Knight International Journalism Fellowships

Nigeria: Generating new health and development-focused data sources to improve storytelling

ICFJ Knight Fellow Temi Adeoye, a digital project manager and technologist, leads projects to generate data sources and develop new reporting tools to improve digital storytelling in Nigeria.

Adeoye’s projects include “Dodgy Doctors,” an interactive tool that allows citizens to check whether their doctor is licensed to practice medicine. It was developed for Nigeria in partnership with Sahara Reporters, West Africa’s largest news site. Following the success of the tool, Sahara Reporters created its first dedicated health desk, and the Nigerian federal government announced in July 2016 that it is creating a similar database of licensed health practitioners.

Adeoye also has launched Code for Nigeria and is growing it into a robust civic and data journalism hub that provides open data and technological expertise to Nigerian newsrooms. The initiative builds data-driven journalism tools and embeds technologists into news organizations to help them incorporate new technology into their editorial work. Adeoye is also strengthening the Lagos chapter of the global Hacks/Hackers network to create a local community that brings technologists together with journalists. In partnership with these networks, Adeoye leads data bootcamps and other events that build the digital skills of journalists and forge new collaborations between the media and tech communities. Partners have included BBC Media Action and the Pulitzer Center.

Adeoye’s work is part of the Code for Africa data journalism initiative, led by a team of ICFJ Knight Fellows, to harness data in new ways to empower citizens, and improve government accountability and public services for people to lead healthier, more prosperous lives.

Among the projects Adeoye is leading:

Dodgy Doctors: Adeoye partnered with Sahara Reporters to replicate Code for Kenya’s “Dodgy Doctors,” an interactive tool that helps citizens verify their doctors’ credentials. Adeoye is expanding the tool to include photos of doctors, helping to reduce the ability of quacks to impersonate legitimate medical practitioners. “Dodgy Doctors” is part of Code for Nigeria’s Health Data Kit, which also includes tools that helps citizens find nearby hospitals and research prescription drug prices.

Sensor network: Approximately 3 million deaths per year worldwide are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution, and Nigeria’s cities are among the most polluted, according to the World Health Organization. Because of the country's poor air quality, Adeoye is building a pollution sensor network that could help Nigerians to better understand what pollutants are in the air they breathe and push policymakers to take steps that reduce air pollution. Once the sensors are operational, Adeoye will give journalists easy access to the data, helping them to tell more compelling stories about how Nigeria’s environmental issues are harmful to citizens’ health.