[The Activism Blog] SaharaReporters Civic Lab vs BudgIT Civic Hive?

Okay, so that headline was some weird form of click bait because we certainly don’t think this is a versus situation. And there is absolutely no evident competition between them.

Still, you will forgive anyone who is confused.

Last month, SaharaReporters.com launched its Civic Media Lab, which is essentially a space for media platforms that seek to solve social problems.

“We believe that technology has the potential to save humanity only if it is creatively and inclusively used,” it said. “Civic Labs is a platform allowing all stake holders contribute to the design process as subject matter experts. Presently, we have a Media Lab (SLIM), Justice Lab, Health Lab, and Anti-Corruption Lab.

“Spaces are a stage for our public lives. They encourage diversity and interaction and most importantly – common values, ideas and goals. CivicHub is one huge set for the production of the biggest democratic intervention in Africa. Watch this space!”

Well, we’re watching. Because the launch – with Wole Soyinka, Femi Falana, Ayo Obe and others – was impressive, and the space is impressive and we can sense some great work coming from there.

But then there’s the weird thing. Because it has BudgIT as a key partner. And, from what we figured at the time, the Civic Media Lab was supposed to be a base for BudgIT’s Civic Hub, “Africa’s first civic technology accelerator, for its technological and research activities in the country with the aim of using innovative and inventive means of applying civic technology to everyday problems and acquiring positive results.”

Or maybe we got it all upside down because now BudgIT is launching its own thing – only it no longer will be called The Civic Hub, but now The Civic Hive (even though it’s website still has the old name). And Seun Akinfolarin, who was supposed to run the Lab, is now running the Hive. A bit confusing, eh?

And The Civic Hive is essentially The Civic Hub, though the one is in Yaba and the other is in Ikeja, both in Lagos. So, is this a collaboration? Is it an outreach?

Both are important projects. And both will do important things. And the more the merrier, for these two impressive change makers. But the clearer it is to the rest of us, the better for impact.

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