information 2 Empower (i2E)
Knowledge is power – Knowledge empowers the individual to see the world through different lenses – information provides knowledge
International development requires organisations to nurture practices that help people discover their own resources, and their own abilities to create an influence positive change. Information plays a key role in this effort. When poor people have access to information, they are more likely to use it to protect themselves and their communities from all forms of poverty. Wider access to accurate information reduces poverty by improving poor people’s access to education, health, public and private services. Information helps connect local producers to buyers thereby stimulating inclusive economic development. When information is unevenly disseminated, access or controlled by the few, it creates opportunities for corruption, unnecessary rent seeking and the control of the state by special interests, leading to poor people becoming even more deprived and marginalised. Research shows that, in areas where information dissemination has been effective, and access to information has been widespread, markets and public institutions have proven to be efficient, transparent and accountable.
In Sierra Leone poverty, in its many forms (social exclusion, economic deprivation, marginalisation and often, poor health) is perpetuated by lack of information. The Ebola outbreak was vivid manifestation of how lack of factual information could serve as obstacle in prevention and control of deadly disease outbreaks.
We believe that poverty in Sierra Leone can be reduced in a sustainable way by increasing information and communication flow. Providing poor people with access to information and communication tools (where needed) is central to our effort in alleviating poverty. In this effort, we will dedicate 30% of our budget to provide information in rural areas. With accurate information:
- Poor people can access markets
- Poor people can improve their wellbeing
- Poor people can become more productive
Our aim is to provide information 2 Empower (i2E) the poor. We will do this by:
- Organising workshops and seminars on social and economic issues
- Providing communication tools
- Providing communication and media training