18 Aug 2010

Designing the paper, a plug for New Horizons

The last couple of weeks at Daraja have seen a team of editors and journalists hard at work preparing for the first issue of the Kwanza Jamii newspaper. We're doing all the design work ourselves, and so we enlisted the help of Edward Takesh from New Horizons Computer Learning Centre in Dar es Salaam to do some in-house training for the relevant staff up here in Njombe. The transformation has been remarkable, and more importantly, the end product is coming together and looking great.

Our thanks go to Edward and New Horizons for doing such a great job. The lucky staff who got to participate (I'm jealous) had nothing but praise for Edward's ability both as a user and as a trainer of the various software packages we're using, as well as for his attitude and helpfulness.

So if anyone's looking for training on Adobe Creative Suite software in Tanzania, these guys are highly recommended. And they do a whole lot more besides.

13 Aug 2010

Short term research position for student of journalism or history in Dar es Salaam

We're looking for a student of journalism or history to do some research work for Daraja in Dar es Salaam in September and and October. Anyone interested, please go to this page on our website.

11 Aug 2010

Water supply in #Tanzania is political not technical II: local government reactions to Maji Matone

Daraja's Maji Matone programme includes an innovative approach to solving rural water supply problems - creating a mechanism for rural citizens to SMS messages to inform their district water engineer of a breakdown or other problem, so that the water department can help solve the problem quickly. We also work with local media to follow up on what actions the water departments have taken.

While preparing our annual report last week (will be available online soon), we came across an analysis written by us a few months back of the initial responses of district water departments to this apprach. It provides an interesting window on the attitudes of local government, so we decided to include it in our annual report, and also to share it here. In order to protect our working relations with the officials in question, their names and the names of the districts have not been included here.

2 Aug 2010

Getting the news out

The biggest challenge facing our local newspaper programme, for the moment at least, is a logistical one. For the paper to meet its objectives, it must be available right out into the more remote parts of the district. But how do we get it there?

This isn't an unexpected challenge, and we would not have decided on using print media if we didn't feel a solution could be found. But with the first issue of the paper due to be published later this month, working out that solution has recently been a priority.