22 Apr 2011

Mapping for Results - what does this World Bank project tell us about Tanzania?

A lot of people have been pushing recently at the link between mapping and accountability. Whether it's detailed local maps of reported crime in the UK or East Africa's own Ushahidi platform, the internet and mobile phones are enabling new map-based ways of collecting, visualising and sharing information that can potentially be used to hold decision makers to account.

The most recent example comes from the World Bank. They recently published their Mapping for Results site, which presents (on a map, of course) details of 1250 current World Bank-financed projects in over 16,000 locations in 79 countries. Each location has a marker that can be clicked to reveal more details of the project and its location.

For Tanzania, the map shows 40 financed activities in 524 locations:

Mapping for Results - Tanzania map (click to enlarge)

17 Apr 2011

Daraja is growing, and looking for new staff

Update: Please note that the deadline for applications for these positions has now passed. We will be contacting shortlisted candidates shortly.

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Later this year, Daraja will be launching Kwanza Jamii Iringa, a sister paper to our existing Kwanza Jamii Njombe. We are therefore looking for five new members of staff to take on this work, as follows:

  • Managing Editor, overseeing both Kwanza Jamii Njombe and Kwanza Jamii Iringa 
  • Editor for Kwanza Jamii Iringa
  • Designer/Journalist for Kwanza Jamii Iringa
  • Programme Officer, a role supporting both papers with work on civic education, investigative journalism and citizen participation. This would suit someone with a civil society background and experience working on government accountability projects.
  • Business Manager, to oversee the commercial side of Kwanza Jamii Iringa
We are also advertising a new position, Head of Finance and Administration, so our growth can be supported with a stronger administrative team.

Finally, we are re-advertising the position we posted earlier this year - Monitoring and Research Officer. This position supporting monitoring and research across both our Maji Matone and Kwanza Jamii programmes, as well as conducting some research on local governance issues.

Our current staff are a very strong and dynamic group, committed to making local government more responsive to the community. We want our new staff to fit the same profile.

If that's you, and you meet the requirements for one or more of these jobs, we would love to hear from you. Please go to the vacancies section of our website, where you will find more details of the positions and of how to apply. Or if you know someone who might be interested, please pass the link on to them.

The deadline for applications for these positions is May 16th, 2011.

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Update: Please note that the deadline for applications for these positions has now passed. We will be contacting shortlisted candidates shortly.

7 Apr 2011

"Doublehanded" new politics? Observing @JMakamba and @ZittoKabwe

The hot topic of Tanzanian blogosphere at the moment seems to be use of social media by young politicians. January Makamba and Zitto Kabwe in particular have got the analysts thinking, documenting the use of social media by these two intriguing characters and trying to reach a conclusion on how significant this really is.

I won't go through all the points raised, but posts on The Mikocheni Report (and earlier), VijanaFMAfterAfrica (and an earlier oneand another), Ani Jozen in the Guardian are all worth reading, as is this broader analysis from the Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung that includes a brief section on Tanzania. The recent Tanzania Media Fund event on media and accountability helped the debate along, and of course it has raged on Twitter too. The tweets below were all posted in response to AfterAfrica's recent post, change comes with the youthful?

Change comes with the youthful? Click to enlarge

5 Apr 2011

Daraja / Maji Matone presented at World Bank ICT Days

Daraja was invited to make a presentation last week at the World Bank's ICT* Days in Washington. (Thanks to Twaweza for putting us forward for this.)

Rather than travel all that way for an 8 minute presentation, I was able to present from the Bank's Dar es Salaam office via Video-Conference. My presentation is below.

* For this conference, ICT is both a standard acronym (Information and Communication Technologies) and a more unusual one: Innovate, Connect, Transform.

4 Apr 2011

Daraja in the Guardian

Daraja had the pleasure of a guest appearance last Friday in the (UK) Guardian, when one of our main partners (and donors), Twaweza was featured in an article on the paper's Poverty Matters blog. Under the headline "How citizens can make development happen", the Guardian's Madeleine Bunting presented her take on Twaweza's approach, based on a conversation with Twaweza's founder, Rakesh Rajani. Daraja and our Maji Matone programme got a paragraph:
Twaweza is rather like an umbrella organisation, and the work it supports and facilitates is hugely diverse. It has helped a new venture, Daraja, to get off the ground. Daraja aims to make local government more accountable to citizens in rural Tanzania, and has piloted a project in three districts enabling people to report through SMS that their well or water source is not working. Daraja collates the information and sends it to the district water engineer. Every month it produces reports and league tables for districts, which it then sends higher up in the government. It also releases the information to the media and on Facebook. It has proved very effective at "concentrating the mind" comments Rajani wryly.
It will surprise no-one that Daraja supports Twaweza's citizens' agency approach. But it's great to see such a respected thinker and commentator as Madeleine Bunting lending her support and giving Twaweza (and Daraja) wider exposure. 

If you haven't done so already, read the article. Besides the section on Daraja, it also let slip yet more shocking information on the state of Tanzania's education sector - how do educational standards in Tanzania compare to Kenya?