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Zimbabwean Farai Matiashe wins Research Challenge for Journalists

18 March 2019


Farai Matiashe from Harare, Zimbabwe is the winner of the IATI Research Challenge for Journalists 2018
© International Aid Transparency Initiative

On 11 March 2019, UNDP's International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) announced Farai Matiashe from Harare, Zimbabwe as winner of the 2018 Research Challenge. Launched by UNESCO and UNDP within the framework of the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) 2018, the challenge promoted access to information and investigative journalism on development issues.

Under the chairmanship of Christophe Deloire, Secretary-General of Reporters Without Borders, this competition invited young journalists to conduct an investigative journalism project on SDG-related topics. Participating journalists were encouraged to use the platform D-portal to explore IATI data, investigate and collect data, and develop an interesting story based on the findings under the theme “’How is aid and other external resources being used to achieve sustainable development”.

Participants submitted an article on the progress of implementation of a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) or several SDG's in a country of their choice - based on their assessments of IATI data.

When learning the news, Farai Matiashe said, “IATI data enables journalists to trace funds spent by organizations in communities and gives them an opportunity to trace the progress of SDGs in those areas by visiting just a website without necessarily knocking at organizations’ doors seeking information.”

He also added, “as a journalist, I feel it is my responsibility to help experts and policy makers to communicate with the masses on SDGs. With this in mind, I participated in the IATI research challenge, tracking the progress on SDGs in Zimbabwe”

To read Farai Matiashe’s full research paper, click here.

On 17 November 2015, UNESCO adopted a resolution (38 C/70) declaring 28 September as International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI). IDUAI has particular relevance with the new 2030 Development Agenda, and in particular with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, target 10 (link is external) which calls for ensuring public access to information and protection of fundamental freedoms.

UNESCO is the custodian agency for indicator 16.10.2 on access to information. Through its International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), the Organization promotes dialogue around Access to Information with the OpenTalks event, organized every year around the world to celebrate International Day for Universal Access to Information. UNESCO is also mandated to monitor and report on the “number of countries that adopt and implement constitutional, statutory and/or policy guarantees for public access to information” and currently pilots global data collection on this issue.