Twaweza: putting citizens at the centre
Twaweza means “we can make it happen” in Swahili. Twaweza works on enabling children to learn, citizens to exercise agency and governments to be more open and responsive in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. We have programs, staff and offices across all three countries, and a world respected practice of learning, monitoring and evaluation. Our flagship programs include Uwezo, Africa’s largest annual citizen assessment to assess children’s learning levels across hundreds of thousands of households, and Sauti za Wananchi, Africa’s first nationally representative mobile phone survey. We undertake effective public and policy engagement, through powerful media partnerships and global leadership of initiatives such as the Open Government Partnership.
We believe in an open society, built on the human impulse to make a difference; where information and ideas flow, citizens engage, and authorities are accountable to the people.
To demonstrate how citizens can come together to collectively address their systemic development problems, and make government work better for them
To enable citizens’ voices, interests and experiences to be heard and taken seriously in decision-making across multiple governance levels
To promote and protect open civic space which enables citizens to freely assemble or organise, speak and act
Collaborative - We seek to work with and learn from others, to pursue common interests, knowing that most powerful things can only be achieved when we pull together our strengths.
Transparent - We seek to practice what we preach, foster a culture of deep transparency, disclose all by default (except a narrow aspect that is private and confidential), be honest about failure and success, and share widely.
Imaginative - We seek to think anew, reframe, wonder, imagine possibilities beyond traditional boundaries, and to spur unusual ideas, aspirations and action.
Strategic - We value big challenges; appreciate the need think clearly through and make good judgments about scale, connection, implementation, impact and durability.
Rigorous - We seek quality – attention to detail, clarity and elegance – in everything that we do.
Curious - We are driven by a thirst for learning; to ask, know, understand, tinker and create.
Highlights from 2017
In summary, during 2017 we conducted a learning assessment in Uganda and Tanzania; successfully piloted the same Uwezo learning assessment in refugee hosting districts in Uganda; integrated Sustainable Development Goal data collection in the Uwezo assessment in both countries; finalized KiuFunza II analysis and started formal collaboration in Tanzania with the President’s Office - Regional and Local Government to pilot teacher incentives using government systems; presented surveys of enacted curriculum results to selected national and internal audiences; and conducted Positive Deviance studies in all three countries.
In summary, we worked with partners to support the Ugandan government to launch an open procurement portal, we used the mystery shopper approach to determine the state of access to information in Kenya in partnership with MIT’s GOV/LAB (as in Tanzania we found that two out of three requests were denied), and we pushed for the release of regulations to operationalise the newly passed Access to Information Act. We analysed proposed and passed laws restricting freedom of expression and association and we help public events to debate these laws and their application with relevant government officials. We also launched Sauti za Wananchi in Uganda meaning Twaweza can now glean insights from a representative panel of citizens’ voices from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. And in Tanzania we created new spaces for interaction between citizens and leaders through local dialogues, a live interview show with citizens questioning high level political leaders including four ministers, and we piloted a show that brings MPs and their constituents together.
Learning and Strategy
In summary, we accounted for coverage, quality and obtained feedback from the majority of our initiatives, and we used the information to shape our planning going forward; we assessed our engagement methods and success through analysis of 18-months’ worth of Outcome Mapping data; we conducted innovative access to information research in Kenya and formative research around a new communications initiative to bring Members of Parliament closer to constituents in Tanzania; we formed Twaweza’s first Research and Evaluation Advisory Group to help us think through some of the hard questions on our effects and future direction.
Key Activities in 2019
- Animation local interventions in two districts in Tanzania, designed in response to research insights in Uganda.
- Partner with Christian Social Services Commission to spark collective action on education among prayer groups.
- Amplify local success stories through media and directly to government.
- Weekly education news slots.
- Finalisation five research to action studies on citizens’ access to information and participation in Uganda including validation sessions.
- Sauti za Wananchi national data collection and engagement in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
- Local data collection panels in Kigoma and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Makueni in Kenya.
- Government and media engagement.
- Scale up of #MbungeLive showwith in-constituency screenings for 15 constituencies.
- Civic Space
- Legal appeal for Abdul Nondo, re-open case against online content regulations.
- Legal analysis and advocacy for proposed bills; support articulation and implementation of decentalisation policy.
- Working with existing and new coalitions.
- Finalising a campaign with Well Told Stories.
- Partnership with JamiiForums to promote independent digital media.
- Uwezo annual learning assessment in Tanzania and Uganda including the integration of technology into data collection and the collection of a range of indicators outside education for the Sustainable Development Goals. This work includes an expanded trial in extended feedback to communities around the findings as well as national and sub-national materials and engagements.
- Complete curriculum analyses produce report on enacted, taught and assessed curricula in Tanzania and Uganda with related reports. Capacitate national curriculum institutes to take on the work.
- Investigate, collaborate and document planning and piloting of the third phase of KiuFunza which will be conducted in collaboration with the Government of Tanzania. Produce and present papers and other publications from previous KiuFunza data.
- Complete first stage of positive deviance trial, experimenting with spreading practice.
- Support the Research in Improving Systems of Education (RISE) program in Tanzania
- Finalise report on positive deviance in school leadership and conduct validation forums in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Where feasible design experimental interventions to spread these practices
Strategy and Learning
- Account for coverage, quality and obtained feedback from the majority of our initiatives, and use the information to shape our planning going forward
- Daily media monitoring for mentions of Twaweza and coverage of our domains
- Internal learning activities: weekly learning sessions, food for thought sessions as required.
- Formative research for new strategy
Twaweza Head Office (Tanzania Office)
- Aidan Eyakuze (Executive Director)
- Herbert Humphrey (Contracts Administrator and Assistant to Executive Director)
- Entesh Melaisho (Assistant Program Officer, Planning, Reporting and Donor Relations)
- Anthony Mwambanga (Program Associate – RISE)
- Melania Omengo (Manager, Sauti za Wananchi)
- Baruani Mshale (Director, Learning and Strategy)
- Hamisi Hamisi (Program Officer, Learning and Strategy)
- Miriam Mwaibula (Assistant Program Officer, Strategy and Learning)
- Risha Chande (Director, Advocacy and Engagement)
- Annastazia Rugaba (Advocacy Manager)
- Jane Shussa (Digital Communications Officer)
- Glory Saria (Manager, Operations)
- Karim Manji (Regional Information Technology Officer)
- Janice Kalemera (Administrative Officer)
- Pushpa Vishani (Human Resources Associate)
- Patricia Nabaku (Receptionist)
- Theo Mshabaha (Administrative Assistant)
- Richard Modest (Manager, Finance)
- Esther Prosper (Senior Accountant)
- Emanuel Benjamin (Assistant Country Accountant)
- Nancy Leshabari (Accountant)
- Richard Temu ((Senior Program Officer, Voice and Participation)
- Happiness Nkwera (Program Assistant, Voice and Participation)
- James Ciera (Senior Data Analyst)
- Evelyn Siaga (Administrative Assistant)
- Chrispinus Musamba (Accountant)
- Violet Alinda (Director, Voice and Participation and Uganda Country Lead)
- Ismail Sentamu (Assistant Program Officer, Learning and Strategy)
- David Mugurusi (Program Officer, Voice and Participation)
- Judith Nakayima (Program Assistant, Voice and Participation)
- Martha Chemutai (Communications Officer)
- Asinguza Allan Peter (Regional Coordinator, Learning, Monitoring and Evaluation)
- Marie Hilda Nanyanzi (Program Officer, Sauti za Wananchi)
- Bob Wandera (Country Accountant)
- Wahab Muhumuza (Administrative Officer)
- Winnie Nanteza (Administrative Assistant)
Board members are drawn from East African nationals of high credibility and expertise, and international experts. Each will serve on the board in their individual capacity. The individuals are expected to reflect diversity in terms of a) East Africa and global, b) diversity within East Africa with at least one member from each of the three countries in which we work, c) gender and age, d) range of competencies including strategic, programmatic, learning/evaluation, legal, and financial.
Current members are; Dipak Naker (Raising Voices, Uganda) (Chair), Robert Kabushenga (Vision Group, Uganda), Dr Wanjiru Kamau Rutenberg (African Women in Agricultural Research and Development, Kenya), Leonard Msusa (Mwananchi Communications, Tanzania), Nicolette Naylor (Ford Foundation, South Africa), Smita Singh (Independent, USA).
Twaweza values donors for several reasons: provision of financial resources, knowledge, sharing of ideas and linkages with others, feedback on Twaweza’s approaches and effectiveness, and as one component of accountability. Twaweza seeks to work with donors in a manner where its identity, intellectual and operational autonomy are affirmed and safeguarded; including independence of thought, publication and positions that may be critical of the donors. The partnership with donors is based on congruence of goals and mission; where both Twaweza and donors work in a manner that can best propel the goals and interests of Twaweza.
High quality and impeccable integrity are expected of Twaweza by itself and donors, and both parties hold Twaweza to this standard. Open dialogue, honesty and frankness, including admission of failure where this case may be, and the need to adapt and adjust are openly communicated, and seen as essential to developing trust and strengthening the organization. Donors understand that the way to get the best out of Twaweza is for the organization to have effective internal incentives, structures and practices of learning and accountability.
Our current donors are
- DANIDA Tanzania – Tanzania
- SIDA Tanzania – Tanzania
- Embassy of Finland – Tanzania
- Embassy of Switzerland –Tanzania
- Hewlett Foundation – Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania
- Wellspring Philanthropic Fund – Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania
- Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office – Tanzania
- Ford Foundation – Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania
Our own transparency and accountability
Value for money is at the heart of our procurement processes, ensuring that funds entrusted to the organization are spent in a manner that is responsible and smart. Twaweza has developed a procurement system which gives equal opportunity and fair treatment to all prospective suppliers, contractors or consultants. Proper tendering processes, where quotations are sought from several suppliers or bids invited through advertisement are in place for all procurement exceeding certain amounts. Furthermore, Twaweza has developed a system where all its contracts with suppliers, contractors, or consultants are paid based on outputs delivered. Payments are only made after an output analysis has been performed and an assessment on the value of the deliverables. Outputs required for each contract are carefully analysed and reflected into contracts to ensure agreement and clarity on both sides. All these ensure that Twaweza receives the greatest value for money in terms of price, quality and time of delivery at all times.
In addition, and to ensure transparency around financial reporting, Twaweza has implemented a web-based accounting package which is accessible for viewing by all staff across the three countries, with the right to edit/ modify accounting information restricted to finance staff. Access to view the financial information is also granted to key partners such as donors, external auditors and internal audit consultants. The purpose of this is to allow for greater transparency across the organization and enabling staff to become more organizationally aware. In most organizations, finance aspects are the responsibility of a single unit and the rest of the team are not aware of, or involved in, understanding the organization’s expenditure from an overview perspective. Giving viewing rights to all staff in Twaweza means that they can monitor their expenditure, extract key reports on their own, and develop greater awareness of the budgetary and financial aspects of the work that they do.
Twaweza prepares general purpose annual financial statements in accordance with the requirements of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The audited financial reports are audited by an internationally reputable firm appointed by the board. Issues arising are addressed and once satisfied the documents are authorized for issue. At this point, the financial statements are shared with donors and other key partners and published on the Twaweza website.
Since 2014 wherever and whenever possible, all financial transactions are handled in a manner that is electronic. The key objective of this is to minimize risk to the organization. Wherever there is cash to be handled, there also exists a potential risk of theft and fraud. However, where strong financial controls are coupled with trust in secure systems, this risk is curtailed. We are working towards having this also be the way in which our partners work with us, and have expanded the use of bank account payments, minimized the use of petty cash payments, and further implemented the use of mobile money.
Audited Accounts: 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010
Policies: Governance and Management | Financial Regulations | Human Resources | Program Policies