Governance and Human Rights Following the Aid Money

The world spends more than $100 billion on aid every year - and there is more data than ever before on where and how this money is spent. The Thomson Reuters Foundation works with journalists and newsrooms to help them report on aid spending and tell the story of aid’s impact – both its successes and its failures. 


This programme assists journalists to produce stories that bring new insight into the impact of development assistance. With such large sums being spent, it is to everyone’s benefit to have journalists who know how to scrutinise aid spending and base the resulting stories on solid evidence. To date this programme has focussed primarily on Africa. 


Journalists taking part typically work on specific stories during the programme. These might include a report looking at whether specific allocations were spent as intended; a data analysis looking at aid spending on different geographic or thematic areas, and assessing the effect this has had; or a series of stories looking at aid policy at the highest level and how this is affecting the lives of citizens.

In whatever story they cover, participating journalists must be ready to report on the benefits of aid money as well as any flaws. They must also be willing to explore deeper issues – be they political, economic, or cultural – that influence aid spending and policy.

This programme draws on the expertise of the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s news service, which has a long track record of reporting humanitarian issues and aid spending.

About Media Development

The Thomson Reuters Foundation is committed to fostering the highest standards of journalism worldwide. We believe accurate, impartial and independent journalism leads to better-informed societies. It holds power to account, strengthens the rule of law and contributes to economic and social development.

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