Who can benefit from this study?
Civic Tech initiatives
Organisation responsible for case study:
Org. type: Non-Profit
Tracka: Take the extra mile on public projects around you!
Main Project Location: Lagos
Project country/countries: Nigeria
Project dates: –
Last updated: 23 March 2022
Brief overview of the Case Study
Tracka is a platform designed by BudgIT to enable citizens to follow up on budgetary capital expenditure and constituency projects in their respective communities to enhance service delivery by all tiers of the Nigerian government. Tracka seeks to expand the community of active citizens across every literacy span and facilitate creative engagement sustaining a feedback loop between citizens and public institutions. Tracka’s primary goal is to stimulate the demand for Open Data in Nigeria’s local communities through budget access and data performance monitoring.
The challenge or problem
Tracka was established by BudgIT in July 2014 to address critical issues surrounding social and economic development in Nigeria, specifically the lack of citizens inclusion in developmental projects, an ever-increasing number of abandoned projects and poor execution of the few projects implemented.
The goal is to open up public finances to the wider Nigerian populace, making them vanguards for service delivery and transparency. Tracka’s goal is to expand citizens’ understanding of the budget, in particular on the contextual issues affecting them, to raise demand for citizen information about government budgets and budget implementation.
The solution that was implemented
Using grassroots monitors and also partners for projects located across the federation, this approach explores the use of technology to track budgets and also report to the responsible authorities from the executive and legislature. We use social media to amplify discussions on projects. Thanks to the internet, mobile web, apps, and SMS, citizens now have a focal point of tracking public projects and reporting on-the-ground performance to institutions. This allows them to reach out to the exact institution that is responsible for the project. Citizens are able to provide feedback on the platform while our tracking officers (in all states where Tracka currently operates), verify those comments and reach out to public institutions for necessary action.
The project tracking officers are tasked with the role of tracking all the projects listed within their state of operation; they also organize town hall meetings with the community members in order to enlighten them about projects contained within their constituencies. These Tracka officers visit different constituencies in order to attend the town hall meetings, listen to the agitation of the community members and assist them in communicating with their constituency representative(s) at all levels in order to get these projects completed.
What results were achieved?
Beyond budget access, BudgIT creates tools for citizens to do their own budgetary tracking. One such tool is Tracka, created in 2014. Tracka also has a media and TV component, with a radio program broadcast across various states. (A Case Study of BudgIT, Nigeria Prepared by SDSN TReNDS)
In December 2018, Tracka won $125,000 Google Impact Challenge Grant. This fund will be used to expand the tracking activities to 3 additional states in Nigeria-Anambra, Bayelsa and Katsina. This will also increase citizen participation in the focus states and engender inclusion during the budget process which we believe will increase budget implementation.
The Tracka program was particularly successful in promoting offline engagement by using BudgIT project officers to share the feedback of “offline” communities or individuals through the platform or with local representatives. (A Case Study of BudgIT, Nigeria Prepared by SDSN TReNDS).
In the 2018 reporting period, Tracka gained significant traction during this period, increasing its online following by over 300%, tracking 1,313 projects with over 10 million impressions created online and over 152,000 citizens reached directly offline. (BudgIT, 2018 Annual Report)
Despite their initial success, BudgIT faces a number of ongoing challenges. The first challenge being the outreach to the “offline” audience given that most of BudgIT’s tools require access to mobile phones or the internet. Another challenge is reaching a large proportion of the Nigerian population who are illiterate–approximately 49% as of 2008. Lastly, access to budgetary information is highly dependent upon BudgIT’s relationships with government officials, who are often resistant to release budgetary documents. (A Case Study of BudgIT, Nigeria Prepared by SDSN TReNDS).
Lessons and recommendations
Collaboration is key. The work is bigger than all of us and we can only achieve our goals when we all work together. Civil Society Organisations in Africa need to do more as a team.
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