Why Sauti za Wananchi matters
There is a lack of transparent and robust independent information monitoring the status of key services and sectors (in sectors such as health, water and natural resources); equally, there are no robust sources of opinions and perceptions of citizens about key services and sectors.
Sauti za Wananchi offers, in particular to policy makers, the media and the public, unique access to data that provide insight into the real-time experiences and views of citizens.
Policy makers regularly make decisions for the whole country, but with poor access to the experiences and realities of a larger majority of citizens. It is also difficult for them to know whether policies are properly implemented or actually working. Citizens also do not have an easy way to know what is going on around in the country, and to compare their situation with others’. And the media are required to inform all parties and act as a bridge between citizens and the state but they work with limited resources, data and thematic expertise.
Typically, the data available are either administrative data – information collected by the government bodies at lower levels and compiled at district, regional and national levels – or survey data – data collected directly from households. But administrative data is not well monitored and can contain misreporting and be affected by other quality issues. And households surveys can be costly and take time.
Sauti za Wananchi offers a solution that overcomes these limitations and provides access to frequently updated statistics on a range of topics, with a focus on the quality of public services and citizens’ realities. Sauti za Wananchi embodies the rigour and quality of traditional survey methodology but uses mobile phones to lower costs and speed up the process of data collection.
Through Sauti za Wananchi, Twaweza is working to inject public and policy debates with new perspectives, curating and amplifying citizen voices to ensure they reasonate into the spaces where decisions are made and offering decision-makers the opportunity to learn what citizens think, feel and see.
Sauti za Wananchi provides an engine for Twaweza’s advocacy and engagement work. Using data collected over a number of years we are able to influence policy and public debate on specific issues.