The Cell Norbert Zongo for Investigative Reporting in West Africa is glad to announce a new release of Grants for investigations in the region!

We are proud to announce the first round of our Sahel Program focusing in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.

We believe good quality journalism is key to promoting transparency, impact positively on civil society and improve good governance, democracy and accountability in the sub-region of West Africa.

The application deadline is June 22, 2018. Application templates are available here.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for investigations with a unique angle powered by public interest and innovation, tackling issues in three different countries in the Sahel: Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.

We are looking for stories that exposes bad governance, organised crime, corruption and human rights violation in the following areas:

  • Sanitation :

Health systems, Water, Food, Pollution, Illnesses, Medicines.

Crucial for development, we are looking for innovate stories that could help us raise awareness on issues, businesses or practices impacting health in West Africa.  The dimension of health is broad, it means water, access to hospitals, medicines, food, public contracts, traffick of medicines, problems in the health infrastructure, food, environmental issues, prostitution, drugs, unacceptable working conditions, pollution, etc.  If you have an investigation idea or lead where you think health of individuals can be compromised, let us know!

  •  Traffick and Illicit Transit:

The traffick and illicit transit poses a growing risk for the region, being key point from America, Europe and Middle East, West Africa is also a strategic area for illegal transit or traffick of humans, young girls or young boys specially, medicines, cigarettes, cash, minerals, drugs among many others. We believe these stories must be tell. We encourage you to apply.

  •  Open data, Transparency & Accountability:

We encourage applicants to send data-driven proposals, using open data to explore new angles of underreported issues. CENOZO could provide assistance for visual elements and data analysis. This category could mean land property, budget analysis, aid data, legal and procurement data available.

  •  Terrorism and Extremism:

CENOZO is interested to raise awareness and understanding of terrorism and violent extremism in the region from a different and innovative way.   This problematic has been re-shaping in the last months in the borders, notably in Mali, Niger and Burkina. Does not mean you have to infiltrate a terrorist group! Think outside the box and surprise us.

  •  Open

If you have an impactful story idea that does not correspond with any of the categories above, don’t hesitate to send it through! We are open to receive stories with a public impact and innovative angles.

We have from small grants (500 EUR) to bigger grants (3500 EUR) available for each category: Sanitation, Traffick and Illicit Transit, Open Data, Transparency & Accountability  and Terrorism and Extremism.  Remember, submission deadline of stories for round one is midnight June 22, 2017.

 What do we need from you?

  1. A pitch of maximum 250 words with the story idea specifying to which category are you applying for.
  2. A preliminary budget estimate with a detailed breakdown of costs (travel costs, etc). [link to doc]
  3. A confirmation the article could be published in the newspaper you work with.
  4. Specify how you plan to do it and if you have documents to prove your story.
  5. A sample of published work by you. 

Fill out the application template and the proposed budget. And send it to.

Arnaud Ouedrago,  Programme Manager arnaud@cenozo.org 

Application template: https://goo.gl/rMuLvE

If you are working with other colleagues, choose a team leader and submit your proposal as detailed as possible.

Those stories with a proving documents that support the hypothesis will be privileged in the selection. Please make sure you have searched enough online to make sure your story hasn’t yet been covered the way you want to cover it!

Female reporters are especially encouraged to apply!

The Editorial Board will evaluate your proposals based on: 

  1. If it fits into the categories specified. 
  2. Story pitch
  3. Proving angle
  4. Background research
  5. Calendar of execution
  6. Innovative angle

 Note: We do not sponsor international flights! If you feel your story has a cross border angle we suggest you apply in collaboration with another journalist. Don’t stress if you don’t have a colleague yet, just let us know and we will be able to find a committed team member. That’s what our network is for! To connect us and make us stronger!

 CENOZO aims to innovate the media landscapes in the region and to support the journalists in their fight for transparency and accountability, raising awareness of important issues for West Africa. Let your voice be heard! Because no one is better to cover West African stories than West African Journalists!