communications Officer

Under the supervision of The Chief Executive, The Digital Marketing and Communications Officer will maintain our blog, twitter handles, Facebook pages and other social media platform for several of our project. The officer will make our online platforms function as a way for us to show how our ideology to contributing to change in our small world. In doing this, he/she will actively seek out stories from our community engagement, capacity building, meetings, courtesy visits, data literacy sessions to highlight the human side of our projects and document more fully the effect that these projects have on the real world.

Work Hours (8am – 5pm) from Monday – Friday except during public holidays and sometimes might need to be present at our events during the weekend.

We are seeking a writer, transcriber, creative artist and researcher who can assist with various storytelling-related tasks to bring these stories to life.

Gender: Female applicants will be given priority for this position

Responsibilities include

Working with the Communications team to research potential stories.

Authoring of captivating Press Releases

Prepare reports in form of blogs, and stories for other traditional media

Frequent posting of relevant messages on our various Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin Pages

Management of the online platform that CODE develops in managing its project and programmes

Lead and advise on all Knowledge Management sharing tools at CODE

Online, Offline and telephone interviewing.

Transcribing audio or video interviews.

Writing and formatting unedited interviews and stories into publishable content via new media – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.

Required Qualifications

A minimum of Bachelor’s Degree in the Arts, Social Sciences or Humanities or other relevant field

Ability to understand and translate languages.

Photography, graphic arts or video production skills.

Great understanding of using blogs as reports

Excellent use of Twitter and Facebook as a social media tool for social change

High energy for and commitment to the CODE’s open knowledge and empowerment mission.

Ability to turnaround content on a tight schedule.

Exceptional verbal and written communication skills and interpersonal skills.

The ability to excel in a fast-paced, multitasking environment that demands fast turn-around.

Intellectual curiosity and flexibility that makes you enjoy tackling difficult and ambiguous problems in creative ways.

The ability to flourish in a highly transparent and collaborative environment and work on a team with diverse demographic and cultural characteristics.

Must have access to a personal computer and internet connection outside the office space.

+1 Ability to speak and understand Hausa Language and experience in planning stakeholders meetings, rural community outreaches, local or international travel and speaking additional languages

+1 Knowledge or involvement in the Connected Development [CODE] community

Programme Officer

CODE’s Strategic Plan has sets out some ambitious new directions for its work. In particular, there is an emphasis on scaling our work around Follow The Money. A key role of the Programme Officer is to spearhead and support the implementation of various components of these programmes in the northern region across the network of journalists, and activist embedded in other NGOs. In this context, the Programme officer will implement programmes and multi-national projects which we refer to as “activations” in several states in the northern region and in some case the west African region.

Work Hours (8am – 5pm) from Monday – Friday except during public holidays and sometimes might need to be present at our events during the weekend

Gender: Female applicants are encouraged to apply for this position

Responsibilities include:

The main function of the programme officer will be coordination of projects in Northern Nigeria, any part of the country and West African region.

Specifically, the Programme Officer will:

Lead community outreaches, stakeholder meetings, and other events as it relates to projects executed by CODE.

Ensure the timely and cost-effective execution of project activities, including the coordination and supervision of sub-grants and contracts with local partners and external service providers.

Strive for high-quality outputs and the greatest possible impact of project activities in order to advance the transparency and accountability agenda in the states.

Ensure that all donor contractual obligations (financial management, fund transfer requests, procurement regulations, financial and narrative reporting, etc.) for the project are met in a professional, transparent and timely manner

Work in close collaboration and ensure ongoing communication with project partners

Coordinate and monitor the implementation of project-wide work plans, budgets, reporting cycles and information systems across CODE

Work in close collaboration with the CODE team members, volunteers, consultant, and contract staffs in particular, the relevant stakeholders in each target state.

Any other tasks identified by the line manager necessary to ensure that CODE’s projects are implemented successfully.


Required Qualifications

A minimum of university degree or professional qualification in business administration, management, finance, social science, public administration, economics, or another relevant field

1/2+ years of project management experience with an NGO or International Organisation, with demonstrated in-depth knowledge on project management best practice

Knowledge of, or considerable interest in, the work of CODE and the field of anti-corruption; solid understanding of and experience in the area of corruption in the public sector and/or of political realities in Nigeria are a distinct advantage

Experience with the implementation of advocacy activities and/or advocacy training

Fluency in English; knowledge of Hausa Language would be an advantage

Highly developed teamwork and intercultural communication skills

Willingness to travel to any part of Nigeria (most especially Northern Nigeria)

Other Information about the positions and the location

CODE offer an inspiring work environment with real learning opportunities and support and all position will be based at our office in the Central Area District of Abuja

To apply:

If you will like to join our team of dedicated professionals, working in a dynamic and international environment, and you meet up with the above requirement for any of the 3 positions,

kindly send an email to with the attachment of the following document (in Word Document format or PDF) on or before August 7, 2015.


  • your cover letter (why you think we should hire you), in not more than 1 page
  • your CV or resume in not more than 3 pages


Please include the role you are applying for in the subject of the email e.g Digital Marketing and Communications Officer.

All qualified applicants will be contacted on or before August 12, 2015 , as such if you do not hear from us, please consider that we cannot admit you into our team this time, nevertheless we will add you to the list of our prospective team member.