Did we make it happen? An evaluation of Twaweza's first strategic period

In the second half of 2014, Twaweza was in the midst of a whirlwind: based on the first five years of implementation we were re-designing our strategy and at the same time we were also writing the annual plan for the following year; we were revising our organizational policies on programs, financial management and human resources; we were also in the midst of searching for a new executive director and bidding goodbye to the founder, and, congruently, re-designing the organizational organogram. On top of all of this we were committed to asking ourselves hard questions about the success of our first strategic period. What did it all add up to? What did we get right and what did we get wrong? So, with support from one of our top partners and funders, the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), we conducted an external evaluation of the first strategic period of the entire Tanzania program.

Of course a lof of work was required to collect and sort key documents, to engage substantively with the evaluators and to select projects, from the plethora of outputs and activities over the past five years, for more in-depth investigation. But, as we have learned many times, every challenge represent a unique opportunity. In this case, the team of evaluators (members from as far as Canada and Germany, and also Tanzanian members), who landed in this perfect storm of strategizing and organizational re-alignment, contributed significantly to our thinking and setting the course for the next strategic period. The exercise was not always easy, but in retrospect, we are thankful for the evaluation team for their dogged efforts, and thankful to our donors and partners for the support they extended to the exercise – and indeed, to Twaweza’s journey overall. We are starting our new strategic period in 2015 with a solid basis of acknowledged successes, many lessons learned in what worked and what didn’t, a more focused direction, as well as some core questions which we know we need to investigate further. The external evaluation contributed significantly to this: Asanteni sana. 

You can read the full evaluation report with the executive summary. You can also find our Management Response Letter, where we reflect on some of the core points highlighted in the report.

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Authors: Amitav Rath



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