Africa Check’s health researcher, Melissa Meyer, discusses the proliferation of quack Aids cures from Swaziland to Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania and why they should all be considered false until proven effective. Listen to the podcast here
Resources for fact-checking
Fact-checking requires journalistic skills, persistence and resources. Our main resources are sources of data and tools for analysing and verifying information found online.
Data sources for South Africa
It is not possible to provide exhaustive an exhaustive list of data sources. Depending on the sort of claim you are checking, you may wish to seek information from government papers and official statistics, company records, scientific studies and health research databanks, through to the records of schools, charities, religious organisations and all manner of other bodies.
We hope the below list is useful nevertheless. They are all sites we use or have used. It is our impression they are useful but we do not manage these databases and are not responsible for them, and we would like to hear back from you with feedback on useful you find them.
Aid industry data
- International Aid Transparency Initiative. The site provides data about overseas aid coming to South Africa.
- StatsSA, the website of the official South African statistics agency, provides data from South African censuses.
- ISS Crime Hub, run by the Institute for Security Studies, provides a wide range of data on trends in crime in South Africa.
Development indicators – South Africa
- South Africa Development Indicators Database. UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, runs the South Africa Development Indicators database.
- South Africa’s National Health Research Database (NHRD). Open to the public, the National Health Research Database (NHRD), developed by the Health Systems Trust for South Africa’s National Department of Health, is a web-based search engine and database. It contains more than thirty thousand references, generally available as summaries/abstracts, and links to full text PDF files of health research conducted in South and southern Africa. Funding is through South Africa’s National Department of Health.
- Journ-AIDS. A website that provides a wide range of information on HIV and AIDS for journalists.
Local government information
- Municipal Demarcation Board. Detailed information on local government across South Africa.
Politics & politicians
- Members of the National assembly. A list of SA National Assembly members, provided on the site www.Africaopendata.org.
- Parliamentary Monitoring Group. A site that provides monitoring of parliament and includes parliamentary committee hearings.
- Hansard. The official record of proceedings in parliament.
- Remuneration of public office bearers. A website detailing pay grades for public officials.
- Who Owns What. A database is run by the Information Portal on Corruption (IPOC), and is open the public as part of the IPOC website. It was established in 2003 as the Southern African Online Corruption Information Centre following a meeting organised by the South African Human rights Initiative Trust and Transparency Zimbabwe. Funding: It is funded by the Danish Development Agency (Danida) and the Norwegian Agency for Development (NORAD).
Data sources – international comparisons
- Gap Minder. The site provides access to a wide range of official data on health and wealth in different countries.
Image & content verification tools
When fact-checking, you may receive of find material published online – photos, videos, blogs or other content – and want to verify whether or not it is genuine. Tools we use to assist us in this include the following.
- TinEye. To check whether a photo, or edited version of the photo, has been published previously, drop the photo into this site. This may show whether or not it is fake.
Checking where content came from
- www.domaintools.com/reverse-ip/. If you have doubts about the source of some information, and have the numerical address – the IP code – of the computer it came from, you can check the country the computer is located in it you enter that into this address and it should confirm the country of origin.
More to follow