CiFAR’s third investigative journalism programme
Calling anglophone and francophone journalists from West Africa and Europe
Application deadline: 20 May 2021
CiFAR is a civil society organisation committed to fighting the flow of corrupt wealth by political leaders across borders and to secure the return of any stolen money to the victims of grand corruption. To do this we work closely with both civil society organisations and investigative journalists across the world to investigate, expose, and secure the return of dark money.
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) supports the German Government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. GIZ provides financial support for this programme through Sector Programme on Anti-Corruption and Integrity and Global Program Combating illicit financial flows.
These flows of money affect both the Global South and the Global North. Illicitly acquired wealth is funnelled into Europe and North America, amongst other financial centres, by corrupt officials keen to hide their wealth outside of their home countries and beyond the reach of domestic law enforcement.
This money often originates from countries of the Global South, especially where political power is in the hands of the few and opposition is limited and is transferred through offshore havens to reach its destination. African countries alone lose up to $50 billion a year due to illicit financial flows, greatly exceeding the funds these countries receive in official development assistance. West African countries account for almost 40% of these flows, with Nigeria alone having lost an estimated US$217 billion between 1970 and 2008.
Investigative Journalism plays an increasingly important role in exposing these schemes and pushing governments and prosecutors to act upon cases, both in asset originating and destination countries. CiFAR is committed to strengthening financial investigative journalism and collaborating with journalists across the globe to do exactly this.
In 2017 and 2018 we organised our first program: “Investigate the Mediterannean”, dedicated to support young investigative journalists in uncovering illicit financial flows and financed by the GIZ. Bringing together 20 journalists from Europe and North Africa, we trained them in both how cross-border financial crime by political figures works and how to investigate these cases, including how to do this in a safer way. We then worked with them in groups to actually investigate cases and supported them to develop, pitch and publish their stories.
This program was followed by “Investigate the Western Balkans and North Africa”, from 2020 to 2021, which brought together a similar amount of participants around similar topics. Again beginning with a training course, this GIZ financially supported programme also supported journalists to work in teams to develop, write, pitch and publish stories on financial crime.
Starting in May 2021, we will hold the third instalment: Investigate – West Africa, in partnership with the Norbert Zongo Unit for Investigative Journalism in West Africa (CENOZO). This time open to English and French speaking applicants from Western Africa and Europe, we aim with this combination to support journalists from these two regions in developing stories that are more in-depth and more cross-regional than ever before.
You’ll spend five days in a comprehensive online training, learning and improving your skills in investigative journalism with a focus on financial crime by public officials.
Following that, you’ll benefit from individual sessions to explore further some of the workshop topics and, depending on the situation, we will convene investigative journalism camps to jointly develop stories. Teams will be able to pitch for funding to develop their stories and attend further networking and training events. Along with senior regional and international journalists, we’ll also support you to develop your stories through a mentor and pitch those stories for publication.
- An early to mid-career journalist (3-10 years experience)
- Excited to move into or expand your experience in financial investigative work
- National or resident of Ghana, Liberia, Gambia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, Cameroon, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger; EU, the UK or Switzerland
- Committed to work on exposing grand corruption and illicit financial flows from your country, flows of corrupt wealth into your country and on the processes for recovering stolen wealth
- Interested in working as part of a cross-border team with others like you
- Able to commit to a 5 days online workshop, individual online sessions throughout the following months, as well as a 3 days work camp in West Africa in Fall 2021.
- Commitment to dedicate time and energy on a story with your peers after the training phase and to bring a joint story to publication by February 2022.
- You speak and understand English and/or French to a working level
What we offer
- Five days of intensive online training programme with expert trainers throughout summer 2021 covering:
- Financial crime and cross-border corruption
- Anti-corruption and asset recovery legal and policy frameworks
- Reading financial documents
- Asset recovery
- Investigative journalism 101
- Specificities of investigating financial crime by public figures
- Story-telling techniques
- Online databases and digital tools
- Safety and security in investigations
2. Further short Individual training sessions on related topics
3. Participation in a three-day investigative journalism camp in West Africa in Fall 2021 (pending developments of the Coronavirus pandemic)
4. Remote Mentoring by CiFAR, CENOZO and international and local senior journalists to develop your story with your peers
5. Limited grants to conduct and publish your cross-border story with peer trainees and mentors
6. Support to conduct further investigations in the future and to attend international investigative journalism events relevant to your career development.
Accepted participants will have their costs covered for the entire programme. We will cover:
- All training costs
- Participation in regional workshops in West Africa: return flight, visa fees, accommodation costs, local travel and meal allowance and COVID-19-related costs (pending confirmation of events due to ongoing Coronavirus pandemic)
- Limited grants for team story development
- Limited grants to attend relevant investigative journalism events