Pesa Check

Organization: PesaCheck
Applicant: Eric Mugendi
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
on 14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago)

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:

https://africacheck.org/about-us/how-we-are-funded/ andhttps://fullfact.org/about/funding/

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. 

on 14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago)

Raymond Joseph recommended Accept with edits


Section 1: Organization

Criterion 1a
Proof of registration
Evidence required: Please provide evidence that the signatory is a legally-registered organization set up exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking or the distinct fact-checking project of a recognized media house or research institution.

Raymond Joseph Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Pesa Check is a project of civic tech NPO Code for Kenya. It is registered in Kenya under the Civic Media Kenya Foundation, under that country’s Companies Act. (See attached). It is also an affiliate of Code for Africa, the umbrella body for all the African Code-for organisations, which is registered as an NPO in South Africa. (see attached)



done_all 1a marked as Fully compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criterion 1b
Archive
Evidence required: Insert a link to the archive of fact checks published in the previous three months. If you do not collect all fact checks in one place, please explain how the fact-checking is conducted by your organization.

PesaCheck
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago
Raymond Joseph Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

All the latest fact-checks from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, the three countries in which it currently operates, are published on the home page. Older fact-check can be found under a “fact-check” tab at the top of the home page. https://pesacheck.org/archive. This page is an archive of all fact-checks from 2016, 2017 and 2018.

There are also tabs for Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania on the top of the home page that filter fact-checks by country.


done_all 1b marked as Fully compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Section 2: Nonpartisanship and Fairness

Criterion 2a
Body of work sample
Evidence required: Please share links to ten fact checks that better represent the scope and consistency of your fact-checking. Provide a short explanation of how your organization strives to maintain coherent standards across fact checks.

PesaCheck
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

PesaCheck focuses on claims made by politicians and other public figures as well as stories published in the media about public finances and other resources. We also look at claims related to social services such as healthcare, rural development, and access to water and sanitation in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

In Kenya and Uganda, our main focus is resource allocation and claims about how public finances are being utilized.

Did Only Two Counties In Kenya Meet Their Revenue Targets? https://pesacheck.org/did-only-two-counties-in-kenya-meet-their-revenue-targets-bfa6c519a6a8

Could Uganda Pay For 12 Hospitals With The Cash Spent Treating VIPs Abroad?https://pesacheck.org/could-uganda-pay-for-12-hospitals-with-the-cash-spent-treating-vips-abroad-42138f410227

How Much Of Kenya’s Budget Is Going Towards The Health Sector?https://pesacheck.org/how-much-of-kenyas-budget-is-going-towards-the-health-sector-5ee2040b1f5

Is Kampala Responsible For 60% Of Uganda’s GDP? https://pesacheck.org/is-kampala-responsible-for-60-of-ugandas-gdp-4dde682263fb

Do One In Five Ugandan Households Have Access To Electricity?https://pesacheck.org/do-one-in-five-ugandan-households-have-access-to-electricity-6b95fe15d1d9

In Tanzania, our main focus is on service delivery, particularly around social welfare for marginalized and vulnerable groups.

Is Tanzania’s Urban Street Child Population Increasing? https://pesacheck.org/is-tanzanias-urban-street-child-population-increasing-7038d87e4576

Has Free Public Education Led To More Tanzanian Girls In School?https://pesacheck.org/are-there-more-tanzanian-girls-in-school-now-that-public-education-is-free-55b26c2a335e

Is Half Of Tanzania’s Deaf Population Illiterate?

https://pesacheck.org/is-half-of-tanzanias-deaf-population-illiterate-847dea18f6c2

We also look at matters of public interest in the three countries we focus on, for example the debate around banning shisha in Kenya, and the proposed ban on school-going mothers in Tanzania.

Will Banning School-going Mums Reduce Teen Pregnancy In Tanzania? https://pesacheck.org/will-banning-schoolgoing-mums-reduce-teen-pregnancy-in-tanzania-424c1245f06e

Is One Puff Of Shisha Equivalent To Smoking 10 Cigarettes? https://pesacheck.org/is-one-puff-of-shisha-equivalent-to-smoking-10-cigarettes-4e0e5258f44d

Our fact-checking work focuses mainly on pronouncements about public finances in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, and how statements by public figures reflect on government’s delivery of key public services, such as healthcare, rural development, and access to water and sanitation.

We also test the accuracy of media reportage on these issues, using verifiable and publicly available data as the barometer for accuracy.

PesaCheck content is produced by fellows in the three countries, and the fellows work with data analysts and experts at Code for Kenya to help explain the often complex issues using infographics and data visualisation.

PesaCheck's content is made freely available for reuse by civic society and other interested parties.

Raymond Joseph Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Are 6 million Kenyan women currently suffering from obstetric fistula?

https://pesacheck.org/are-6-million-kenyan-women-currently-suffering-from-obstetric-fistula-5c915ec48bb

Are Tanzanians with kidney disease dying because treatment is too expensive? https://pesacheck.org/are-tanzanians-with-kidney-disease-dying-because-treatment-is-too-expensive-b04a8746fc29

Is one puff of shisha equivalent to smoking 10 cigarettes?

https://pesacheck.org/is-one-puff-of-shisha-equivalent-to-smoking-10-cigarettes-4e0e5258f44d

Is Kampala responsible for 60% of Uganda’s GDP? https://pesacheck.org/is-kampala-responsible-for-60-of-ugandas-gdp-4dde682263fb

Will Kenya spend 45% of revenue collected in 2018 on debt repayment?

https://pesacheck.org/archive/2018/03

Do only one percent of Tanzanians suffer from mental illnesses? https://pesacheck.org/do-only-1-of-tanzanians-suffer-from-mental-illness-6772a71ae47d

Did Only Two Counties In Kenya Meet Their Revenue Targets? https://pesacheck.org/did-only-two-counties-in-kenya-meet-their-revenue-targets-bfa6c519a6a8

Could Uganda Pay for 12 Hospitals with the Cash Spent Treating VIPs Abroad? https://pesacheck.org/could-uganda-pay-for-12-hospitals-with-the-cash-spent-treating-vips-abroad-42138f410227

How Much Of Kenya’s Budget Is Going Towards The Health Sector? https://pesacheck.org/how-much-of-kenyas-budget-is-going-towards-the-health-sector-5ee2040b1f5

Do One In Five Ugandan Households Have Access To Electricity? https://pesacheck.org/do-one-in-five-ugandan-households-have-access-to-electricity-6b95fe15d1d9

Is Tanzania’s Urban Street Child Population Increasing? https://pesacheck.org/is-tanzanias-urban-street-child-population-increasing-7038d87e4576

Has Free Public Education Led To More Tanzanian Girls In School? https://pesacheck.org/are-there-more-tanzanian-girls-in-school-now-that-public-education-is-free-55b26c2a335e


done_all 2a marked as Fully compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criterion 2b
Nonpartisanship policy
Evidence required: Please share evidence of your policy preventing staff from direct involvement in political parties and advocacy organizations. Please also indicate the policy your organization has as a whole regarding advocacy and supporting political candidates.

PesaCheck
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago
Raymond Joseph Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

From their website: “As a rule, PesaCheck is non-partisan. We remain impartial in the facts we are checking, no matter the source. As far as our content is concerned, we do not endorse or support any political parties. We also do not undertake any advocacy work either for ourselves as an organization or on behalf others.” (see https://pesacheck.org/our-principles-2e9c5a00ecb1)


done 2b marked as Partially compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Section 3: Transparency of Sources

Criterion 3a
Sources Policy
Please share a brief and public explanation (500 words max) of how sources are provided in enough detail that readers could replicate the fact check. If you have a public policy on how you find and use sources for your fact-checking, it should be shared here.

PesaCheck
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

PesaCheck's sources include stories published on mainstream media, public debates, ads on TV, radio and online, talk-shows, official political party and campaign websites, YouTube and social media videos, social media posts, parliamentary sessions, committee hearings, government meetings and proceedings, and media appearances.

We also collect requests from the public on claims that need checking using an online form.

We try to include multiple sources of information and references in our checks. In addition, the sources are referenced on sourceAFRICA, a repository of all the source documents we use, for future reference. sourceAFRICA links directly to the information being referenced, allowing readers to review the document in its entirety.

All our fact-checks are recorded on Check, where we manage and update claims as they progress.

To underline the credibility of PesaCheck stories, we quote our sources comprehensively. Any information from sources that seek anonymity is treated as background information only and must be corroborated by evidence. PesaCheck is committed to disclosing the sources of the information in our stories in order to make our reporting as transparent to the readers as possible so they may know how and where we got our information.

Raymond Joseph Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

From PesaCheck’s application: PesaCheck's sources include stories published on mainstream media, public debates, ads on TV, radio and online, talk-shows, official political party and campaign websites, YouTube and social media videos, social media posts, parliamentary sessions, committee hearings, government meetings and proceedings, and media appearances.

We also collect requests from the public on claims that need checking using an online form.  


done_all 3a marked as Fully compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Section 4: Transparency of Funding & Organization

Criterion 4a
Funding Sources
Evidence required: Please link to the section where you publicly list your sources of funding (including, if they exist, any rules around which types of funding you do or don't accept), or a statement on ownership if you are the branch of an established media organization or research institution.

PesaCheck
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago
Raymond Joseph Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Comments about this criterion can be found in the general recommendation. 


done 4a marked as Partially compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criterion 4b
Staff
Evidence required: Please link to the section detailing all authors and key actors behind your fact-checking project with their biographies. You can also list the name and bios of the members of the editorial board, pool of experts, advisory board, etc. if your organization has those.

PesaCheck
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago
Raymond Joseph Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

The evident submitted is sufficient.


done_all 4b marked as Fully compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criterion 4c
Contact
Evidence required: Please link to the section where readers can get in touch with the organization.

PesaCheck
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago
Raymond Joseph Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

The evident submitted is sufficient.


done_all 4c marked as Fully compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Section 5: Transparency of Methodology

Criterion 5a
Detailed Methodology
Evidence required: Please link to a section or article detailing the steps you follow for your fact-checking work.

PesaCheck
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago
Raymond Joseph Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago
Criterion empty.

done_all 5a marked as Fully compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criterion 5b
Claim submissions
Evidence required: Please link to the page or process through which readers can submit claims to fact-check. If you do not allow this, please briefly explain why.

PesaCheck
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago
Raymond Joseph Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

While PesaCheck explains what it can fact-check, it would help to explain what cannot be fact-checked: e.g. opinion, future events

Asr guidance, this is what Full Fact says it cannot check: https://fullfact.org/about/effectiveness/


done_all 5b marked as Fully compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Section 6: Open & Honest Corrections Policy

Criterion 6a
Corrections policy
Evidence required: Please link to the page with your policy to address corrections. If it is not public, please share your organization's handbook.

PesaCheck
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago
Raymond Joseph Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

The evident submitted is sufficient.


done_all 6a marked as Fully compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criterion 6b
Examples of corrections
Evidence required: Please provide two examples of a correction made, or correction requests handled, in the past year.

PesaCheck
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago
Raymond Joseph Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Comments about this criterion can be found in the general recommendation. 


done 6b marked as Partially compliant by Raymond Joseph.