Twaweza aims to foster an 'ecosystem of change,' through building on, as well as triggering, the actions of citizens to make a difference, and by scaling up such actions through brokering and supporting partnerships.
In every village and urban neighborhood, ordinary citizens analyze, organize, and act on issues that matter to them. In many cases, they make important change, but their efforts are hampered by a lack of access to practical information about their government and their community. Many citizens, therefore, have difficulty organizing a meaningful response when government and other entities fail to deliver services or use resources well. When citizens can access information, media, and other resources, they have an improved ability to secure better services and advance their interests. By brokering partnerships that can deliver these tools and resources, Twaweza supports partners to amplify existing efforts and help new initiatives get off the ground. We believe that this will help to create more active citizens, stronger communities, and more responsive governments.
Twaweza’s approach is to begin with citizens and the networks that are already important to them, and to create practical ways in which millions of ordinary people can take steps to make change happen. Twaweza is not an implementer, nor simply a re-granter, to interesting projects. Rather, we foster development of new ideas and experimentation, broker strategic partnerships that can catalyze big change countrywide, and monitor progress. Each partnership is being built around achieving a focused goal that has real meaning for ordinary citizens– such as making sure that funds arrive at schools and are well used, water points are functioning for the poor, or increasing immunization availability.
The partnerships involve actors that have wide reach across communities and are significant to peoples' lives, including media, mobile phone companies, commercial distribution networks, religious organizations, and teachers' unions. Rather than trying to build a new distribution network from scratch, Twaweza piggybacks on existing ones. We seek to identify and work on shared goals, instead of appealing for charity. Building on what partners are good at, we make the case that the partnership serves self-interest at limited cost, at the same time as it achieves a public good. By pooling partners’ strengths into connected initiatives, the partnerships are able to reach millions of citizens across the region, and enable them to use these networks to create impact. You can read more about our programme work in our background document.
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