We're out of the office... in Njombe

In conjunction with our partner Daraja, Twaweza staff from the three country offices will be in the southern highlands of Tanzania from March 4-10, 2012 on Immersion. For one week each year we do home stays in communities outside of the large cities, getting a small ‘window’ into the daily lives of ordinary citizens.

Twaweza’s work is based on the belief that the people make change happen. Our programs seek to enhance what ordinary citizens are already doing. We therefore need to ‘tune in.’ Immersion allows us to listen and see how people live and negotiate life, communicate, dream, and aspire. We look at how people experience services such as schools, water and health; and we look at how people solve problems and get things done. We do that through observation and conversation, hanging out and engaging, rather than through formal research or surveys. No clipboards and forms.

And from past experience we find that our hosts are just as curious about ourselves and the lives we live in the East African capital cities. We avoid the temptation and hubris of giving advice, and instead share our own stories. Late into the night conversations are therefore a common feature of the immersion experience.

We look forward to this time out of the office and expect to have our assumptions and thinking challenged, and come back with greater confusion, insight and inspiration.

The three offices will be operating with a bare bones staff for the week. If you are trying to reach a member of our staff, please be patient, as we will be out of e-mail contact. For matters that cannot wait you can always reach us at or in Dar es Salaam telephone +255 22 2664301.

We will share observations and stories from our time in Njombe when we return. For presentations on a past immersion experience in Northern Tanzania see ‘Is Policy Practiced? Stories from 9 Villages’ and 'Bridging a Thousand Miles: Development on the ground in the Lake Zone of Tanzania.'

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