The Chukua Hatua Accountability Programme, Tanzania | Oxfam | Community

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The Chukua Hatua (CH) programme run by Oxfam GB and its implementing partners is a five-year governance and accountability initiative in Tanzania (2010
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  OXFAM ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP CASE STUDY www.oxfam.org   THE CHUKUA HATUA ACCOUNTABILITY PROGRAMME, TANZANIA By Duncan Green The Chukua Hatua (CH) programme of Oxfam GB (Oxfam) and its implementing partners is a five-year governance and accountability initiative in Tanzania (2010–15). The goal of CH is to achieve increased accountability and responsiveness of government to its citizens. The programme aims to achieve this by creating active citizenship; that is, citizens who know their rights and responsibilities, and are able and willing to demand them.  2   BACKGROUND Relative to many countries, Tanzania has impressive formal local governance structures in place. However, the effectiveness of these structures is questionable. Village and district-level councils are elected and it is their role to oversee bottom-up planning and decision-making through to a full council at district level. However, effective control at both levels tends to be held by centrally appointed officials. Elected representatives at local level often lack the desire or capacity to hold these appointed officials to account.  At the local level, meetings are only called by the village chair and executive. These should take place quarterly, but often happen rarely, if at all. When they do take place, they are not well attended because local people have little faith in them. According to one young artist (and CH activist): ‘We ask questions in meetings but don’t get satisfactory or truthful answers, or we are prevented from asking because only a short time is set aside for questions and there are specific agenda to be discussed.’ There is also a sense of insecurity. People are afraid of being excluded from the patronage system and of losing its benefit or protection. There is evidence of direct threats to individuals who speak out. Party polarization is an issue, with any challenge by ordinary citizens often taken by leaders as an indication of opposition politics. In addition, there is a lack of information about policies, laws, people’s rights, and even what is happening in the country. In rural areas, most people get their information from radio, but reception is sometimes poor and women in particular do not have time to listen. Print media are less popular because newspapers arrive very late (up to a week after publication) and in any case, many people cannot read. In addition, media suppression is a serious issue. Women’s participation is severely restricted by their position in society. Patriarchal customs and attitudes mean that women have fewer opportunities to participate than men and, although they do attend meetings, they rarely speak. One woman noted: ‘Even if you say something good in front of five men, only one will listen to you.’ CH is a flexibly funded and well-studied programme (see Further Reading), which has received considerable support from staff at Oxfam headquarters. It has become well known for its approach to innovation, including its evolutionary theory of change, and the use of outcome mapping as a means both of evaluating impact, and ‘learning as you go’. This has made it possible to produce a detailed and rigorous case study, with a high degree of confidence about the contents. BUDGET  As of December 2013, the total budget for Chukua Hatua stood at £2.05m. MONITORING, EVALUATION, LEARNING Monitoring and evaluation is a particular challenge in programmes like CH that are ‘learning by doing’. There is no clear set of indicators and activities that can be agreed in advance and built into the programme. CH has therefore been forced to use more innovative forms of  3  monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL), in particular ‘outcome mapping’. 1  This has the advantage of allowing the programme to monitor emergent, unpredictable change, while also tying monitoring and evaluation very tightly to learning. Behaviour change, both of citizens and duty bearers, is key to the CH project. Outcome mapping allows for a comprehensive method of tracking behaviour change as opposed to outputs. It also moves us beyond contribution to try to understand attribution in a complex environment. Outcome mapping has provided a crucial feedback loop, enabling the project to track both positive and negative impacts, ensuring we minimize any potential harm as the project develops. It has also proved a source of intellectual coherence, ensuring that staff and partners are in regular and serious conversation about the programme’s design, purpose and achievements. Specific monitoring and learning tools are utilized. These have included: Regular use of outcome mapping and the biannual production of a comprehensive outcome mapping analysis report that considers the changes and key trends. Study tours have been undertaken by the CH team along with other Oxfam team members from Tanzania and Oxford, and with partners. The project brings together project stakeholders for a learning event on a biannual basis. These are an opportunity for the team to look at specific pieces of the programme in detail, and the outcome mapping reports and any other research or evaluations are timed to feed into them.  A series of learning briefs and case studies have been prepared by the CH team with the aim of documenting some of the experiences, challenges and learning that have been identified in Phase 2. The process of collecting the necessary information for the briefs was also a key opportunity for the team to unpack and understand the various factors, dynamics and actors that contributed to the visible changes.  A project Effectiveness Review was undertaken during Phase 2. The review used process tracing, 2  a qualitative research approach, with elements of outcome harvesting, 3  an approach to monitoring and evaluation inspired by outcome mapping 4  that uses the following definition of outcome: a change in the behaviour, relationships, activities, or actions of the people, groups, and organizations with whom a programme works directly. CH as a whole has used outcome mapping from the outset, and found it useful both in terms of systematically recording impacts on ‘boundary partners’, and in building a common vision between project staff and partners.  According to the Effectiveness Review: Of the three outcomes investigated, 5   we found evidence that each had materialised, in two cases in full and in the case of the animator mobilisation of citizens, in part. The realisation of tangible outcomes in a relatively short period of time is commendable for an advocacy programme seeking to change entrenched citizen and leader behaviours. 6     4   THEORY OF CHANGE Power analysis CH’s internal ‘Theory of Change’ 7  document sets out the power analysis underpinning its design. This includes: The four powers : This model of change holds that disempowered, marginalized people must feel a sense of ‘power within’ – the light bulb moment when people realize they have rights, and that those they elect should serve them, rather than vice versa. This allows them to build ‘power with’ – the coming together of various forms of association around common issues – to achieve ‘power to’ – asserting their rights, campaigning, mobilizing. This exercise in active citizenship allows poor people to exercise ‘power over’ officials, large corporations or other power holders. By promoting power within, with, and to, CH seeks to enable people, particularly previously marginalized women, to raise their particular issues with those in authority, in whichever way they choose. Empowerment is thus part of creating an ‘enabling environment’ for pro-poor change. Seen another way, one of the main targets of CH has been to overcome a prevalent sense of powerlessness and futility, in which citizens see no point in protesting or taking action, because it will have no impact. Minor victories, especially early on, can build momentum and a sense of possibility, leading to more ambitious efforts down the road. Change hypotheses The assumptions about social change underpinning the CH programme include: Long-term shifts:  lasting changes can take place in deep underlying norms, values and beliefs regarding people’s expectations of duty bearers and their beliefs about what they can legitimately speak out about. These shifts involve ‘a new relationship between representatives and the represented, based on shared understanding and mutual accountability’. 7  They also reflect Oxfam’s focus on gendered power relations. Purposive individual/collective action:  CH believes that active citizenship can bring about increased responsiveness by duty bearers, and that collective action is a more effective and less risky approach to achieving this. Transitions to accountability:  this is based on the work of Jonathan Fox in Mexico. 8  Fox found that local breakthroughs in accountability arise through the interaction of ‘the thickening of civil society’ and successful reforms by parts of the state, e.g. particular ministries or local officials. These often involve cycles of conflict and resolution, which we are beginning to see in Tanzania. This is particularly the case in Loliondo, where CH has adopted a more opportunistic approach of reacting to protests and conflicts, supporting citizens’ movements with some impressive results. Drivers of change and importance of alliances:  one of the findings of ‘drivers of change’ work by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) was that successful change often comes about through alliances of dissimilar actors, e.g. social movements, churches, sympathetic officials and private sector champions. CH has tried, with mixed
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