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The Community Together: Observations from Immersion 2012

In March 2012 the Twaweza East Africa team, in conjuction with Daraja, did a week long immersion in Njombe, in the southern highlands of Tanzania. During our immersion, we saw communities working together to bring change to their lives. In the absence of specific services and facilities, the community works together with leadership from inspiring individuals to fill the gaps.

While it is impossible to neatly sum up or come to any definite conclusions about what we experienced, we have put together some observations from participants. View our presentation, The Community Together, to read of our observations on access to information, power, change, education, health and water.

Twaweza Annual Report 2011

Our Annual Report for 2011, a year of the glass half full and half empty, has been released.

In 2011 we failed to develop as many partnerships as anticipated, or enough of an ecosystem effect between partners, or spend our budget. At the same time, we sharpened our approaches and investments, fostered innovative citizen monitoring, influenced national policies (particularly in education), stimulated the public imagination in interesting ways, and played a key role in establishing a major global initiative. Our main evaluations got off the ground and began to generate valuable lessons. We could interpret the facts to tell a compelling story about 2011 in either direction; the truth in all likelihood is that we have both succeeded powerfully and fallen short.

How transparency and accountability can make development work

'How transparency and accountability can make development work' was a presentation made to the Board of the Hewlett Foundation, one of our donors. The presenation talks of how transparency and accountability can energize development by creating opportunities for people to know, connect and act and by providing incentives for those in charge to be more responsive and deliver. Transparency and accountability enables citizens to reclaim government and make services work for them.

Citizens making stuff happen

Things may be moving slowly in the world of officialdom. But people are not always waiting for their governments to do everything in their daily lives. According to Rakesh Rajani, Twaweza's Head, despite bureaucratic service delivery systems citizens find ways to get things done.

From 'things happen to me' to 'I make things happen': Twaweza's approach

Speaking to the Governance DP Group in April 2010, Twaweza Head Rakesh Rajani said that development doesn't work when it a) places faith and funds in unaccountable governments, b) runs short-lived boutique projects that reach very few, or c) gets good people to participate in dysfunctional policy processes.

Twaweza therefore realized it would have greater success by working with the networks that already exist in each village and urban neighbourhood. These are what we call the five networks: religion, mass media, mobile telephony, consumer goods networks, and teachers' unions.

Development is miserable, but people are making things happen

Twaweza Head Rakesh Rajani was invited to speak at the 2010 TEDx event in Dar es Salaam. His talk was entitled, 'Development is miserable, but people are making things happen.' After presenting observations from Tanzania on water, health and eduation he asked:

'What can we conclude? We have hollow shells, hardware over software, dysfunctional governance, veneers & pretences of progress, high costs and serious inequitie., Little care, little health, little learning. Little faith in �officialdom.�

And yet, people are driving change with a little imagination.

Is Policy Practiced? Stories from 9 Villages

On our 2009 Immersion in Tanzania's Lake District, Twaweza staff had these questions in mind: Do public funds reach people? Do services work for the poor? Does governance solve problems? How do people su(th)rvive? View the presentation 'Is Policy Practiced?' for stories of Twaweza's first Immersion experience that continues to challenge and inform our thinking.
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