A young journalist from Zimbabwe has won a global aid research competition held by UNESCO, UNDP and the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI).

Farai Matiashe, 24 from Harare, submitted the winning essay to IATI's Research Challenge for Journalists, held to promote aid transparency and the universal access to information.

The competition invited young journalists to investigate ‘How aid and other external resources are being used to achieve sustainable development’ – by exploring data published to International Aid Transparency Initiative. It was launched on the International Day for the Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) 2018, under the patronage of Christophe Deloire, Secretary-General of Reporters without Borders.

Farai won with his submission entitled: ‘Through empowerment: World Vision Zimbabwe (WVZ) is tackling barriers that hinder progress in women and young girls'. His essay highlighted a World Vision programme that partnered with the private sector to provide bicycles to young girls who struggled to reach their nearest school.

Farai Matiashe - Winner of the IATI Research Challenge for Journalists 2018


A panel of expert judges reviewed entries from young people across the world and unanimously agreed that Farai’s essay made the best use of open aid data. He was presented with the prize of a laptop during a ceremony hosted by UNDP Zimbabwe in collaboration with the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa today.

Farai Matiashe said: “As a journalist, I feel it is my responsibility to help experts and policy makers to communicate with the masses on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” said Matiashe soon after receiving the prize.

“With this in mind, I participated in the IATI Research Challenge, tracking the progress on SDGs in Zimbabwe by the World Vision Zimbabwe,” he added.

UNDP Zimbabwe Resident Representative, Georges van Montfort congratulated Matiashe for winning the challenge.

“Congratulations to Farai for winning IATI’s Research Challenge for Journalists. He is a very talented journalist who has illustrated how important aid transparency and open data is for communicating efforts to drive sustainable development,” he said.

UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa Director and Representative, Hubert Gijzen said the award to Farai should be a reminder for us to reflect on the importance of universal access to information for development cooperation to be transparent and accountable.

In 2018 over US$152 billion of spending was published to the International Aid Transparency Initiative by governments, multilateral institutions, private sector and civil society organisations. IATI data on over one million development and humanitarian projects can be accessed easily at d-portal.org

Notes to editors

  1. IATI is a global initiative to improve the transparency of development and humanitarian resources and their results to address poverty and crises. For more information visit iatistandard.org .

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