Data Journalism for Improved Maternal Health

Data Journalism for Improved Maternal Health

Organisation: International Institute of ICT Journalism (Penplusbytes) (Ghana)

Publication Date: 04/09/2015

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Description

The project aims to empower the media to use data journalism as a tool for advocacy in monitoring efficient spending on maternal health at selected districts in Volta Region of Ghana. The project implemented by International Institute for ICT Journalism (www.penplusbytes.org) with support from STAR-Ghana is designed to enable key actors in the media sector using new digital technologies especially data journalism techniques to facilitate better story-telling among relevant stakeholders, leading to greater advocacy for greater accountability and efficient management of resources for improved maternal healthcare in the Volta Region of Ghana. Objectives • To empower the media to use the techniques of data journalism to advocate for better maternal health delivery. • To provide a platform for the media and CSOs to hold responsive agencies and structures accountable in delivering improved Maternal Health. A key outcome of the Project is the development of the AMATSI STORY BUILDER. This tool is a starting point for journalist working on maternal health data driven stories that comes with key features such as the ability to work systematically on data required to tell compelling stories, captions, author info and mashing up infographics. Another prototype developed from the project is ATIKE.io; A mobile web platform focused on the generation of infographics to support data-driven stories in Ghana. The AMATSI STORY BUILDER serves as an interface to the website:www.amatsi.org allowing the direct posting of their Maternal Health stories onto the web platform. Together AMATSI the story builder and its online version www.amatsi.org provides ample evidence for effective advocacy on better maternal health care delivery. The developed online publishing software simply enables participants to post their maternal health stories directly from any location on to website which also houses data for story development. Amatsi.org also serves as an aggregator that posts links to other maternal health related stories across the country more particularly as a way to expand data sources and also for the enhancement of maternal health story ideas. The more interactive knowledge sharing platforms created via forums and media outreach programmes offered participating Journalists and Community based bodies the direct and most efficient opportunity to engage duty bearers at first hand on a variety of issues affecting maternal health with frequent probes on how much goes into areas such as personnel training and the provision of facilities. This has also meant that there is now a core set of Journalists willing to probe futher into Maternal Health issues; charting a firm departure from political and sports dominated interest - a solid basis to nurture and sustain their role as advocates for improvement and watchdogs over spending activities of MMDAs and the Ghana Health Service, bringing out the challenges confronting the sector to public and government notice through advocacy.

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