The aim of this goal is creating a world where young people are active citizens, where institutions are accessible, and responsive to young people, and where young people can influence those with power.
Tanzania's National Youth Development Policy (NYDP) 2007 advocates for young people to be active participants and leaders in the development of the nation. The recent election saw significant mobilization of young people, with over half the voter turnout under 35. However, concerns regarding the transparency of the electoral process - including through the stalling of the constitution process, voter registration, and vote counting, coupled with negative perceptions of young people - continues to prevent young people and youth organization’s from participating fully in decision making. Only 27% of youth reported participating in local government meetings (from a sample of 1,037 young people). In addition, low education, lack of popularization and sharing of policies and government results are likely to impact on young people’s perception of the value of engaging in major political and development processes. Social hierarchies and party politics at village and ward level can hijack young people’s well intended concerns or demands, often labeling them as ‘opposition ‘or ‘trouble makers’, or may seek to co-opt them through tokenistic incentives to secure political support from the local youth population. Technology is beginning to offer real solutions to information access and participation. Over half of the 12.7 million adults in Tanzania now own a mobile phone, and of those almost 50% are aged between 25 and 34, with fast paced uptake continuing. However, in rural areas, radio platforms remain critical as an outreach and communication tool, most effective when supplemented by face to face engagement, making Restless Development’s programmes and Kijana Wajibika networks uniquely placed to act as a bridge between offline and digital communications. For example, a recent study led by Restless Development and youth partners was able to engage over 270,000 youth via social media platforms including SMS highlighting their priorities for the incoming government but was further complemented by in-community surveys with 1,537 youth.
As we have started implementing our new strategy, connecting the significant platforms of young people we work with around the country to the data revolution, which is transforming information access, will be critical to our role in generating constructive citizen engagement from young people. In addition, to contribute to structured outcomes for young people in this space, we must engage in policy support and influencing which can embed young people and their voices into critical policies going forward.
ELECTION PROJECT – FAHAMU, ONGEA, SIKILIZWA II
FOS II was extended project from Kijana Wajibika constitution project, focused on the key areas of human rights, youth and women participation. A critical learning was been around the low level of civic awareness amongst citizens particularly on human and political rights, low participation of youth and women in governance processes and decision-making, and resistance on the side of duty-bearers and leaders to really open and safeguard the spaces and opportunities for citizen engagement in the same processes.
Therefore, the constitution Consortium had to reformed comprising of Restless Development with Oxfam, LHRC, VSO and BBC Media to form Elections Consortium which aimed to build on the lessons and achievements of the Constitution to date to ensure that citizens had sufficient information, capacity and space to participate in the local government and national elections processes. The overall objective of this project was to contribute to a just and transparent voter’s registration, national elections in 2015 in which citizens, particularly marginalized women and youth, actively participated as voters, contestants, and monitors.
The theory of change behind Kijana Wajibika is that if young people have civic knowledge, are demanding information, collecting data, and participating in networks as active citizens, then governments and institutions will be more accessible and responsive. Young people will be able to participate in meaningful decision making and influence those with power.
We are building a strong and sustainable civic infrastructure by unlock young people’s agency, empowering them to take a leadership role and be meaningfully involved in all stages of development, including accountability and review. The peak youth generation is more educated, tech-savvy, connected and involved than ever before, they are taking action and demanding their right to be involved in decisions that affect their lives. Young people are uniquely positioned not only to deliver change in their communities, but to inform and influence every aspect of development. They have unique perspectives and experiences that are crucial to understanding the impact of development, and providing solutions to improve outcomes.
We focus on long term power building, by enhancing the knowledge and skills of young people to advocate for their rights, and by supporting duty bearers to respond to youth voices at local level to forge more deeply linked constituencies. Young voices will be amplified, driving accountability from governments on their commitments, such as those made during the elections, through the national development framework and the Global Goals. Young people will advocate for their concerns, such as those expressed in the youth manifesto, to ensure they are embedded and implemented through Tanzania’s 5 year (2015-2020) National Development Action Plan.
Through Kijana Wajibika young people will take their place at the center of development and government processes and will drive accountability and responsiveness from government.
We will achieve this goal through three specific outcomes:
● Citizens, particularly young people are accessing public information, generating data and asserting their rights
● Young people are participating in political and democratic processes
● Citizens, government and aid agencies have increased access to information relating to the commitments made by government and data which highlights the reality of the situation for young people in relation to those commitments.
The action will be implemented across 6 regions of Tanzania: Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Kilimanjaro, Iringa, Coast region and Morogoro.
The Kijana Wajibika project is funded by European Commission, Datashift (Civicus), Making All Voices Count (Hivos), Ford foundation and private donor.