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Infusing Jumuiya (church groups) discussions with data

Part of Twaweza’s approach to promote active citizenship is to disseminate relevant and actionable information directly to citizens. Partner organizations who already have well-established and wide networks present an opportunity to do this. One such partner in Tanzania is the Christian Social Services Commission (CSSC), a coalition of the largest Christian denominations in Tanzania including the Catholic, Lutheran and Anglican churches.

The aim of the partnership was to co-produce and distribute information about the governance and performance of public health and education services. The purpose was to inform Tanzanian citizens on the quality of public services, to motivate discussion about local services, and hopefully motivate people to act to improve these services. This was delivered in two main components: discussion shows on popular Christian radio stations, and the production and dissemination of discussion materials to prayer groups (Jumuiya).

This brief presents findings of a survey of Jumuiya leaders, focused on their use of the discussion guides.

The CSSC partnership

The first component of the partnership was for CSSC to work with popular Christian radio stations to stimulate public debate through live discussion shows. This was implemented first, six months before the discussion guides were distributed.

A separate monitoring exercise of the radio component suggested that the radio stations chosen (Radio Maria, Upendo FM, Sauti ya Injili and Sauti FM) command a relatively small portion of the radio listenership market. The same study found also that although most of the listeners were young people, the style of presentation and discussion of the topics (accountability, health, basic education) were more likely relevant to a somewhat older generation.

The second was to co-produce 600,000 discussion materials and distribute these to 15,000 prayer groups (known as Jumuiya), reaching around 2.3 million people throughout the country.

The guides were printed and distributed to five zones across the country: western and central, northern, southern, eastern, and Lake Zone. The materials were given to the Jumuiya leaders within the selected zones by CSSC. Our main objective for doing this was to spark discussions and debates particularly on education and health issues, on the assumption that merging biblical teachings with civic education will deliver messages that will prompt members to not only discuss these issues amongst themselves but also motivate them to monitor public services.

Methodology

Twaweza contracted Ipsos Tanzania to carry out a computer-assisted telephone-based survey. Out of 4,987 Jumuiya leaders, 262 were randomly selected for the study, with at least 50 contacts per zone. Respondents were asked a range of open and closed questions about whether and how the guides were used in their Jumuiya groups.

Key findings 

  • Twaweza is well known to the Jumuiya leaders

Over half of the respondents (55%) had heard of Twaweza prior to the follow-up call, while one out of three (31%) had heard of CSSC. 

  • 44% of the Jumuiya leaders recalled receiving the publications, the majority of whom recalled the content of the publications.

Close to half of the Jumuiya leaders (44%) recalled receiving the materials. Further, the respondents were asked if they could recall any messages from the materials and among those who received the publication, six out of ten (64%) could remember the content of publications. Among those who could recall the content, 84% could clearly identify the topics (education and health).

  • 61% Jumuiya leaders report that the publications were used in the discussions.

Among our sample of leaders who recalled receiving the guides, 61% responded reported that the publications were used in Jumuiya discussions, while 25% answered negatively, and the remainder (14%) didn’t remember

It’s worth noting that while the distribution of materials was completed in July 2017, the follow up was conducted about 6 months later, in January 2018. This may have affected the recall levels.

Nevertheless, feedback from this follow-up suggests several points for consideration about the Twaweza and CSSC partnership.

Read the report here.

Read more: citizen feedback

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