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?