The core of this work involves collecting nationally, and in some cases locally, representative views and experiences from citizens and injecting these into public and policy debates and spaces of interaction between citizens and leaders. Twaweza will also pursue more direct representation of citizen voices in decision-making and the collection of citizen views for direct persuasion. Media will be a critical platform in bringing citizens and leaders together.
AMPLIFYING CITIZEN VOICES
> Enabling citizens' voices, interests and experiences to be heard and taken seriously in decision-making across multiple governance levels
Twaweza uses its creative and credible communications capacity to channel the views and voices collected through our community-based work vertically through different levels of government in Tanzania and Uganda. Twaweza also, in all three countries, uses Sauti za Wananchi as a platform to collect representative citizen views on democratic freedoms and civic space issues, the issues unearthed through our work in communities including critical service delivery challenges and government mandated entitlements and standards as well as the Sustainable Development Goals. Both of these avenues serve as mechanisms to reiterate the importance of citizen participation, for their voices to be heard and taken seriously in decisions.
Building on current experimentation, we are also creatingselect localised Sauti za Wananchi-type platforms to respond to the needs of progressive, reform-minded local authorities around the same types of topics. These are generally be designed and implemented in collaboration with local authorities to ensure their data desires are fulfilled.
In engaging relevant actors around these various voices we focus on infusing them into media debate – sharing new data, voices and discussions. We work to ensure that all of these voices are shared with relevant government authorities, even those outside our core areas of interest and expertise. We also work with partners with sectoral expertise to make use of the voices collected to directly influence policies, plans and budgets. And most critically we infuse citizen voices into existing, new and facilitated spaces for citizen-government interaction.
And finally, Twaweza facilitates new spaces for citizens and their government to interact directly; multi-stakeholder dialogues, opportunities for citizens to directly question their leaders, particularly through media. We work on creating new platforms for dialogues and breathing new life into existing ones, all the while pushing authorities to be more open, transparent and subject to scrutiny about the work they are doing on behalf of citizens; and for citizen voices to be taken into account.