"We can't change things". This was what focus group participants told us when we conducted a study into citizens' attitudes towards local governance in Njombe, Ludewa and Makete. They were talking particularly about corruption, and expressing the idea that though they don't like corruption, they don't feel there's anything they can do about it. The corrupt go unpunished, the poor feel even more powerless, creating more space for corruption to continue - a vicious circle.
I presented a draft report of this study to the REPOA Annual Research Workshop in Dar es Salaam this week, on behalf of Frank Kaduma and Kapongola Nganyanyuka, the study's main authors. The presentation is enclosed below, and the full draft report can be found here.
But please note that it is some time since we conducted the fieldwork for this research, and given the fast changing political environment in Tanzania, much of our data is likely to be out of date.
Before the slideshow, the workshop has reminded me of two things. First, this blog previously posted a guiding principle for good research: KISS and tell. And second, Tanzania's first (perhaps) and best (definitely) satirical blog posted recently on the remarkable story of the professor who was "suspended over easily understood research". I can't claim that our study avoids either of these pitfalls entirely, but we've tried.
"We can't change things"