Applicant: Doreen Wainainah
Assessor: Raymond Joseph
Edits made by the organization after this assessment
IFCN Staff wrote:
- We have added a clause specifically stating that we do not support any candidates in any election, and we also do not advocate or take policy positions on any issues not strictly related to fact-checking. Added to the 'Non-partisanship and fairness' section of the 'Our Principles and How We Are Funded' page. https://pesacheck.org/our-principles-2e9c5a00ecb1
- We have changed the 'Fact-Checks' tab at the top of the page to 'Fact-Check Archive' as recommended.
- We have not had to make any corrections to the fact-checks that we have done over the past year, but should this arise, we do have a Corrections policy in place.
- An explanation about the things that we can and cannot check has been added at the top of the 'Our Methodology' page: https://pesacheck.org/our-methodology-f3d77521a1ee
- The author bios have been completed, and all the individuals linked to PesaCheck are listed on the About page here: https://pesacheck.org/about
- We have added a breakdown of our incomes and expenditures to the 'Transparency of Funding' section of 'Our Principles' here: https://pesacheck.org/our-principles-2e9c5a00ecb1. To reflect this, the page has been renamed as 'Our Principles and Funding'.
From the assessor:
All the suggested changes and/or clarifications have been done and PesaCheck is now fully compliant.
Conclusion and recommendations
Raymond Joseph wrote:
PesaCheck currently works across three East African countries – Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. It does impressive work fact-checking a wide range of issues, including statements and claims by politicians, governments officials and other public figures. They have clear methodologies and good policies in place. They have also developed strong working relationships with non-partisan, independent experts that they can call on when necessary. What I found particularly interesting was their use of infographics in many of their fact-checks to summarise their findings. I have no hesitation in recommending that their application be accepted. However, I do have a few recommendations that are necessary to make them fully compliant with the IFCN’s Code of Principles. These should be relatively simple implement
Section 1: While this is not essential, I suggest that the “fact-checks” tab on top of the home page be changed to read “fact-check archive” or simply “archive”. By doing this it will be clearer to users that they will find an archive of all previous fact-checks by clicking on this tab.
Section 3: Add an explanation of PesaCheck’s policies that prohibit staff from direct involvement in political parties, and from taking a public stand on political issues. I’d suggest that it be included under the existing heading “Non-partisanship and fairness” on the “Our Principles” page (https://pesacheck.org/our-principles-2e9c5a00ecb1).
Section 4:1 Add additional details on funding as per IFCN’s compliance requirements that explain what is required: The IFCN compliances required are: “All signatories that are standalone organizations must have a page on their site detailing each source of funding over the past calendar year accounting for 5% or more of total revenue. This page should also set out an overview of spending that year (in this case 2017) and indicate the form in which the organization is registered (e.g. as a non-profit, as a company etc) and, if this would allow the public to verify certain financial information about it.” (Note: Standalone means that the organisation is not the fact-checking section of a media house).
For examples of how other fact-checking organisations have handled this requirement see:
Also, I searched on the PesaCheck site for a link to details about funding, but struggled to find it without following the link supplied in the application for accreditation. To make this vital funding information easier to find, I recommend that the “Our Principles” heading be changed to read “Our Principles and how we are funded”, or that a “How we are funded” tab also be added on top of the Home page.
Details also need to be included on the funding page about the form in which the organization is registered (e.g. as a non-profit, as a company etc). Also, if it is available, add a link that would allow the public to verify financial information about the organisation.
Section 4:3 Some staff/contributor bios are incomplete: add brief details of those whose bios are currently blank.
Section 6: Supply at least one or two examples, with links to them, of corrections that have been made.