Annual Plan 2017

2016 was a year of excitement and innovation. We expanded the Sauti za Wananchi initiative into the very competitive Kenyan environment, and have established a presence as a reliable amplifier of citizens’ voices. We tested how to assess learning at a higher level with our Beyond Basics initiative and engaged in revealing conversations with teachers. We designed an exciting Public Agency pilot to learn what works, and does not, in midwifing a fruitful relationship between citizens and government at the most local level - public school.

In 2017, we will focus our attention on driving initiatives with well-specified objectives around their effects, and then carefully monitor, track and evaluate these.

Uwezo will retain its identity but will expand to encompass citizen-led assessment of household-based outcome indicators generally – from learning to sanitation to institutional inclusion (via birth certificates). Well selected Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators will be fully embedded in the Uwezo processes from instrument design to training to data collection and analysis. Reporting will be designed to customize messages for different consumers of the various data and insights. During 2017 and 2018, Uwezo will be evaluated for its effects a) as a platform (acceptability of citizen-led assessment  as an independent monitoring mechanism), b) on the pathways and transmission network of volunteers and others directly involved in the collection and sub-national dissemination exercise, and c) on specific policies, plans and budgets.

We will deepen engagement and advocate for shifts within the core basic education policies (formulation, resource allocation and implementation), as outlined in our four education problems.

  • First, early grade teaching and learning remains a major focus of our independent learning assessment. We will track and detect changes in high-level plans and budgets (e.g. national education sector review) as well as the rhetorical discourse on learning.
  • Second, engaging in curriculum reform, especially where it affects assessment. Through our work we are learning that the curriculum is not overloaded, as we had thought. Using evidence of the curriculum review, we will push for and track shifts in curriculum policy and practice. We want to change the design and use of assessment, from being a sorting mechanism to being used to improve teaching and learning outcomes.
  • Third, we will ramp up our engagement on the teacher presence and motivation challenge. Teacher availability, (reduced inequality in distribution), competence (recruitment and training), and motivation (signs of KiuFunza in government plans, or a robust discourse on pay-for-performance for teachers) will all be pursued and monitored.
  • Fourth, we will become more explicit about what changes we can expect to see in school governance, management and the role of parents in their children’s education, and design both interventions and monitoring initiatives to detect and track these changes.

Under our Open Government pillar we will focus on pushing back against closing civic space through focused attention on legislation and policies that are shaping this context. We will track the use of the Cybercrimes and Media Services Acts in Tanzania (and in particular seek to shape the regulations that will operationalize the Media Services Act), and engage with selected NGOs in Uganda in reference to the NGO Act. We will also look to promote and track awareness of and the use of Access to Information (ATI) legislation in all three countries, by citizens, civil society and civil servants.

In Tanzania we have the mystery shopping study to assess public officials’ attitudes to providing public information in the absence of explicit legislation addressing it (although many administrative guidelines and rules require proactive and reactive disclosure), and we will enhance it with a small survey of actual demand for publicly-available information (e.g., by CSOs and civil servants. The mystery shopper initiative is planned also for Kenya and possibly Uganda.

In addition to working with the national government in Tanzania, we will extend practical support to Kigoma’s CSO community to implement and monitor their Open Government Partnership sub-national commitments on transparency. We will evaluate Kigoma’s performance and its effects on citizen engagement, transparency, accountability (procurement and financial disclosure quality) and compare it to non-OGP local governments in Tanzania.

Finally, we will explore early in 2017, our potential value-add to the election space in Kenya, building on the lessons learned from Tanzania and Uganda, but also taking Kenya’s specific context into account.

In our important and deeply embedded Learning, Monitoring and Evaluation initiatives, we will spread our limited resources judiciously to make sure we meaningfully monitor and evaluate a select number of activities. The aim is to be able to rigorously assess our design and execution and course-correct in a timely manner, and to confidently say something significant about the effects of individual initiatives, and of Twaweza overall. We shall explore a wider number of opportunistic research partnerships to examine specific hypotheses (e.g. whether innovative accountability-focused mass media products result in establishing a desirable role model of a public leader and influence other leaders to follow suit).

In summary, we propose to consolidate the findings, lessons and insights we have gained through our careful execution of the first two years of the current strategy into a series of more focused and carefully monitored activities designed to achieve measurable effects by December 2018. We look forward to contributing to specific policy improvements in basic education that put learning at the core of budgeting, deployment and assessment. We are eager to demonstrate the value of more open government to both national and subnational authorities, as well as citizens. We want to play a part in expanding the boundaries of civic space and to encouraging citizens to act with confidence to shape our collective lives for the better.

Read more: Annual plan



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