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GIJN Webinar — Investigating the Pandemic: Tracking Billions in COVID-19 Contracts


Editor’s note: This webinar has now taken place. You can see the recording on GIJN’s YouTube channel.

One in every three dollars spent by governments is on a contract with a company, according to the nonprofit Open Contracting Partnership. Checking out contracts has long been a focus for investigative reporters — an essential part of “following the money.” Governments have already spent more than 40 billion dollars to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, so how can journalists investigate how the money is being used and who is getting the contracts? The challenge is heightened by the use of emergency procurement procedures and restrictions on access to information. Nevertheless, reporters worldwide are breaking procurement-related stories on a daily basis.

GIJN’s latest webinar, Tracking Billions in COVID-19 Contracts, focuses on how to investigate the contracting process, what red flags to look out for and how to find out where the money is going. Two experienced investigative journalists and an expert on contracts share their strategies and tips: Veteran Russian investigative reporter: Roman Anin, co-founder and editor-in-chief of a new investigative newsroom, Vazhnie Istorii, (Important Stories or I-Stories in English); Ernesto Cabral, an investigative reporter at Ojo Público who is leading COVID-19 procurement investigations in Peru; and Sophie Brown from the Open Contracting Partnership.

GIJN also launched a new resource guide Researching Government Contracts for COVID-19 Spending, which provides tips and tools on how to pursue such stories, along with published examples. It examines the red flags for corruption and where to find information related to the different stages of the procurement process.

This one-hour webinar is free and designed for journalists interested in investigating the pandemic. It is the eleventh in the GIJN series Investigating the Pandemic. Coming soon: presenting pandemic data visually with infographics expert Alberto Cairo; data journalism and the pandemic with Columbia Journalism School’s Giannina Segnini; and Investigating Pandemic Scams with Buzzfeed’s Craig Silverman. Watch our Twitter feed @gijn and newsletter for future events.

GIJN will offer Russian translation for this webinar.

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