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Uwezo spreads message one bus ride at a time

Ugandan bus riders will have the chance to watch the Uwezo Uganda produced film Kyosiga's Dream as they travel through the country in the coming months. The 20 minute film highlights what appear to be average daily situations in the life of an 11 year old Ugandan boy that he finds himself in at home, in the community, and at school which either interfere or aid his ability to learn. Uganda Uwezo Country Coordinator Richard Ssewakiryanga said that the film is intended to induce popular action to support learning achievement for children in school. Kyosiga's Dream took ten months to produce from the time of shooting to the premiere of the film.

Shujaaz.FM nominated for Emmy Award

Congratulations to Kenya's Shujaaz.FM on their 2012 Emmy nomination! This is the first time a Kenyan program has been nominated for this prestigious award, which recognizes excellence in media. Shujaaz.FM by Kenya's Well Told Story has been nominated for best 'Digital Program: Children and Young People.' Other nominees in the same category come from Sweden, the UK and Australia.

Debate on future of citizenship

What is the future of citizenship? That is the question Twaweza Head Rakesh Rajani will debate on February 23 with Arend Jan Boekestijn, a former member of parliament for the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) Party in the Netherlands. Boekestijn currently teaches at the University of Utrecht and has written a book on foreign aid policy. He is skeptical of development aid, believing it results in a passive attitude of citizens from both the donating and receiving countries. Rajani will share insights from a career focused on increasing citizen agency to bring about social change in East Africa.

Wananchi Mobile Phone Survey: Request for Proposals

Mobile phone technology offers an exciting potential to collect data at reduced cost, and in a way that is more frequent and more responsive to the changing data needs for monitoring service delivery and accountability. Based on this idea, Uwazi at Twaweza seeks to implement the Wananchi Survey: a high frequency household survey using mobile phones in a nationally representative sample covering 1500 households in Tanzania. The data collected in this way will inform public debate about a wide range of public policies in Tanzania.

Therefore, Twaweza is looking for competent and reputable organizations who can implement the two activities that this work entails: a) establishing, enlisting, training and surveying a sample of 1500 households that will participate in the mobile phone survey and b) developing and operating a call center for the monthly mobile phone surveys. The project will be implemented for an initial period of one year, and if successful, it will be repeated every year for an indefinite period of time. In subsequent years the frequency of the survey may be increased from monthly to twice monthly. The Wananchi Survey is also expected to be expanded into Kenya and Uganda.

Citizens ask Governments to make Budgets Open

On 18 November 2011 nearly 100 civil society groups from as many countries and 12 international organizations, including the International Budget Partnership, Greenpeace, and the ONE Campaign, launched a global effort to make public budgets transparent, participatory, and accountable. The effort centers on building an integrated and vibrant movement of organizations that will work at the local, national, and international level to promote government budgeting that is open and accountable to the public. The organizations meeting in Dar es Salaam to launch the global Civil Society Movement for Budget Transparency, Accountability, and Participation laid the foundation of the movement by signing a Declaration of Principles.

ShujaazFM on YouTube

ShujaazFM, Kenya's interactive multimedia project and Twaweza partner is now available on YouTube. The ShujaazFM YouTube channel adds a cool new strand to its collection of social media platforms which previously included Facebook and Twitter. ShujaazFM comics are reportedly the largest print publication in Kenya, with over 600,000 copies of its books distributed every month. Its pirate comic radio show is broadcasted on 20 local radios and has thousands of fans interacting through Facebook and Twitter.

Open Government Partnership takes off in East Africa

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) was formally launched, in New York, on 20th September 2011 by US President Barack Obama. Representatives from over 40 countries attended the OGP launch, including President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, President Zuma of South Africa, and ministers from Kenya.

Following these developments, at the request of President Kikwete, on three different occasions Twaweza has briefed senior officials at the State House, the Permanent Secretaries, and the full Tanzania Cabinet. The presentation to Cabinet can be downloaded here [attach low res pdf version]. Throughout these meetings President Kikwete powerfully reiterated the need to be open to citizens on issues that affect them, particularly basic services and issues of value for money. He has appointed the Minister for Good Governance, Mathias Chikawe, to lead the process on behalf of the government.
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