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Mounir Ibrahim
VP, Strategic initiatives @ Truepic

3 min read

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Mar 30, 2020 Truepic Helps Its Partners Track COVID-19 Response With Verified Imagery in Nigeria

Mounir Ibrahim | VP, Strategic initiatives @ Truepic | 3 min read

The COVID-19 crisis is truly a global and borderless challenge to every nation on earth. Tracking the virus and its impact is especially difficult because it is clear that social distancing is a necessary tool to stunt the spread. So how can information about the virus’ impact and a community or government’s response be verified if those responsible for documenting are also in isolation? Much of the world is relying on crowdsourced images and videos being transmitted through mobile phone capture. However, by doing so, we all become more susceptible to fraud, misinformation, and disinformation.

Image of CIEPD confirming hand washing station outside of General Hospital in Calabar, Nigeria

One of the ways Truepic is helping counter this trend is empowering organizations working to disseminate truthful information with Controlled Capture technology. Controlled Capture images deliver high-trust verified digital media to organizations or businesses through a remote inspection/audit system — Truepic Vision. This allows the organization to crowdsource, request, or solicit verified and contextualized images and videos from anyone with a smartphone.

One of Truepic’s partners and a recipient of our first grant program is the Community Initiative for Enhanced Peace and Development (CIEPD) in Port Harcourt (Rivers State), Nigeria. CIEPD runs several programs in the southeastern province of Nigeria (part of the Niger Delta) aimed at capacity building, information sharing, and prevention of conflict. Its Conflict Watch Center (CWC) is an impressive initiative that allows citizens to phone in or email reports of conflict or restive activity displayed on a live map. This map is a critical resource for authorities, businesses (including many international oil companies operating in the Niger Delta), and community leaders. CIEPD can now quickly corroborate images received, reports, or calls through verified media delivered on Truepic Vision.

Soon after receiving their grant, the COVID-19 crisis hit Nigeria and CIEPD had to shift its focus quickly. As the most populous country in Africa, there is concern that the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria could be exceptionally damaging. On March 25, Human Rights Watch issued this statement and its country director said that the rise in COVID-19 cases brings into focus the “gaping holes” in the country’s healthcare system and ability to respond.

Staff wearing PPE and checking temperature outside of Asi Ukpo hospital

In response, CIEPD is now leveraging Truepic Vision to source and track its community’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. Through verified imagery, CIEPD can monitor, audit, and keep track of safety measures being deployed at local institutions like hospitals, banks, government offices, and provide verified and trusted information to its community. “We are trying to document and track our community and local governments’ response to the pandemic. We want to make sure that both the governments and communities are doing their parts. We document the positive response to the virus to give credit to the people who deserve it, and we document the negative response to hold officials accountable. We use verified photos because there is a great deal of misinformation about the virus out there. During these times, communities and governments need to see only the photos they can trust,” said Egondu Esinwoke-Ogbalor, CEO of CIEPD.

We are proud of our partner’s work and recognize how critical high-trust digital media will be for organizations to collect and disseminate accurate information. It affirms how Controlled Capture verified images can play a positive role during this challenging crisis.