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Rebuilding Borno: A look at the stats

Nigeria: Telling Internally Displaced Persons Stories With Visual Data, Infographics

Towards the end of 2015 I got fed up of the news surrounding Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria with a population of 2.2 million; their food was being stolen and resold, the women and girl child were being raped and trafficked, food was being exchanged for sex, tents and other infrastructural resources were being carted away. Insecurity was a great challenge as sometime later this year 2016 February, 50 persons were killed by a suicide bomb attack and news of over 1,200 graves existing near Bama IDP camp in Borno with almost 500 being children shocking everyone. Looking at the crisis, it is pertinent to point out how we got here; Nigeria ignored all indicators and data pointing to the worsening conditions and elements which resulted to the present debacle.
Borno State, is a state in north-eastern Nigeria with its capital as Maiduguri. In the last 7 years, the state has been devastated by conflict caused by ‘Boko Haram Islamic extremist group which originated from the state. The insurgency in the North East claimed an estimated 20,000 lives, displaced a record of 3.3 million people with a material loss of $6 billion according to World Bank, thus precipitating a grave humanitarian crisis and gaining global attention.
The crisis led to displacement of over 2 million people spread across Northern Nigeria states such as Adamawa, Bauchi, Bauchi, Benue, FCT, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Nassarawa, Plateau, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara many which have continued to exhibit the worst human development indicators in the world with 71.5 per cent living in absolute poverty and more than half of that malnourished, making it the poorest part of the country according AOA Global’s Rebuild Borno report.
Nigerians in their numbers have been outraged, I got fed up of this outrage which did not lead to positive actions for it only seemed like outrage comes only whenever there is some news related to the IDPs and its bad. With this thinking that outrage was not enough, I looked deep in my organization Orodata Nigeriato see what we could do to throw more light on the IDP crisis. As Analytical Design and Data Lead, I saw the problems, but I also saw that to begin to try to solve these problems or to forge a path for others looking to addressing the prevailing challenges of the IDPs, in-depth understanding of the situation was very necessary. One needed to be equipped with to data andinformation related to the IDPs, no matter what it was, this information needed to be available to the public or concerned groups or organizations and had to be simple, easily consumable and shareable.
Data related to the IDPs is scarce, but the importance of this data cannot be overemphasized because for solutions to be provided, there needs to be a knowledge base with information as to the level of infrastructural damages on ground, health challenges, food consumption, births, deaths, incidence of disease, in fact a total composition of the IDP population in Nigeria so as to illustrate their changing structure which will be a bedrock for actionable decisions and solutions.
Data related to IDPs on funds needed to be tracked, data regarding who gave what, who received what and amount or what was received needed to be easily accessible so as to allow for transparency and accountability while measuring impact of spending. The platform would allow anyone see everything holistically. News of thousands of graves near Bama IDP camp, acute undernourishment emanating for the camp and many others, with video evidence of ‘re-bagging’ and sale of rice bags donated by charity which emerged later 2016, buttressed this point making it evident that there were forms of corruption, misappropriation of funds and resources going on in the camps. Some people were stealing from the IDPs, and the IDPs were dying in large numbers.
So early 2016 I and my team at Orodata prepared a proposal for a project named “Security Governance: IDPs Tracker”, the project was to facilitate the creation of a framework linking specific inputs and activities with indicators and their potential impact and measurement. Its infrastructure will allow for TRACKING and facilitation of MONITORING, measurement, visual ANALYSIS, ADVOCACY and evaluation of impact of specific inputs and activities. I reached out to our partner ‘BugdIT Nigeria’who immediately threw their weight behind the project. The project kicked off on the low, because showing results of our findings, making them available and advocating with them along the way was and is more important.
So far we have sent FOI request to National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and their reply has not been satisfactory especially as related to funds. We have fined tuned our questions and resent another FOI request, while also sending several others including one to the Vice President’s office. We have and are still reaching out to NGOs and Humanitarian Organizations aiding with one form of assistance or another to the IDPs and may have data useful to achieving the goal on this project. Meanwhile we have gathered some data and are visualizing and telling IDP stories in more striking and engaging ways for not just Nigeria to listen to but the world at large.We want the world to see what is happening on the ground, the gaps; what is being doneand still needs to be done.We are re-telling IDPs stories, presenting a totally different perspective, a visual one, using open data. – As told by Co-Partner at Orodata, Blaise Aboh

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