Twaweza.org

Can we make it happen?

We have just wrapped up our first Twaweza Evaluators meeting on 3-4 October, in Dar es Salaam. Twaweza is nearing the end of its first strategic period (2010-14), and this meeting was timed to allow for the review of progress to date of the evaluations, as well as to use available results and insights to plan for the second phase of the strategy.

The four main evaluation teams engaged with Twaweza were there: the Amsterdam Institute of International Development (evaluation proposal and details on the Sikiliza listening post), the Lieberman-Posner-Tsai collaborative group (from: Princeton, UCLA, MIT respectively), Georgetown University, and Jamal Poverty Action Lab / Innovations for Poverty Action.

In addition, we had a great mix of independent advisors mostly but not only from the world of transparency and accountability, both implementers and researchers, including Accountability in Tanzania, DIFD, Oxfam, Transparency and Accountability Initiative, Institute of Development Studies, the Hewlett Foundation, the World Bank and the International Budget Partnership.

The agenda of the event is attached as are the main presentations made by the evaluation teams, and a report of the meeting will follow shortly. In addition, a blog post was written by Evan Lieberman and Duncan Green from Oxfam is posting a series of blogs on this meeting on his site.

Twaweza has a powerful, somewhat audacious theory of change. But does it work? The verdict from preliminary findings shared from three major academic consortiums? It's too early for any grand conclusions in either direction. That said, the evaluation findings to date are like a cold shower: Twaweza has done an impressive amount of work, but it has not achieved the sort of large scale traction it had envisaged. The theory of change, particularly the focus on five channels and the ecosystem are still viewed as compelling, but several key aspects are not holding up. The findings serve as a cold shower, to pause and reflect carefully, as well as an impetus to make our work sharper, more meaningful, more effective.  

A strategic pivot on how we do our work is to be expected. Stay tuned. 

Read more: accountability Citizen Agency evaluation Twaweza

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