This section seeks to explain the terms & conditions for the Debunk Awards: Africa.
It also answers some of the more frequently asked questions we receive. There is a lot of important information, so we’ve tried to make it easier to navigate by breaking the information into the following sections:
If your question isn’t answered below, contact us on [email protected]
1. What is PesaCheck?
PesaCheck is a pioneering verification initiative that is helping kickstart fact-checking across East and West Africa. Initially focused on verifying the financial and other statistical numbers quoted by public figures in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, PesaCheck now also helps track political promises by politicians (through our Wajibisha toolkit) and helps unpack budget and census data (through our PesaYetu platform). PesaCheck also helps watchdog media and NGOs establish their own standalone fact-check teams. PesaCheck is an innovateAFRICA.fund grantee, and receives additional support from the International Budget Partnership, Code for Africa and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ).
2. What is The Debunk Awards?
The Debunk Awards: Africa is citizen-driven and focused on people working in fact-checking on the continent. The awards are funded through a seed grant from Meedan.
3. What is Code for Africa?
Code for Africa, or CfAfrica, is the lead organisation driving The Debunk Awards. CfAfrica is not a run-of-the-mill NGO or donor organisation. It is an umbrella federation of country-based civic technology and data journalism laboratories, that use digital tools to build digital democracies. CfAfrica’s affiliates use technology to give citizens timely and unfettered access to actionable information that empowers them to make informed decisions and that strengthen civic engagement for improved public governance and accountability. In addition to Debunk Awards, CfAfrica also runs other grant-making programmes (see details below), supports civic technology communities such as Hacks/Hackers Africa, and maintains a string of key infrastructure services that digital journalists and open data activists need to do their jobs. You can get more detailed insight about CfAfrica at http://bit.ly/CfAfricaFB
4. What kind of submissions are you looking for?
The Debunk Awards is looking for fact-checks from active citizens and/or journalists and fact-check initiatives. Your work must have held or is holding public figures with a notable platform, like a politician, social influencer, social media influencer, religious leader accountable.
5. What is the process for applying?
To apply, visit and fill in the application form. The submission should be accompanied by links to the work done. You can upload videos, photos and articles . The deadline for submission is March 31st 2020.
6. What file formats may I upload supporting documents?
File uploads must be one of the following:
- Photo: JPEG, GIF, PNG or BMP. Max size: 10 MB
- Audio: MP3s only. Max size: 10 MB
- 5:00 minutes of video per play. Max size: 100MB per file.
7. What kind of supporting materials should I attach?
The supporting materials or attachments should be any documents you think would add valuable information about your fact-check that reviewers can use to better understand how your debunk meets the Debunk Awards criteria. These documents can range from something as simple as a direct quote, to more complex supporting materials including sources. While this material is helpful, the focus for our assessment of your idea is your answers to the 7 questions on the application form.
8. Can I send an application directly by email?
No, all applications are submitted via the online form.
9. What is the policy on non-Africans applying to The Debunk Awards? Do I have to be from Eastern African hemisphere to be eligible?
No. You do not have to be African or from Eastern Africa to apply, we accept applicants from all walks of life regardless of nationality, the only requirement is that they be based and/or actively engage with fact-checks within the African continent.
10. What about tax? Are winnings taxable?
Because individual situations vary, you need to consult a professional tax advisor on this issue.
11. Who can enter? Do I qualify for this award?
The Debunk Awards is open to all active fact-checkers based within the African Continent. There is no age restriction and the competition is open to nonprofits, for-profits or individuals, anywhere in Africa. Awards to minors will be made to an intermediary designated by The Debunk Awards.
12. Who decides which projects win the contest?
Our judges make the final determinations based on recommendations by the independent fact-checking jury. We also employ outside technical experts to help the jury review applications as may be appropriate. These reviewers serve as advisors only.
13. Can I partner with another individual or organisation?
Yes, you can submit your application as a group or organisation.
14. I am already the recipient of support from Code for Africa. Can I still apply for The Debunk Awards?
15. If I apply to this inaugural call for entries on The Debunk Awards, will I still be able to apply for other forms of Code for Africa support?
16. Are employees of Code for Africa or sponsors from their network eligible to enter?
17. I have less than 1 year of fact-checking experience, but I think I have had an impact in the fact-checking space within this period, should I still apply?
Yes, if you think you have made impactful/notable fact-checks within a short span of your fact-checking career, then we may consider your application on a case-by-case basis.
18. Can I apply as a team if I represent a fact-checking initiative and/or team that took part in the fact-check I am applying for?
19. Who gets the prize, if more than one person enters as a team?
The award money will be an equitable distribution and the guiding principle of exact ratios will be clarified with the recipient once the award is made.
20. What is the deadline for entry?
The deadline is March 31st, 2021 at midnight (East African Time). No exceptions or late entries will be accepted, under any circumstances. You might want to use something like World Time Buddy to make sure that you get the time right.
21. When will winners be announced?
Winners will be announced on May 15th 2021.
22. When will I receive a response?
The dates below are guidelines. Their intention is to give you an idea of the timeframe of the process.
- Contest opens:
- Application Closed/Deadline: 31st March 2021
- Finalists announced: 115th May 2021
- Winners Announced: 31st May 2021
23. When will I receive my prize if announced as one of the winners?
Winners will receive their prize in June 2021. Specifics will be sent to winners following the winners announcement
24. Where do I send my entry?
The application process is online. Please apply here, on the PFCA portal.
25. Where should my fact-check take place?
Anywhere across the African continent.
26. Where in the world do you accept entries from?
Everywhere, as long as the fact-check and fact-checker is based in Africa.
27. Why should I enter?
- Because you are an active fact-checker based in Africa
- Because you think you have a notable impact on the fact-checking space
- Because it is easy to apply
28. How many times can I enter? Can I submit multiple entries for different fact-checking categories?
Each entrant can only apply twice, with a limit of two different category applications.
29. How will I know if my application was successful?
All winners will be announced on 15th May 2021. If your name and piece is not mentioned in our winners announcement, then your application did not make it to the final stage of our shortlisting process.
30. How can I claim a piece of someone else’s prize if I helped them complete the piece of work idea that propels their fact-check to win?
When you comment on an entry, do so with the understanding that you are not creating any ownership rights for yourself.
31. How do I say more? Each question in the application has a word limit, but I pasted in more.
Do not give us more words than we ask for. When answering the questions, please be brief and follow the word count. We recommend you draft your answers, edit them and count the words in a document and then copy and paste them into the online application form. This allows you to have a copy in case something goes wrong and helps you count the words of your answers accurately.
32. Can you be more specific about… ?
We probably could. If you’re confused about something, please don’t hesitate to ask. But after you’ve decided your fact-check meets the Debunk Awards focus, the absolute best way to tell whether it’s appropriate is simply to apply. We don’t want to get so specific with our guidelines that we prevent you from submitting the next great fact-check. So if you think the it fits the criteria, send it in.
33. What if this FAQ didn’t answer my question?
Feel free to ask by inboxing us at [email protected] and we will respond as soon as we can.