It’s no longer breaking news that over ten years ago, two young Nigerians started a social movement to empower citizens with information to hold government accountable. Most recently, this movement has become very laudable with massive growth and scalability across other African countries.
A deep dive into the growth cycle of this brand, presents the enormous opportunity embedded in this social product. Follow the Money is a moving machine with the capacity to provide value for as much as 100,000 million USD and above. Every social investor should plunge in their resources into this initiative, because of its proven capacity to deliver grassroot driven social impact.
Literally, young people have adopted this model and independently are taking actions in their communities to demand and ensure that public funds work for the good of all. At the coordinating center of Follow the money in Abuja, we are currently at the stage of massive fundraising strategies to attract sustainable, flexible and unrestricted fundings to support more young activists and campaigners to initiate and activate campaigns at all levels of governance with more emphasis on deprived communities.
As we anticipate and build strategies for sustainable funding for Follow The Money, my design team at the Connected Development have innovatively married in some components of our donor funded projects to accommodate the usability and expansion of the Follow The Money model in driving social accountability and expanding the FTM movements.
A list of some project designs that incorporated the FTM Model are highlighted below:
On the Power of Voices Project funded by OXFAM Novib, our state chapter teams leveraged on the wide-spread reach of National Orientation Agency (NOA), Independent Corrupt Practices and other offenses Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) across National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camps in Akwa Ibom, Imo, Cross River, Rivers, Delta and FCT to engage youths on the power they possess in demanding transparency and accountability from elected officials for resources allocated to their communities using FollowTheMoney Model. Cumulatively, over 10,000 corps members were sensitized. Also, Akwa Ibom, Imo, Cross River, Rivers, Delta and FCT our state chapter teams embarked on setting up integrity clubs in five (5) secondary schools per State, bringing it to a total number of 30 integrity clubs. These clubs are strategically designed to train students to be champions of civic engagement and learn early in their lives, the power of their voices at the sub-national and national levels as well as stir their interest in governance in building a sustainable ideology.
On the Deepen Citizens’ Interest in Government Spending and Address Accompanying Corrupt Practices (DeSPAAC) project funded by the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation. We partnered with Community Life Project (CLP) and hosted a Campus Tour in the Federal University, Oye, Ekiti state (FUOYE) on the 18th of November, 2021, to promote citizen participation in governance and empower students in demanding for accountability and transparency from their immediate environment and government at all levels hence curbing the menace of corruption in our society. The key objectives of the Campus Tour was to engage millennials in tertiary institutions in Ekiti state on social accountability, governance, transparency, and accountability like the OGP and tools to track project implementation like the TETFund, to get them to take action in collaboration with CLP in tracking constituency projects and to get students to sign up on www.#followthemoney.org. The campus tour had in attendance the Vice Chancellor of Federal University Oye-Ekiti who was the chief host of the event and was ably represented by Mr. Onoga Vitalis representing the Dean of Student Affairs; Professor S.O Abifarin Dean of Faculty of Law; the State Director of National Orientation Agency (NOA) represented by Ilori Olayinka; Student leaders of Faculties and departments; the Student Union Government; CODE and CLP teams. There were 490 students physically in attendance with 57 participants joining via facebook live streaming.
We are very intentional in promoting the FTM Model, using this behavioural change strategy. Hosting a series of sensitization on the role of young people in ensuring the implementation of the open government partnership, transparency and accountability is very paramount in changing the narrative and uprooting the seed of corruption and its all side effects in nation building.
Our model is a proof that when citizens are informed and take ownership of the developmental of their communities then change is inevitable.