Nominet Trust, the UK’s leading tech for good funder, has named Connected Development’s (CODE) Follow The Money initiative in the 2016 NT100 – a global celebration of this year’s 100 most inspiring social innovations using digital technology to drive social change around the world.
NT100 plays a valuable role each year in inspiring those with the influence and resources to accelerate the adoption of tech for social good. It brings together entrepreneurs, innovators, NGOs, charities, technologists and others to share knowledge, experiences and skills to introduce social change on a global scale. Projects featured in the NT100 have wide-ranging purposes, from those determined to democratise access to quality education and healthcare, to those connecting minority communities and evoking empathy.
Following a global call for nominations earlier this year, Follow The Money Nigeria was selected by a judging panel of tech and charity experts in recognition of its work. Follow The Money, an initiative of CODE, was founded in 2012, by Hamzat Lawal and Oludotun Babayemi, to track government and international aid spending to rural communities. Since then, the initiative has grown into a movement of hundreds of Nigerians encouraging citizen participation in governance, and has had direct impact on 23,000 livelihoods, with a reach of 24 million Nigerians in 14 rural communities.
This year, the NT100 gives special recognition to “Everyday Tech Heroes” – the inspirational people who have first-hand experience of the challenges they are tackling with tech. Follow The Money heroes are the hundreds of community reporters, that invest their time in community outreaches, town hall meetings, and engaging the government of their state, and local municipalities through Twitter and Facebook advocacy and the use of Freedom of Information request.
“This recognition, for hundreds of our community reporters, affirms that together, we can make the little change in our communities, and that with simple and cheap technology, we can empower marginalised communities by providing them with information and tools they need to ensure their community needs are represented and that they can hold their leaders to account,” Hamzat Lawal, the Chief Executive of CODE, commented.
Vicki Hearn, Director of Nominet Trust, said: “In this, the fourth year of the NT100, it is truly humbling to see so many remarkable people from all walks of life embracing digital technology as a force for social good. We hope Follow The Money’s well deserved inclusion in the 2016 NT100 provides a valuable stepping-stone for their inspiring example of tech for good.
“With a bright idea, the right tech tools and a powerful desire to change the status quo, everyone has the potential to make a stand against the world’s most pressing social challenges. The NT100 seeks to champion the pioneers doing just that, in the hope that it inspires others to follow in their footsteps.”
As part of the 2016 NT100, CODE’s Follow The Money is standing shoulder to shoulder with other innovative ventures such as EVA Park – a virtual environment to help those with aphasia recover communication skills; Hand Talk – a Brazilian virtual interpreter that translates between spoken languages and sign language; Disrupt Disability – which has created the world’s first open source wheelchair designs; Brave Mind – a virtual reality therapeutic game that supports those recovering from PTSD; and Mine Kafon Drone – an airborne drone for detecting and removing unexploded landmines in communities trying to rebuild after conflict.
The 2016 NT100 was selected from 700 projects discovered this year through a combination of research and public nomination. Shortlisted projects were reviewed by Nominet Trust and a panel of partner organisations including: Big Lottery Fund, Cancer Research UK, Comic Relief, Nominet, Oxfam, Telefonica O2 and Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship.
The 2016 NT100 projects are hosted on the Social Tech Guide (http://socialtech.org.uk/nominet-trust-100/2016), the world’s largest interactive database of tech for good, which now showcases almost 1700 ventures.