Results for Development Institute

Investigative Journalist

Results for Development Institute

Job Description

Results for Development (R4D) is a leading non-profit Global Development partner. We collaborate with change agents around the world — government officials, civil society leaders and social innovators — to create strong systems that support healthy, educated people. We help our partners move from knowing their goal to knowing how to reach it. We combine global expertise in health, education and Nutrition with analytic rigor, practical support for decision-making and implementation and access to peer problem-solving networks. Together with our partners, we build self-sustaining systems that serve everyone and deliver lasting results. Then we share what we learn so others can achieve results for development, too.

We have a unique and vibrant culture at R4D. Diversity, equity and inclusion are at the heart of our work environment and help advance our mission. Diversity—of ideas, identities, perspectives and backgrounds—is vital to who we are and what we do. We seek people who embrace these values and will help reinforce them. Our work culture is collaborative, creative and entrepreneurial. We operate based on trust and respect. Teams across the organization frequently collaborate on programmatic work and support each other in continuously building a better R4D.

Overview and introduction

Results for Development seeks proposals from qualified institutions, teams and individuals to fund small research projects or investigative reporting on directed topics in Nigeria. As part of the Leveraging Transparency to Reduce Corruption Program, in conjunction with the Brookings Institution, LTRC Nigeria conducts research to reduce corruption and abuse of public resources in revenues generated from Natural Resources. LTRC aims to produce research and implement proofs of concept for locally-identified, evidence-informed interventions. The approach to this research is “TAP+,” which explore strategies that combine transparency, accountability and participation of citizens that are adapted to context, respond to local challenges and address implementation gaps.

Proposals should fit into one of the three themes outlined below and be consistent with the LTRC approach, summarized in this call for proposals. Research and Journalism projects should be completed by July 2022.

Proposals from research teams or journalists based in Nigeria or West Africa are strongly preferred but we will consider all applications. Researchers partnering with Nigeria-based NGOs should include a letter of support from the organization and explicitly state their role. We cannot fund work that provides funding to any government agency. R4D reserves the right to match promising proposals with Nigeria-based organizations and to make funding conditional on revisions including a successful partnership.

Research grantees will be expected to produce one policy brief and one blog post at the end of the engagement. Research grantees are strongly encouraged to produce and submit scholarly papers but grant closings will not be subject to completion or publication of scholarly products.

Journalist grantees will be expected to produce one blog post at the end of the engagement, in addition to the primary piece of investigative journalism the grant will fund.

Following the completion of all funded projects, LTRC plans to convene grantees from across the thematic areas to share widely the evidence generated on how investigative journalism can be made effective and how it can used to combat corruption. Through this convening we also hope to strengthen links among media research institutions, media training organizations and journalists.

LTRC will fund up to four projects from a total grant fund of USD50,000.

Research Themes

Nigeria hosts a number of homegrown investigative journalism institutions, including Premium Times, Center for Investigative Journalism and others. As the number and capability of these media institutions continues to grow in Nigeria, there is an opportunity to build journalists’ capacity to report on natural resources and explore effective methodologies for holding government actors accountable.

Extractives and open government are technical subjects requiring deep knowledge on the part of journalists. Media trainings to date have been sporadic and conducted differently when led by different institutions. It is unclear what best practices exist with respect to training of the media or the impact of training on the quality of reporting or accountability outcomes.

Additionally, media and investigative journalism is a key component of bottom-up accountability. One of the most important roles the media plays in improving governance is to act as a watchdog. Across the world, the media has been able to shed light on the questionable actions of government officials and on conflicts of interest. Such a role is built on the important ideal of independent media outlets and journalists, with these actors being seen as having a duty to citizens to provide information when Political Leaders abuse their power. In addressing corruption and use of public resources derived from natural resources, watchdog institutions and investigative journalism are key to ensuring these funds lead to public services.

Theme 1: How is investigative journalism effective? Subtheme 1A: Media training and accountability

How can media trainings contribute to the growth of media capacity and ranks to investigate extractives-related corruption in Nigeria? What are the barriers to expanding the ranks of investigative journalists working on extractives and extractives-related corruption in Nigeria? What are the essential elements of media trainings to ensure that trainings translate into stories that lead to accountability actions by national, regional, and Local Government representatives and anti-corruption agencies? How can government agencies and CSOs working on accountability include media as part of ongoing initiatives or activities? Subtheme 1B: Investigative journalism and accountability

How does investigative journalism work travel through levels of government (national, state and local) to promote accountability? Where are the majority of investigative journalism stories being sourced and read? At what level is investigative journalism promoting accountability in extractives and extractives-related corruption? Do national-level investigative journalism stories translate to accountability actions at the local level? Do subnational investigations translate into accountability actions at the local level or at a more national level? Are there mechanisms to aggregate local-level corruption stories to present a country-wide picture of corruption in extractives? If so, what do these look like? If not, what are the barriers to putting them in place? Theme 2: Can investigative journalism be used to combat corruption? Do you as a journalist have a big story related to natural Resource Governance in Nigeria that you need help funding? What is the issue to be investigated? What is the process of investigating this story? How does the story relate to corruption? How does relate to LTRC’s transparency, accountability and participation research approach? Theme 3: Open What did we miss? If you have a great project to propose on citizen engagement, transparency, accountability, and participation, or other topics in extractives open governance in Nigeria, pitch us. We recommend reaching out with questions before preparing a full proposal for this theme.

How to apply

Research proposals (Theme 1) should include a 1-page summary statement, budget, CVs for primary investigators and other staff, outputs, timeline, and a narrative of up to five pages including the following:
  1. Primary Investigators’ names, institutions, and short bios (please attach CVs)
  2. Narrative of research proposal
    1. Research question, including theme and unique contribution
    2. Methods
    3. Analysis plan
    4. Connection to LTRC approach
  3. Expected outputs
  4. Timeline
  5. Local partner bio (please attach letter of support), if applicable
  6. Total amount requested
  7. Proposed budget
Journalist proposals (Theme 2) should include a pitch for the idea, detailing how the journalist or team will answer the question and the angle of the story in a submission of up to five pages, including the following:
  1. Lead journalists’ resume of qualifications, including links to past work
  2. Project title and brief summary of topic, including why it is newsworthy and the link to the key themes of LTRC’s research
  3. List of potential sources
  4. Timeline
  5. Publication/distribution plan
  6. Total amount requested
  7. Proposed budget
Proposals must be submitted by June 20th, 2021 (6 pm ET) via email to ltrcnigeria@r4d.org. Ineligible proposals and proposals submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Please send any questions to ltrcnigeria@r4d.org.

LTRC will evaluate all proposals based on their consistency with the key themes of LTRC’s research, likelihood of success and clarity. Authors of accepted proposals will be informed by July 9, 2021.
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