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Presentation on Twaweza and Citizen Agency

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Presentation on Twaweza and Citizen Agency, for Femina, Feb 2014

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Presentation on Twaweza and Citizen Agency

  1. 1. Citizen Agency
  2. 2. Citizen Agency @Twaweza uptake of information: uptake is more active engagement. information makes sense, is relevant and is perceived to be of use. monitoring what’s going on: systematically collecting information for citizens’ own use. information that can be compared and analysed, not just knowing about your own circumstances. generally involves comparing policy / budget with practice or actual delivery of money or comparisons over time or across areas. speaking up and debating: voice that can be heard. local level which can, but doesn’t have to, lead to national. taking action to make a difference: initiative to make a difference. generally either through demanding more from government or service providers, or using their own time and labour to get things done.
  3. 3. Being informed Previously knowledge was the missing link to action – of people knew they would act. Information can be thought of in two ways – addressing information asymetry or information as persuasion. What does it do? prompt a few (outliers / active citizens / positive deviants) to act help create a supportive environment for more active citizens create silent pressure / common knowledge – nationally and locally be a tool for political entrepreneurs be used to create a problem out of a condition
  4. 4. Being active Key concepts: Determinants to action Types of action Strategic incrementalism Movements / organizers
  5. 5. Determinants What makes people likely / ready to act? Three main categories: opportunity (external); ability (knowledge, skills, efficacy); motivation (attitudes, values, beliefs, norms)
  6. 6. Do I understand the information? Is it new information? Does it suggest that the situation is worse than I had expected? Do I care? Do I think that it is my responsibility to do something about it? Do I have the skills to make a difference? Do I have the sense of efficacy to think that my efforts will have an impact? Are the kinds of actions I am inspired to take different from what I am already doing? Do I believe my own individual action will have an impact? Do I expect fellow community members to join me in taking action to affect change? No Impact No Impact No Impact No Impact No Impact No Impact No Impact No Impact = yes = no Impact Impact No Impact Information to Action Chain
  7. 7. Choosing determinants Defining which ones seem particularly important Understanding your capacity to influence these – we are not starting from a blank slate Understanding the interplay
  8. 8. Types of Action private public individual reading with your child going to talk to the head teacher collective michango demonstration Also keeping in mind choices between: • direct (e.g. contribute to hire an extra teacher) and indirect (e.g. petitioning district authorities for more teachers) • voice and exit • negative action - violence, repression
  9. 9. Which action? Answer depends on what problem you are working on. Is the issue that there is just not enough citizen agency / engagement / action? In which case any type of action is useful. Or if there is a specific problem you are trying to solve? Then analysis required to work through what actions are possible / plausible and likely to bring the type of change we are looking for.
  10. 10. Goals Stakeholders Actions Opportunities Constraints Knowledge ie: What do we want? ie: Who is involved? ie: What 3 things should they do? ie: Drivers? Motivations? ie: Barriers? Efficacy? ie: What info do we think they need? SDE2: 90% of funds are disbursed to schools. Source: SzW brief 3, June 2013: Capitation grants in primary education. [Facts below could involve other audiences] 79% of Tanzanians have never heard of the capitation grant (pg 2). 93% of head teachers report shortages of books (pg 5). Head teachers are dissatisfed witht the capitation grant disbursement (pg 6). District Education Officer (on behalf of the District Treasury) Advocate for schools and: 1) Authorize grant disbursal timely from District Treasury. 2) Confirm disbursal amount with MoE. 3) Confirm disbursal amount with head teachers. Greater trust and respect from HTs. Less follow up from HTs. Recognition for good results. Increased allocations. Beaurocracy. Transparency. Corrupt practices. Competing priorities. Loss of private gain. Shortage of resources. 63% of HTs are dissatisfed with the CG disbursement. 17% of HTs do not follow up on capitation grant if it does not arrive i.e. 83% do follow up. DEO's role and authority related to CG. Head teachers 1) Contact DEO if CG is not transferred timely. 2) Publish CG disbursements on noticeboard, together with school expenditure. 3) Discuss with parents and other community members which actions to take when CG is missing. Increased income. Recogition for good results. More resources for school or private gain! Corrupt practices. Financial literacy. No interest in school performance. 63% of HTs are dissatisfed with the CG disbursement. 17% of HTs do not follow up on capitation grant if it does not arrive i.e. 83% do follow up. 80% of HTs report that CG expenditure is displayed in public noticeboards. 93% of HTs report shortages of books. Parents 1) Know the CG amount + purpose + frequency. 2) Engage student to understand status of school resources. 3) Find 5 other parents who want to ensure CG is received and used properly. 4) Proactively go to the school with other parents to check on CG status and use. Relation to children. Hope for children. Relation to school. Current unnecessary expenditure. Knowledge of capgrant amount and purpose. Fear of authority. Lack of ownership (motivation). Distance to schools. Literacy of parents. Opportunities to engage at school level. Primary CG is TZS 10k per child. Secondary CG is TZS 25k per child. CG is meant for textbooks and other materials, small repairs, adminsitration costs, exam expenses. Disbursed quarterly. Expenditure and receipt is meant to be displayed on a public noticeboard. 34% of primary schools did not receive any 2013 CG by 25 April 2013. Average annual receipt between 2010 and 2012 was TZS 2,202 per student.
  11. 11. Strategic incrementalism Asking people to tackle big issues or even directly trying to tackle macro issues can be difficult, lead to disjointed work and despair when you don’t achieve them. Instead it is about focusing on the smaller things that you think will put you on the path to tackling the larger part. The story of civil rights – people will be unlikely to respond to ‘let’s end inequality’ meaningfully – how do you even start? Wedge issues Not small things for the sake of small things but that you assess as flash points, possible points of impact Assessing external opportunities Feedback loops
  12. 12. What can we impact? Outputs – full control, what we produce and can ‘guarantee’ Quality outcomes Do people like the material, does it resonate. These feedback into the content we produce and inform us how to make it better Outcomes on determinants Did it increase their knowledge, are they more motivated – also useful for feedback loops Action outcomes – if we wanted people to do something did they do it? This is unlikely to be the result of just our material but is part of what we aim for Outcomes Impact – what we hope and dream of but is a combination of our efforts and others’, we are not guaranteeing this will result from our work but we hope to show that our work could have or did contribute.
  13. 13. Social movements Organising The value of mass participation Social movements as a pyramid Organisers – planning, keeping momentum driving the agenda, people with a plan Mass participation – people need the sense of contributing / sacrificing. Product boycotts / sponsored runs etc
  14. 14. Organisers Large-scale social change, involving mass participation, is driven by committed individuals who mobilise people around shared goals. Key qualities of an organizer: relationship-building (bringing people together, uniting them around a common purpose, understanding leadership as relational –leaders need followers) story-telling (through stories people are motivated, the why of taking action; identity) strategizing (ensuring optimal use of resources and skills / turning what we have into what we need to get what we want) action (turning commitments to action or outcomes, ensuring skills, metrics and accountability to do so) structuring (clarity of purpose, norms and roles – including shifts in who is playing a leadership role).
  15. 15. What does it all mean for Femina? Ready-made platforms – deciding what they best convey and achieve Fema clubs as a good basis for organisation – how do you find the most motivated individuals who can lead the charge within these structures? What issues? Or just wanting young people to engage more? Is it demand side engagement that you are most interested – putting you in the accountability field? Or direct action too? Unpacking the relationship between entrepreneurship and agency

Presentation on Twaweza and Citizen Agency, for Femina, Feb 2014

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